So the holiday decorations have been put away, and your home feels bare. On the bright side, you decluttered. Consider your living space to be a blank slate, a fresh start before bringing on the hygge.
What exactly is hygge? This buzzword, pronounced "hyu-gah," exploded into pop culture in 2016, and has been named Word of the Year by both Oxford and Collins dictionaries. Simply put, hygge is "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 and Norway practice hygge as a culture year-round, but especially in winter. The Northern hemisphere experiences limited sunlight and bitter cold, and their way of celebrating comfort is an art.
Below are 5 ways you can practice hygge this winter.
To beat the isolation that can occur in winter, Danes often invite friends and family over for intimate gatherings. Sometimes it involves a nature walk to soak up vitamin D in that sliver of time the sun is out. Per the below photo, my friends and I enjoyed an outdoor walk, then warmed up by a fire pit, drinking craft beer. Regardless, it ends with everyone indoors for a cozy get-together. And what is a winter gathering without comfort food? Bake something to share.
Stack some wood in the fireplace and settle in. Cut off the harsh overhead lights and light candles to give your room a warm glow. Danes burn through more candle wax than any other European country - about 13 lbs per person per year!
Warm and Fuzzy
Weighted blankets, faux fur comforters and soft throw pillows, there are all things that will make you feel safely cocooned, as you Netflix and chill.
Wool socks and cashmere sweaters feel as good as they look, but nothing's better than an old pair of sweatpants. Hyggebukser is an actual term for a worn pair of pants you would never wear in public, but secretly treasure.
Though Los Angeles is generally warmer, desert climate calls for chilly evenings, even during the summer. On cold winter nights (there was frost guys), friends would gather around the fire at our cabin, drink spiced mulled wine and because every gathering has one, some guy would inevitably pull out a guitar.
Year after year, Scandinavians are voted the happiest people in the world. While it's true that employers and the government promote an incredible work/life balance, part of the picture is their focus on comfort, and living well. And during these winter months, we need all the hygge we can get!