Between the long nights and chilly temps, it’s easy to fall into the winter blues or – as professionals refer to it – Seasonal Affective Disorder. Having grown up in Central New York, I’m pretty accustomed to 4pm sunsets and the feeling that winter may genuinely never end (snow in April is pretty common). Being raised in these conditions means I’m pretty good at “getting through” the winter and – in fact – actually enjoy the season quite a bit. While I never had a word for my coping mechanism, everything made so much sense once I was introduced to the concept of hygge.
Stumbling across the definition of hygge felt like a revelation. It was something I had been practicing my whole life – I just didn’t know it!
For those who have been following along this blogging journey, have Scandi heritage or are just familiar with the term, then you know that hygge is a feeling of contentment that comes with enjoying simple pleasures, found in life’s slower moments. It’s a sensation of warmth and security and peace. Say – what you might feel being tucked in at night getting ready for a full night’s sleep or sipping your favorite hot beverage out of your favorite mug.
While you can practice hygge any time of year (be sure to check out my spring, summer and fall inspiration), hygge is often associated with the winter time as it is credited for the measuredly high levels of happiness found among the residents of Nordic countries despite bone-chilling temperatures and limited sunlight.
If you’re interested in channeling hygge to make the most of the winter season, check out this list of 50 suggestions.
Let’s Spark Some Hygge…
- Start your morning with your favorite coffee.
- Put on your favorite slippers.
- Have a movie night.
- Cozy up with a mug of cocoa.
- Pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read for a while.
- Re-read your favorite book.
- Sit under a heated blanket.
- Call a family member to chat.
- Call a friend to catch up.
- String fairy lights in your home.
- Go for a walk.
- Go sledding.
- Go ice skating.
- Go hiking.
- Build a snowman.
- Just go outside.
- Bake a cake.
- Bake homemade bread.
- Bake just about anything.
- Cook dinner in the crockpot.
- Cook a dinner low and slow in the oven.
- Light a candle.
- Play music.
- Print photos out and create an album.
- Try a new craft.
- Color in a coloring book.
- De-clutter your home and enjoy the fresh feeling that comes with it.
- Go through your closet and donate the clothes you no longer want or need.
- Take a hot shower.
- Do a face mask.
- Do a hair mask.
- Turn your cell phone off. Just for 15 minutes.
- Silence your email notifications.
- Go to bed 30 minutes early.
- Wake early and enjoy the sunrise.
- Watch the sunset.
- Practice yoga.
- Practice meditation.
- Journal your thoughts.
- Forget about the to-do list for one day.
- Write letters and send them in the mail.
- Send care packages to the ones you love.
- Tell someone how they have positively impacted your life.
- Take a break from social media.
- Spend a day in PJs.
- Play a board game.
- Play cards.
- Save some money each week and enjoy planning what you’re going to treat yourself to in the future.
- Indulge in wholesome, healthful food.
- Live each day with intention.