Embrace This Winter: Get Cozy by Practicing Hygge

Feel like hibernating during the winter season? You’re not the only one. There are many reasons why many of us feel like getting cozy under a blanket & agreeing to a lengthy movie marathon with the kids this time of year.

Nature can show us how to embrace winter if we tap into what it’s telling our bodies. It’s a beautiful thing really. But in today’s hustle culture, it is hard to embrace.

There’s a reason you feel like hibernating so let’s dig into it and find out why you should say yes to keeping things simple by enjoying more movie marathons, reading a good book under a blanket, staying home to rest, reflecting more, going on winter walks, cooking and baking cozy food, and all things related to tapping into the nature of the season and getting cozy. 

HyggeWhen winter arrives it brings dormancy. Gloomy days are frequent, the trees are bare, and the ground freezes. Nature does this to conserve energy and prepare for the season ahead, spring. The same with animals. Some animals use hibernation as a strategy to conserve energy in the winter when food supplies are minimal. So, what if we tapped into what winter is silently demonstrating to us by slowing down, conserving our energy, and preparing for the seasons ahead? What would that look like? 

In Denmark, it looks like Hygge and this one word can change the way we embrace winter. Hygge {pronounced hoo-ga} is a Danish concept that encompasses the feeling of cozy and contentment.

There are a handful of books that will really dig into the concept of Hygge and I’ll link those at the end of this article but in the meantime, you can read all about the basics of Hygge in this article by Lyndsey Matthews, What is Hygge? Everything You Need to Know About the Danish Lifestyle Trend

After some reading about Hygge and all it has to offer us, especially in the winter months, a few highlights came to mind:

  1. If I had to sum up the concept of Hygge I’d say it really has to do with simply embracing the things and the people you love in a cozy way. By embracing the simple pleasures and including them in your daily life, you are slowing down and allowing your body time to rest to prepare for the season of growth ahead. When we embrace the people in our life we should hone into enjoying cozy pleasures with them like a home-cooked meal or meaningful conversation over coffee. 
  2. We can use the winter season to tap into the principles of Hygge by resting and rejuvenating our souls by unplugging from the hustle of life.
  3. Simple ways to practice Hygge: spend quiet time outside, enjoying warm food and drink, dig into that ‘to be read’ pile of books on our nightstand, learn to knit or sew, cozy up and meditate by the fireplace, wear your favorite oversized sweater often, and say yes to more cuddles on the couch.
  4. Really dig into Hygge by creating a cozy spot in your home. Ideas: move a chair to a corner with a small table and lamp so you can have a cozy designated reading spot, organize your stand mixer and frequent baking supplies together in a space on the counter so it’s out and ready to use when you’re looking for a treat, make a puzzle table where you can keep a puzzle out for everyone to work on when they are looking for a cozy activity, or designate a specific spot in your home for yoga and stretching so you can always have a mat rolled out ready to go.

HyggeHygge really offers the opportunity for us to mirror nature. When we look out the window and see the bare trees may we be reminded that the tree is pulling its energy inward so that it can bloom in the spring. We should focus our energy inward too. When we notice our body feeling gloomy just like the sky outside may we be reminded to slow down, listen to our body, and provide it with the leisure and food it needs. Let’s allow nature to guide us through the colder months.

As promised, here are a few books about Hygge:

Hygge: Unlock the Danish Art of Coziness and Happiness by Barbara Hayden

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

Hygge: The Secrets of the Hygge art towards a Stress-Free and Happier Life by Danielle Kristiansen 

There’s a lot of beauty to be had through practicing Hygge and if you choose to embrace the ideas behind Hygge, even just a little bit, I hope your body will thank you in the seasons to come.

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Jessica is a Mid-Michigan Mom who enjoys this beautiful life with her husband Tyler & two little kids. Jessica works part-time as a Recreational Therapist and enjoys a healthy balance of work life and mom life. She loves to travel, organize, decorate her home, soaks up the sun any chance she gets, walks with her neighborhood mom friends, and time on the lake with her family.