Hygge (pronounced "hoo-ga") is a Danish and Norwegian term that doesn't have a direct English translation. It encompasses a cultural and lifestyle concept that revolves around creating a sense of coziness and well-being in everyday life. It's really all about comfort, warmth, simplicity, nature, and indulgence.
Pretty hard not to be on board with it, right? Let's explore some simple ways you can put it into daily practice, from hygge decor to new habits and hobbies.
Change Up Your Bedding for Something More Luxurious
When you think about your bed, one of the first words that comes to mind should be "cozy". Everyone has their own ideal sleeping setup, but there's a few ways you can make your bed more "hygge" friendly:
- Big, fluffy pillows you'll actually use (not just throw pillows)
- Oversized coma inducer comforter to keep you cozy
- Extra blankets you can burrow into
- Warm flannel sheets
- Cushy mattress topper
I've invested in better pillows and a microfiber mattress topper this year that make it hard to leave my bed in the morning — but that's a good problem to have.
Embrace Cozy Crafting
Crafting is an excellent way to be in the present moment and can be a solo activity or something you do with friends and family. Even better if it's something you can do while snuggled up. Knitting or crocheting, sewing, needle-point or felting, painting or sketching — whatever your craft is, it should be relaxing and therapeutic.
Choose Soft and Fluffy Textures
Faux furs and chunky knitted blankets are key components to add more hygge decor to your home. My partner would say I have a throw-blanket problem, and I wouldn't disagree. But I also think it just makes sense to always be in arms-reach of a blanket so you and your guests can be warm and comfortable.
Embrace the Outdoors (Even if It's Cold)
Hiking isn't just for the warmer months; take your hygge experience outdoors to get some fresh air. Dress warmly so you're comfortable and try to get outside fairly regularly to reconnect with nature. Then notice how amazing you feel afterwards!
Create Ambience With Fire
A fireplace is a must — even a fake one! I don't have a real fireplace (yet...), so for now we're enjoying an electric fireplace space heater. It does the trick to create the ambiance we want, especially in the winter, and the extra heat is lovely.
Take a Hot Bath & Make It a "Moment"
I'm a bath girl — of course I have a bin full of bath bombs and epsom salts. Hot baths certainly fit with the hygge lifestyle, and you can make them as luxurious or simple as you want. You can even get a bath tray table to hold books, candles, and beverages so you can really "soak" it all in.
Skip the Overhead Lighting
Sometimes you need brighter lighting (like food prepping in the kitchen), but otherwise, use warm-hued lamps and candles to light your space. Overhead lighting is actually shown to make you more awake and less relaxed, so it makes sense that lamps are the way to go if you want to feel cozy and unwind.
Sip on Warm Beverages
Make a Reading Nook (& Actually Use It)
If you enjoy reading or something having a quiet space to sit and unwind, add a reading nook to your hygge home decor. A chair or a big bean bag, a lamp, and a side table are all you really need, but you can get more creative with it if you want.
Once your nook is in place, use it! Grab a book and set aside some you time. It's simplicity, coziness, and indulgence all at once.
Step Away From Your Screens
Phones, computers, and TV are great resources, but we know by now how addicting they can be, and they make it challenging to be in the moment. So once in a while, plan some no-screen time where you can focus on something in the physical world, like journaling, reading, going for a walk, or tidying up to make your space more relaxing again.
Cook or Bake a Comforting Recipe
Yes, food is also a big player in the hygge lifestyle. Especially those feel-good foods that seem to heal your soul a little bit as you enjoy them. Food is very personal, and everyone has their preferences, so make something that sounds good to you. A batch of chili, a roasted vegetable salad, a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, or a new dessert you've been dying to try.
Take a Cold Plunge & Sauna
Hygge's not just about being 100% warm and cozy at all times. It's about doing things that make you feel good day-to-day. A cold plunge or (just a cold shower) is pretty uncomfortable when you're first getting started, but the benefits are real: decreased pain and inflammation and better focus and sleep to name a few. Not to mention, it strengthens your willpower! Follow it up with a sauna session, and you'll feel oh-so-relaxed.
If you want something a little less extreme and more practical, try taking a shower where you alternate hot and cold water a few times. It's exhilarating and calming all at once.
Infuse Your Home With Your Favorite Scents
Clear Unwanted Clutter
You may have noticed that clutter makes you feel kind of stressed out — and that's not very hygge. That doesn't mean you can't collect things that bring you joy, but that's just it: your space should be filled with things that make you feel happy.
So, if there's a busy area in your home that gives you anxiety every time you look at or think about it, it may be time to get rid of some things. Remember, simplicity is key!
Make Time for Yoga
While yoga doesn't stem from Danish culture, the idea behind it fits right in with the hygge lifestyle. It helps you relax and brings you into the present moment, plus you can do some things to make it feel more hygge, like lighting candles and keeping a pillow and blanket nearby to enjoy a cozy zen moment at the end of your practice.
Spruce Up Your Workspace
Whether you're working from home or at the office, it's worth it to make your space hygge-friendly. A mug warmer, your favorite relaxing tunes, cozy lighting, and a blanket can make all the difference in the amount of time you want to spend at your desk.
Light Candles at Dinner
Sometimes it just takes a small adjustment or addition to feel the affects of hygge. Before you sit down for your meal, take an extra minute to turn off the TV, set out and light taper candles, and turn on some relaxing music. You'll be more present and able to really enjoy your meal.
Have a Bonfire
Another good way to enjoy the outdoors is with a bonfire. You'll stay warm in the winter, and it's a great excuse to hang out with your favorite people, sip on some warm drinks, and make cozy memories.
Enjoy the Present Moment
The point of hygge is to promote your well-being by finding contentment in your actions and surroundings. While you can do some of that through curating a cozy atmosphere, it's also about your mindset.
Embrace those small, pleasant moments in your day, even if you need to intentionally create more of them. Let them to bring you inner peace. We could all use more of that, couldn't we?
Create Your Dream Hygge Home
With the right vision and intention, you can make the hygge home and lifestyle that fits you. The beauty is that everyone's version can look a little different; it's all about what makes you feel the coziest and most content. So what are you waiting for? Go get your hygge on.