5 Easy Ways to Embrace Hygge, the Danish Secret to Happiness, This Winter

By now, you’ve probably heard about the cozy Danish lifestyle concept of hygge (pronounced hue-guh) before. While not directly translatable, hygge is essentially the embodiment of warmth, comfort, and mindful indulgence. Imagine curling up with your favorite book in a fat, cushy armchair or sipping hot cocoa in front of a warm, crackling fire. Imagine the pleasure of slowly eating a gooey cinnamon roll, layer by layer, from a sturdy ceramic plate.

All right—now you’re getting it. That’s hygge. And, considering Denmark consistently ranks among the top happiest countries in the world, I’d wager there’s probably something to it.

With winter fast approaching, I’ve been looking for different ways to incorporate hygge into my daily routine in order to maximize my feelings of well-being and connectedness. Here are seven different practices you can adopt to help make hygge part of your permanent lifestyle.

5 Easy Ways to Embrace Hygge, the Danish Secret to Happiness, This Winter

1. Buy candles—and lots of them.

Now, I’m not suggesting you line your entranceway with candles and cause a fire hazard, but candles—and ambient lighting in general—are key to hygge culture.

What’s not to love about flickering lights and the warm glow of an open flame? If you can’t have candles in your home for any reason, fairy lights are a good alternative—and not just during the holiday season.

2. Find little ways to nest throughout the day.

You know that feeling of comfort you get when you return to a place you were once intimately familiar with—such as a childhood home? Aim to recreate those feelings of coziness wherever you are.

Put on a pair of warm, cozy socks or drape a soft blanket over your shoulders while you work, and pay attention to how it feels against your skin.

3. Gather with your loved ones.

How does the old saying go? No man is an island?

Community and relationships are the hallmarks of hygge, so cuddle up with your partner, plan a wholesome board-game with your friends or cook and eat a warm and nourishing meal with your family. Make excuses to meet up with the people you value, and enjoy your time with them.

5 Easy Ways to Embrace Hygge, the Danish Secret to Happiness, This Winter

4. Indulge in your favorite culinary comforts with intention.

Don’t just grab a pastry from your favorite coffee shop and eat it on the go; treat yourself as you would a cherished houseguest.

Serve yourself your favorite breakfast on your nicest dishware. If you take a snack break at work, really take it—sit down, concentrate on the flavors you’re tasting, and enjoy your moment of respite to the fullest.

5. Connect with nature.

Yes, a huge part of hygge is making your life indoors as safe and snug as possible, but remember: balance is everything.

Notice the natural world around you, and appreciate its blessings. That means literally stopping to smell the flowers, when you can, or at least make it a weekly habit to pot some plants and keep them in your home.

Related at Care2

Images via Getty

53 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y6 days ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y6 days ago

thanks

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John J
John J6 days ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J6 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Barbara S
Barbara S25 days ago

thanks

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Cindy M. D
Cindy M. Dabout a month ago

I'm ready to "hygge" away this winter. Thank you for the tips.

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Lesa D
Past Member about a month ago

let's all hygge!!!

thank you Lia...

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Clare O'Beara
Clare Oabout a month ago

What's not to like about candles? How about they are made from oil? Who do you think pushed the marketing? Some candles more recently are made from natural oils like hydrogenated soya. This is something people could have eaten or animals could have been fed. Vegans won't like tallow or wax candles. Then there is all the plastic and energy involved in making and transporting and packaging. Switch on the LED lightbulb. Better for your eyesight too. And candles can start fires. Candles are nice and give atmosphere but limit their use and just keep a few for power outages.

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Olivia M
Olivia Mabout a month ago

thank you

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foteini c
foteini HORBOUabout a month ago

gratefull!!!

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