The days have started to get colder and daylight hours have dimmed. Winter is officially here. While it may feel like time for hibernation and cabin fever bordem, think again. This winter embrace what the Danish and Norwegians have dubbed “hygge”. Hygge culture, means emerging yourself in the winter season and all things cozy. It is also a great way to avoid the winter blues. Here are the best ways to do just that this season.
Start A Fire
What’s more cozy than gathering around a hot flame to read a book, enjoy a hot chocolate or social with family and friends than gathering around a fire place?
Having a nice fire going is the ultimate way to stay warm and cozy during those cold winter months. I don’t know about you, but the smell of wood burning in a fireplace instantly makes the ambiance inviting.
If you don’t have a fireplace, how about enjoying your backyard with a small fire pit? Or better yet, simply light candles to create the perfect cozy atmosphere.
Get Outdoors In The Snow
To fully embrace hygge culture you need to immerse yourself in the wonders of the winter season by enjoying nature. This can include skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing, sledding and even walking or running outdoors in the snow.
I grew up in Vermont where the winters are long, lasting about six months. When I was little myself and my brothers played ice hockey, (I figure skated), we played in the snow constantly by building snowmen and sledding down our huge front yard. Snowball fights ensued, but we always had fun.
There is something very comforting of the change of seasons that I have always looked forward to. Each one has its own unique feel, weather and special holidays. My point is to enjoy the winter by getting outside. Even if you only ski for two runs and just hang out in the lodge for the rest of the day.
Layer Up With A Warm Sweater
What says “I’m warm and comfy” more than a knit sweater? While both stylish and comfortable wearing wool sweaters (and socks) are great ways to stay warm during the winter time and be stylish at the same time.
Here are my favorite Hygge Sweaters:
Drink In The Warmth Of The Season
I love the Sweedish word “Fika”. The translation means: a break in the day for coffee and something sweet, expressly for the purpose for setting aside a moment of quality time.
What a beautiful Scandinavian word. It goes along with the Hygee culture of enjoying small cozy moments of indulgence. Adding time for a delicious coffee and a treat, …I can totally get behind that!
Don’t Forget Hot Chocolate
While coffee and tea are great warm drinks we can’t forget hot cocoa. After all, what is the winter season without enjoying some hot chocolate?
Here are some of the hot chocolate hacks from Real Simple magazine to get you inspired.
Togetherness & Gratitude
Socializing with friends and family and showing gratitude are key components of hygge culture. Even if you live far away from those you love, you can still do a video call, check in with texts and photos or even send a snail mail old fashioned letter or card.
Socializing with people has shown benefits in people’s overall health. According to a 2019 article from the Mayo Clinic. The article states that when you socialize with people you shed feelings of loneliness while also increasing your cognitive and memory skills!
What We Can Learn From Hygge
Scandinavian countries are often at the top of the lists when it comes to the ranking of the happiest people in the world. In 2020, Conde Naste Travel released its top 10 ranking of the happiest countries in the world.
Coming in at number one was Finland, followed by Denmark at number 2 and Switzerland at #3.
It almost seems like the happiest places in the world would be countries that have tropical islands where all its citizens are basking in the sunshine in their free time. But that is not the case. It is the Scandinavian countries that are ranked as the happiest in the world.
This gives they phrase Hygge culture all the more praise. For even in the darkest times of the year, these countries still find time to embrace the winter and turn it into a happy time.
Want To Learn More About Hygge Culture?
If you can’t get enough of all things Hygge (like me, #obsessed) check out this video put out by HBO that provides an overall look at the explosion of Hygge culture popularity. It features the author, Meik Wiking of the book titled The Little Book of Hygge.