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Hygge Meaning & 5 Ways to Cozy Up Your Life This Winter

Growth during transition means taking a look at what you're facing and making choices to embrace change and make your home a cozy haven.

Creating a sense of coziness in your home and creating a haven is the true hygge meaning.

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Perhaps you’ve heard the word but wondered about the hygge meaning? Or further still, how — or why — you should find ways to incorporate it into your life. Hygge is a Danish concept that I’ve brought into my life. Here’s why I think you should too. 

Winter is at our doorstep and with it can come feelings of loneliness, isolation, and solitude. Things that once bloomed with life and vibrancy now lie dormant. The world loses color and warmth. The sun which gives us literal happiness in the form of serotonin hides behind a grey veil. The last years have been harder than most. 

Happily, there are things we can do to embrace winter on our own terms. Make it a point to delight in, instead of dread, the slowing down of things. Take in what makes us happy and grateful, and leave what brings on feelings of sadness. Essentially, embrace the hygge meaning and allow winter to be a time of uplifting reflection. 

HYGGE MEANING

The Little Book of Hygge, by Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute
The Art of Making Memories, by Meik Wiking, CEO of The Happiness Research Institute

 

The word hygge, (pronounced HUE-gah) is a Danish concept that equates to a quality of coziness in everyday life. It’s a danish word and sentiment embodied in Scandinavian countries, of inviting warmth and comfort into your life, both into your abode and into your lifestyle. It is not decor choices but rather a feeling of contentment and intimacy. Everyone could use a little hygge in their lives. 

In Scandinavia and other extreme northern parts of the world, winter is a time of little light. Instead of hibernating and waiting for the light to come through, the people in this part of the world have embraced the full meaning of hygge. They make it a point to bring light in and creating a warm atmosphere. This can be by bringing things that light your soul or literal light in the form of the warm glow of candles. 

There are endless ways to bring light and a hygge feeling into your life during the grey winter (such as take a winter vacation). The author of The Little Book of Hygge is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, so they know a thing or two about happiness. I’ve included 5 ideas to get you started. 

#1 CREATE LUXURIOUS ROUTINES

image of graphic with hygge luxurious routines

Click the image to shop these items that would elevate your routines to the level of luxury that add that special touch to your hygge.

The first thing you can do will likely require no new equipment — create luxurious routines. What I mean by that is to take something simple, such as making coffee in the morning and making it into a beautiful routine. In the case of coffee, step up your game. Add some cinnamon or cardamom (or both!) and froth your milk. Make it just a little extra and a little special and serve it up with freshly bakes pasties. Use a special mug that you have been saving for special occasions. That occasion is here! Now is the time. 

Routines to Consider:

  • A new morning routine (write in a gratitude journal)
  • A new afternoon slump-buster routine (bundle up and go for a walk!)
  • Luxurious coffee making routine
  • An evening winding down routine
  • Bedtime rituals
  • Beauty regiments

#2 CREATE A HYGGE BEDROOM

Click the image to shop these cozy products.

Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time in our bedrooms. Even if we only sleep there, that’s at least a third of our lives! Make it a cozy haven that you enjoy being in. Not that you want to spend all of your time there, but when you do feel like curling up with a comfort read, you’ll want to feel welcomed and embraced. The bedroom is the perfect place to start.

Must-Haves for a Hygge Bedroom

  • Warm, soft light (candles, anyone?)
  • Soft, textured blankets and throws
  • Layered bedding
  • Neutral Colors (Not a rule! Use what you find soothing)
  • A decluttered space

#3 CREATE HYGGE LIVING SPACE

Hopefully, we have a place in our home that is not our bedroom, creating a hygge environment, somewhere cozy where we want to spend our time, is probably the most important part of creating a haven out of your home. Remember the breadth of the hygge meaning is a feeling, and different people have different ideas of coziness and comfort. Create a space that represents your own hygge. 

Must-Haves for a Hygge Living Space

  • Natural touches
  • Warm, natural lighting
  • Touches that bring to mind a happy place or time
  • Light a fire
  • Scented candles

#4 EMBRACE HYGGE BY CREATING SPECIAL MOMENTS 

Hygge is nostalgia. It is a sense of safety and security. It is warm feelings. Hygge is appreciate all the seasons of the year. The nice thing is that sometimes this just happens naturally, and the whole point of hygge is that it should. It should be easy and natural. However, when we are in the depths of winter and feelings of isolation take over, there are times we must work for it. 

Making Your Hygge:

  • Host an intimate dinner party (candle-lit of course!)
  • Bring a special (homemade or otherwise) cake to a friend and sit and chat
  • Meet friends for coffee
  • Plan a crafting night
  • Participate in (or start!) a book club
  • Cuddle your pets

#5 LET NATURE IN 

image of honey good setting down a vase of tulips to add a touch of nature for a hygge touch

Bringing in touches of nature will bring a sense of calm and peace.

 

No matter where we live in the world we have the gift of nature and this beautiful world of ours. Even if you live in a city, there are trees, the beautiful sky, the sun (be sure to wear sunscreen), and the moon. Is it even possible to be stressed when looking at a beautiful sunrise? During winter you must make nature a priority — your soul will thank you.  

Ways to Bring in Nature:

  • Go for a walk
  • Take a drive down a scenic road
  • Nordic sports (snowshoe, cross country ski, etc.)
  • Bring in flowers or even found twigs or branches
  • Open curtain/blinds and windows if possible
  • Stop and smell the roses (or any available plant!)

Hygge is caring for oneself. If we are to be the caregivers and nurturers that we pride ourselves in being, we must first care for ourselves. During the winter months and the isolation of our world as it is, it is more important than ever. Fully take in the hygge meaning and all it entails — comfort, security, and happiness in things big and small. 

What do you do to let the light in during winter? Do you embrace the hygge meaning? Please share in the comments!

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*Honey Good may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link in this post, at no additional cost to you.

December 29, 2023

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  1. Mary Pent says:

    Thanks for sharing this! There are so many great suggestions in this article. Thinking of you, Honey and hope you have a lovely holiday season! We were in Chicago last weekend and had a great time. There was hustle and bustle but not too crowded. We were at the Christkindl market and some bars and restaurants. It was so festive!
    Love,
    Mary

    • Susan "Honey" Good says:

      Hi Mary, I know you were in Chicago. I saw you on FB. Glad you had a good time. Always so happy to hear from you. I am glad you stay connected to me. It means a lot. Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year. May all your dreams and more come true in 2022!
      Love,
      Honey

  2. SoCal Allison says:

    I love the “cuddle your pets” idea. I do that every day. It brings pleasure to me and to them. January Winter in SoCal brings rain and cooler temps. So I stay busy inside by decluttering and taking breaks for hot coffee or tea with a good book or a walk outside for the winter sun that is not as hot as our summer sun. Walking is a feast for the eyes as I watch the birds and scenery around me. Thank you for these extra ideas to start the January season!

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