Canada and Denmark share one important similarity: they experience winters that are rigorous and cold. So, what do the Danes do to uphold the title of the second happiest nation in the world, despite the limited sunlight, endless snow and the wild wind?
Their secret comes in the form of hygge (pronounced HOO-gah). This mindful lifestyle trend emphasizes comfort…and more comfort! More importantly, it is easy to reproduce at home and costs nothing, so why haven’t we adopted this way of life yet?
For you to take full advantage of the power of hygge, we have put together a list of simple suggestions that you can incorporate into your space during the long winters.
Fireplace and candles
A comfortable living environment is essential to overcome the long months of chilly temperatures. For the people of Denmark, creating a warm atmosphere starts with a relaxing fire. Whether in the form of a fireplace or candles, lighting will help transform a room completely. If you like candles, we recommend picking ones with soy wax or ones featuring essential oils. Also, consider using garlands of small white lightbulbs that will cast a peaceful and pleasant light in your space.
Throws and blankets
When a storm is raging outside, what can be more comforting than bundling up in one, two or even three fluffy throws? Gather your pillows, cushions and blankets to create the ultimate cozy nest in your bedroom or living room. Once you do, you will want to hibernate!
Warm-up your heart and soul with the perfect hot drink. Whether you are a fan of coffee or tea, always have a cup of your favourite beverage with you. Hygge also advocates the pleasures of comfort food, in reasonable quantities, of course. Our non-guilty pleasure, for example, is a delicious bowl of cheese macaroni.
Limit Screen Time
Staring at your phone screen all day is not a tenant of hygge. Put the world on airplane mode and grab a novel instead. After all, you have created a soothing environment that is conducive to reading. Otherwise, gather the family for a board game and leave the screens aside for a few hours for some authentic candle-lit fun.
Enjoy the Beauty of Nature
In order to tame the winter blues, the Danes regularly venture outside to practice their favourite sports, or simply to take a walk. If we learn to appreciate the snow and the cold at face value, we can get through the winter with both our physical and mental health intact. You can improve your mood by simply going outside for some fresh air. So, bundle up and enjoy the weather!
Winter may not become your new favourite season, but by adopting some of the principles of hygge, we bet you will learn to love it a little bit! What are some of your tips for enjoying the cold?
Adapted from French by Amina Reaz