Hygge: What it is, Why it’s important, & How to use it!
A Post by Bridgette
Today I woke up with a to-do list, just like most of you… but my goal today was to relish the day and not spend the first week of this new year stressed out or miserable. It’s easy to get caught up with everything that needs done and forget to take a few moments to pause and love the day.
When I woke up today, I resolved to take steps to enjoy my day and love the season I’m in. I tend to feel a bit down after the holidays knowing that the excitement of the season is over, and we’re stuck with months of winter left to get through. Since there are months left of winter, I figured it’s better to make the best of it instead of throwing a pity party and thinking of all the warm weather activities I wish I were doing. This is where hygge comes in to play.
What is Hygge?
Hygge is an idea from Danish culture that embodies mindfulness, and consciously acting on activities that make oneself feel good. It is creating an atmosphere of self-love, coziness, and comfort. You are already doing this- from lighting a scented candle, to cozying up with a cup of tea on a cold day; these things are Hygge. This winter I intend to practice hygge in an effort to love the season instead of resenting it. If I can create a cozy, intentionally happy and loving atmosphere in my life/home, maybe there won’t be room for discontent.
Why is Hygge important?
Hygge is important because happiness is important! Taking intentional steps not just in the winter, but year round- to increase our happiness, really seems like a win-win. This culture of cultivating happiness isn’t a disrupting habit to start, and doesn’t even cost anything. It’s simply a mindset of knowing what makes you feel happy and cozy and doing those things. This is important because YOU are important, and how you feel matters. Yes, you may have a houseful of little people to tend to and chores to do. But your needs are important and a happy mama makes for a happy home.
How to Hygge:
The idea of Hygge is to be present in the moment you’re in, and mindful of how to make THIS moment one that you can love. While researching the what/why/when/how of this idea, there were a few things that really stuck out to me. These were:
Being discontent is easy, and it comes naturally. Without skipping a beat, I could list 5-10 things I wish were different right now. Let’s do something a little harder, and take a moment to clear the mind and really focus on the here and now. Take a deep breath and be in the moment, list 5-10 things you’re thankful for today. Practice being in the moment and loving the moment.
I could easily spend my morning daydreaming about spring, and all the things I’m planning and loving about THAT season. But this habit only breeds unhappy feelings when I “come to” and remember that it’s still January. To be my happiest self, I’m practicing being present and loving this moment.
Everything around you and everything that you do, contributes to your day and makes it either good, bad, or in-between. Being intentional about creating your day can make the difference between a good or bad day. The little things count!
Something as simple as taking the time to light a scented candle, or doing something to change the atmosphere around yourself for the better can make the difference between a “bleh day” and a good day.
Being intentional about the atmosphere in your home, the activities you do, the food you eat, and the music you listen to- can all add up to a happier, cozier time.
How I’ve been intentional about my day:
I started working towards having a good day since the moment I woke up. It’s not a foolproof plan, but a culture of taking steps that you know will make you feel good. I started my day by drinking a glass of water- an act that not only makes me feel good physically, but also helps wake me up and feel alert. Which is important because I am NOT a morning person! This was my way of giving the morning it’s best chance.
My next step was to put on some happy music and start my oil diffuser with a mixture of “Peace” and Lavender essential oils. As I got ready for my day, I went over my mental to-do list and added little ways I could make the day more enjoyable. It doesn’t need to be hard, for me it’s as simple as adding scents and sounds to the atmosphere in my home to feel cozier.
Another way that I’m prioritizing happiness, is to be more intentional about self-care. For me this means scheduling time to do yoga and go for a walk. Yoga is very relaxing to me, and going for a walk gives me time to enjoy sunshine and fresh air. Both activities give me a bit of pep in my step and brighten my day. Think of what brightens your day and makes you feel great- prioritize those things.
Saying Yes/Indulge Yourself:
Something I kept coming across while I was learning about Hygge was the idea of indulging yourself. It’s about paying attention to what may bring you a measure of comfort or joy, and saying yes to that. From food, drinks, cozy sweaters, or anything within reason you can think of to make the season lovely. Do those things, eat those foods, say yes to yourself.
I am NOT good at this in the winter, I hate the cold! My goal this winter is to be better about getting outside. Even though it’s cold outside, get out there and get some fresh air! Taking time to catch what little sunshine does peek out this time of year and filling your lungs with some good fresh air always works as a great pick-me-up. Dress appropriately for the weather and go on a walk.
In all that you do this season, create cozy. There are so many ways to do this! Take a moment to reflect on the things that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. This list may include things like: spending time with friends/family, playing board games, cuddling up under a blanket with tea and a good book, going sledding with your children, baking and eating special treats, taking a day to give your home a cozy/warm atmosphere, the list goes on. Prioritize this, be intentional about being cozy.
Hygge isn’t Hard
As we’ve learned through this post, hygge isn’t a difficult practice to employ. For all the potential benefits of implementing these techniques it takes remarkably little effort. As busy wives and mothers, the value of such simple yet joy inducing techniques can be immeasurable.
This year, I challenge not only myself- but all of you, to do at least one hygge type activity per day. To help out with this challenge I’ve created the biggest and best hygge list ever, which you can find in the resource library! For a more in-depth take on Hygge, including an interview with author of “The Little Book of Hygge” Meik Wiking- check out this video!
If this post doesn’t seem applicable because you can’t see past the laundry and dishes, don’t panic! You’ve got this, and we’re here for YOU. Kim Brenneman, author of Home Management: Plain and Simple has been there, and done that. She wrote the book for women like you, in an easy to read and reference layout. Struggling in one particular area? Skip right to that chapter! We know you don’t always have time to read a book straight through. Flip through and find the answers you need.
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