Between the normal winter blahs, pandemic fatigue, isolation overload, helping kids cope, zoom burnout, and doom scrolling, this time of year calls for some serious hygge (pronounced “hue-gah”).
Although it sounds like a line of soft IKEA pillows, it is actually the Danish concept of ‘cozy home’ from folks who know what it is like to be stuck indoors for months at a time. The fuller definition comes from the VisitDenmark website:
“… hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Cozying up with a loved one for a movie – that’s hygge, too.”
It is usually accompanied by a photo of very thick, soft, and warm socks on a coffee table with either a roaring fire, fresh flowers, candles, a warm drink, or some combination of all five.
Hygge is less about these specific elements than about a state of mind wherein you create a loving and safe environment for yourself. Fireplaces not required, and fresh flowers can get expensive. You can create a cozy spot in your home with your favorite pj’s, a blanket, a book, a warm cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa, and the intention that you are going to downshift and take some time to chill out. Books, magazines, a jigsaw puzzle, an audiobook, a funny podcast, a movie, or your favorite music playlist are all activities that help to take you out of the endless news cycle, the work-related text messages, and health updates. Other ways to slow it down might be baking, cooking, or recipe research. It might be a long (non-video) phone call with someone you haven’t checked in with, wishing them a Happy New Year.
Organizing the whole household to have hygge simultaneously can be a heavy lift, so try a little at a time, and slowly let your family get used to the idea of quiet (or at least giving you some quiet during your hygge!) Who knows? Maybe by February, they’ll be grateful for the downtime, too.
Hygge does not require disposable income to access. However, if you’re feeling flush with disposable income, sign up to have a box of comfort delivered to your home with Curated CT. A monthly delivery of delicious bread, coffee, cheese + chocolate from locally-owned, small businesses to help you through these winter months!
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