Winter is a time to slow down and start to enjoy the cooler days ahead. Depending where you live, winter may look different for you but it is usually followed by some cooler weather, even if it is not a snowy clime. Crackling fires, fuzzy socks, mugs of hot cocoa, and warm blankets may not be your exact picture of inner peace and joy, but according to Scandinavians, this may be the ticket to feeling warm and fuzzy throughout winter.
Joy of Hygge
The concept of hygge (HOO-guh) is one that has no direct translation in English. It derives from the Norwegian word for ‘wellbeing.’ Hygge, generally speaking, is a Danish practice that encourages wellness by creating cozy, comforting experiences. This home environment conceptually speaking can build a deep appreciation for cozy, warm, and inviting space to sit with friends and family. Whenever you feel anxious or depressed in the winter season, you can find some comfort and peace in hygge.
Warming the Soul
Hygge is not just about a conceptual idea of what feels warm and cozy. Every person will find something different in it for themselves. What warms one soul may not necessarily warm another’s soul. To try it for yourself, consider the following ways hygge attempts to warm the soul from the inside out:
- Togetherness: an essential element of hygge is experiencing the heartwarming practice of being with each other. Invite friends or family over to hang out, start conversation, and just be together
- Set out opportunities to connect like creating game nights, learn new card games, or ask if others have time they like to connect and join in
- Watch an uplifting movie with loved ones
- Snuggle in bed with pets or loved ones
- Stay off social media after a certain time at night and opt for a good book instead
Another element of hygge is to make comfort food. Scandinavians take pastries seriously, including baking for friends. Food brings togetherness. Even if you are not into baking, you might consider a potluck or going to a community gathering (like recovery groups) where you can share community with others. The whole idea is to make the most of what you have right now by creating a warm, cozy environment in your home and fill it with peace and joy to last now and throughout the year.
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