As we enter into February and the brunt of winter, the days are getting longer and shorter. With the frigid temperatures upon us, most are spending a lot more time at home than they’d prefer. However, a cold, indoor winter does not make it any less exciting than the summer months. The Danish art of cultivating coziness and contentment, hygge, serves as an antidote to the winter blues, allowing us to find joy in the simplest of moments.
Hygge is defined as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)”. Denmark’s national obsession with coziness contributes to it consistently ranking among the happiest countries in the world. They do not let the cold and long nights of winter disrupt their happiness. Instead, the Danes take pleasure in the little things in life through practicing hygge. If you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate while reading a book, you have experienced hygge without even realizing it. Transform your home and life into a cozy haven by making these small alterations.
One of the most integral parts of hygge is soft, dim lighting. Ditch the bright overhead light, and adorn your rooms with warm lamps or candles. If you have a fireplace, make it the focal point of the room as its crackling warmth fills your home. While enjoying the ambiance, curl up on the couch with a chunky, knit blanket while reading a book. Reading encompasses the simplicity and comfort that hygge celebrates. In terms of decorating, hygge embraces natural, neutral colors. These warming hues invite a calming sensation to your space.
Hygge is best practiced when in the company of those you love. Shared moments with loved ones, whether it is a candlelight dinner or a board game night, elevate your practice of hygge to a communal experience. It is a reminder that happiness lies in simple times spent in the company of others.
Don’t forget what isn’t hygge. Practicing hygge does not mean staring at a screen all day, mindlessly scrolling on social media, or limiting yourself to a strict diet. Instead, it beckons us to disconnect from the virtual world and reconnect with the tangible pleasures of life.
In the heart of winter, let us take inspiration from the Danes and infuse our homes with the spirit of hygge. By making subtle changes to our surroundings and embracing the warmth of shared moments, we can turn the coldest months into a time of genuine contentment. As we navigate the winter landscape, let hygge be our guide, showing us that even in the darkest and coldest of times, there is a light that can warm our hearts and homes.