For some of us, wintertime becomes a dreaded prison sentence! It throws a wrench in our lifestyle and inconveniences the simplest chores. In the past few years, the concept of “hygge”(pronounced hoo-ga), a Danish/Norwegian word embodying the feeling of coziness, contentment, and togetherness, has become very popular. It is a lifestyle method to enjoy life- and in my opinion- particularly winter. When your winter goal is to create hygge, you will have a day full of productivity and joy. Let’s see how we get there:
Set the mood
This could be one of the most important aspects of hygge. In order to be cozy and content indoors, there must be order and beauty. This also gives you an indoor activity to accomplish (even if it doesn’t seem very exciting) and enjoy when you’re done. My top suggestions are to:
- Tidy up– Clutter creates stress! It’s a scientific fact that has been leading some of our cultural obsessions- horders, minimalism, tiny houses, Marie Kondo, etc. Complete your chores and go through one area of your home at a time to reorganize. Start by creating a haven in a place you relax most often, like the living room or bedroom so that you have at least one space to enjoy. Winter is the best time to do this anyway- why would you want to be organizing your paperwork when everyone is at the pool?
- Clean up– Once you’ve tidied up, it is the perfect time to clean up! You don’t have to tackle your whole house at once, just do one project at a time. You’ll be able to look back at that one clean spot and feel proud that you took the time to take care of your home. If you feel grossed out, you definitely won’t be able to get cozy and content. I love that Norwex products make cleaning fast, easy, and simple. Just wet down the microfiber and start wiping! It removes 99% of bacteria when used correctly without having to mix up any chemical solutions. If you are looking to really enjoy your cleaning experience, check out the Nordic Naturals Collection– beautiful, Norwegian, and functional- totally hygge!
- Light it up– Winter “nights” can be LONG and the days are grey so adding light is essential to bringing in hygge. When my friend moved into her first home, they made it a priority to update the lighting in their kitchen and dining because it was so dark. Their new fixture gives off lots of cozy light. You can also set the mood with candles or a fireplace.
- Engage your sense of smell– Oftentimes, I don’t think twice about my sense of smell, unless I get a whiff of something smelly. In your cleaning phase, mostly likely you’ve stamped out the source of bad smells- the garbage, the bathroom, mud room, your pet zone- but sometimes they linger. Artificial, chemical scents from candles, aerosol sprays, and wax melts are not good for your health, and to me, just don’t enhance this experience. I like to take out my Norwex Odour Eliminator– now available in 3 new scents- or my Fragrance Discs with essential oils. If the air is dry, start a humidifier or simmer pot recipe.
Find a new hobby
If you pine away all winter for your warm weather activities, you won’t find a lot of contentment. There is a time to enjoy summer, and a time to enjoy winter. Of course, you can still find places to get out and do some warm weather activities, but it takes more effort. During the winter, I like to work on piano, knitting, reading, cooking/baking (which adds extra warmth and delicious smells, like pot roast and chocolate chip cookies), or board games. These are also great activities to share with your family or friends, essential to hygge.
Stepping outside, even if its just to shovel or walk the dog, will help you appreciate the indoors even more. Bonus points if you find an outdoor winter hobby- skiing, ice skating, hockey- think Winter Olympics.
Get cozy and toasty
Come back in and get cozy! Drown yourself in a sweater, pile on the blankets, put the lights on low, and sip something warm- hot chocolate, tea, cider, coffee. Enjoy the people around you that you’ve worked with throughout the day to accomplish hygge.