Winter can be a tough time of year. Cold weather, gray skies, a blizzard or two… all the gloom, bone-chilling winds, street-side sludge, and black ice can make it hard to love the season. But what if we told you there’s a way to make the most of winter?
To make sure you’re “wintering” right, we’re coming to you today with a little advice. This article will take a close look at the Danish concept of hygge and provide you with all the tips you need to stay super cozy this winter.
Mastering the Hygge Vibe: An Introduction to Hygge
Before we look at how you can hygge, we need to understand this delightful Danish word (it’s pretty fun to say, we can’t lie).
Hygge — pronounced hoo-gah — refers to the way that feeling cozy and comfortable provides contentment. It’s like a specific type of self-care that’s oriented toward coziness and community, as a big part of hygge includes being able to share those cozy feelings with the people you love.
A hygge lifestyle encourages you to savor all the little things that bring you joy and allow you to rest. Living a hygge life is all about enjoying comfy, simple pleasures with your loved ones.
What Are the Origins of Hygge?
The word “hygge” has its origins in the Norwegian word hugga, which means “to comfort,” and is where we get the word hug in English. Hygge was developed to deal with harsh Nordic winters that can include up to 17 hours of darkness and freezing temperatures every day.
Given that Danish people have to spend so much time indoors in the winter, we don’t blame them for having an entire concept dedicated to battling the darkness and cold.
Why Is Hygge So Popular?
Around 2015, the concept of the hygge life became wildly popular with international audiences. After a slew of books were published, many people outside of Denmark were quick to add hygge to their list of self-care tips and tricks.
Some of these books include The Little Book of Hygge, The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Well, and The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge. (If you’re looking to cuddle up with a good book in front of a roaring fire this winter, we consider these our go-to guides on the hyggeway of life.)
The hygge craze makes sense! Danes are consistently ranked as some of the happiest in the world, despite their harsh climate and long winters. We’ll have what they’re having.
How Can You Add More Hygge to Your Life?
You might be wondering how you can add a little sprinkle of hygge into your life. We’ll start with this — you don’t have to move to Denmark to live a hygge lifestyle. (Although, roaming around the streets of Copenhagen would definitely count as a hygge activity).
There are several simple ways you can incorporate this Danish concept into your daily life to make the winter months cozier and full of hygge.
Spritz a Cozy Fragrance
A big part of crafting a hygge lifestyle involves being able to create the perfect luxurious, cozy environment in your home… and one of the best ways to do this is with a spritz of a cozy fragrance.
A fragrance has the ability to bring up memories and feelings and create an atmosphere of warmth. Think of the way the smell of vanilla reminds you of cake batter on birthdays, or the way the scent of tobacco and spice reminds you of your dad’s cologne.
You can use fragrances to create a hygge vibe by choosing your three favorite fragrances from Snif. With our fragrance bundle kit, you can select three of our coziest fragrances to try and keep whichever ones help you feel hygge. Subtle, earthy fragrances, like Sweet Ash and Way With Woods, might be just what you need to welcome a comforting, warm vibe that lasts all day long.
Light a Candle
Another way to enhance the hygge in your life is by lighting your favorite candle in your living room to hygge in a traditional Danish way. In fact, a large majority of Danes associate candles with hygge… and this relationship between candles and hygge might be precisely the reason why the average Danish person burns roughly 13 pounds of candle wax every year. No joke.
You can try Snif’s Candle Bundle Kit and get three of your favorite candles delivered to your door. To welcome all the cozy feelings this winter, consider choosing comfy, wintery scents that transform your space into a hygge-filled holiday retreat.
For a fresh, green scent, you can try Old Saint Wick, or go for something a little more sweet like Half Baked Pumpkin Smash. Or, reach for Way With Woods as a go-to, genderless scent that feels just like a breath of fresh forest air — even when you’re not in the great outdoors.
Enjoy Aromatic Foods
Another way to bring more hygge into your life is by enjoying more aromatic foods. Do you often find yourself rushing through your day and through your meals? Maybe your workday lunch breaks are cut short by meetings, or you’re forced to speed-eat in between classes, errands, or other obligations.
Sometimes, eating breakfast or lunch can feel like just another thing to check off your to-do list rather than an important chance to take a break, fuel your body, and savor what’s in front of you.
Hygge foods are cozy, comforting foods that basically require you to slow down. Think of a mug of warm tea or hot chocolate — you can’t gulp down hot drinks in a hurry unless you’re willing to deal with a burned tongue.
Instead, you have to enjoy hot drinks sip by sip, and they’re even better shared with the people you love. So, whether if you’re in New York,Copenhagen, or anywhere in between, consider enjoying a hot cup of coffee at a table in your favorite café rather than rushing out the door with it.
You can also think of cooking or baking as a hygge activity. You can carve out an entire Sunday afternoon just to make an apple pie or cook a big pot of soup to enjoy with your loved ones. As long as you’re making something delicious, cozy, and shareable, you’re making it hygge.
Snuggle Up in Soft Textiles
Another way to add a little hygge to your life is by snuggling up in soft materials. Given that hygge is all about savoring those special moments of comfort and coziness in winter, one of the best ways to hygge is to surround yourself (and your loved ones) with soft throw blankets, comfy pillows, and plush rugs.
Once you’re all snuggled up in your living room, give yourself time to read your favorite book or watch some of your favorite shows or movies.
Spend Time With Loved Ones
Community and togetherness is a super important part of a hygge lifestyle. If you’re trying to keep things hygge this winter, don’t be shy. Get together with the people you love and do the things you love to do.
It might be cooking a cozy meal together, going out for a cup of tea, or cuddling up and watching an entire season of the latest thriller on Netflix. What you do doesn’t really matter so long as you’re spending time with all your favorite people (and staying cozy while doing it).
You can also live a hygge lifestyle by starting new traditions with your friends and family. Maybe you want to start hosting a monthly potluck dinner party or board game night, or you want to meet your best friend for a coffee and a pastry on the first Monday of every month.
No matter how you decide to embrace hygge with your loved ones, creating traditions and routines is a good way to bring you closer and make special memories.
Enjoy Time in Nature
Another great way to hygge is to enjoy time out in nature, even if it’s freezing cold. Hiking is a great hygge activity that can help you feel more mindful and relaxed, especially if you’re bundled up in a big jacket and cozy scarf.
Remember that hygge is all about finding what makes you the most content and at peace, so don’t be afraid to try going for a coastal walk or a forest hike to see what natural setting is the most hygge for you.
Take Time for Self-Care
At the heart of hygge is a deep-rooted tradition of self-care to get you through the cold, gloomy winter months. If you want to live a hygge lifestyle, it’s time to get serious about your self-care. Maybe self-care for you is prioritizing a delicious dinner made at home instead of a big, eventful night out, or maybe it’s something as big as taking a look at your work-life balance and seeing if any changes need to be made. Self-care means different things for different people.
Hygge is also all about removing the things that may be annoying, stressful, or emotionally overwhelming in your life. If you notice that the sound your phone makes when you get a work email stresses you out, consider turning your phone off during your hygge time.
Get Your Hygge On
Now that you know all about what hygge is and how to do it, you’re ready to get your hygge on.
Hygge is ultimately an act of self-care that’s meant to bring you closer to the people you love during the coldest time of year, so don’t set any goals or deadlines for your hygge. Let it truly be time and space that you set aside just to feel cozy and content. So, light your favorite candle, make a hot batch of cinnamon rolls, and cuddle up on your couch to kick off what will hopefully be a long winter full of hygge.