Hygge: How this Danish practice can help you become happier
Guest post by Pearl Tsui. She is a writer for Rank-it.ca, a product review and comparison site that helps buyers find the best version of what they’re looking for. Additionally, she is currently a student in nursing hoping to enter the mental health field once she graduates.
When the seasons change, our mood can really be affected – it’s often dark when we wake up and dark when we come back home from work. For those who work from home, they might feel isolated and more down than usual.
Either way, there are simple things we can do to lift our mood – one of these things is incorporating the concept of ‘hygge’ into our lifestyle.
What exactly is hygge?
As Healthline puts it, hygge roughly translates to feelings of comfort, coziness, relaxation, and overall wellbeing. What evokes these feelings will be different for everyone, so there’s no wrong way of incorporating hygge into your life.
What are some ways we can add hygge to our lives?
Several sites (such as Homes & Gardens) can give you ideas about how you can live a hygge lifestyle – we’ve compiled some of the most common tips below:
- Get together with your loved ones – Spending time with the people you trust and feel most comfortable around is one of the simplest ways you can lift your mood and introduce hygge into your life.
- Cook comfort foods – When’s the last time you made your favourite food? Cooking meals you enjoy can be a great way to unwind and relax after a long day or week.
- Use soft lights in your home – Bright, cold lights don’t exactly make your home’s atmosphere the most relaxing – dim lights can help you relax, especially in the evenings where you’ve just returned from work or school.
- Add rugs, cushions, throws and blankets to your interior design – In particular, adding these things helps make your home feel cozier in the winter.
- Dress comfortably – Pretty much anything that’ll help you get cozied up is in the spirit of hygge – oversized sweaters, woolly socks, mittens, whatever makes you comfortable.
- Find time for hobbies that help you unwind – This could be anything from crocheting to woodworking. All that really matters is that you’re making time to do what makes you happy.
- Find time to disconnect from electronics – These days, it’s become easier to mindlessly stay connected to social media apps – that alone can be exhausting. Whenever you’re able to, disconnecting from the online world and practicing mindfulness and appreciation for the present can help ground you again.
The benefits of hygge overall
So now that you know what hygge is and how you can add it to your routine, you might be wondering how exactly you could benefit from hygge – read on below to learn more:
- Hygge can help counteract anxiety – We’ve all heard that we should leave work at work – but sometimes it can be quite difficult, and we bring our worries and anxieties home with us. By making your home environment more comfortable and welcoming, you’ll be able to transition to your personal life a little more easily.
- Hygge encourages self care – Let’s take cooking your favourite food for example – as we said earlier in this post, it gives you a chance to unwind. Additionally, home made food is generally a lot healthier than takeout – hygge can help us take care of our body as well as our mind.
- Hygge helps us maintain our relationships – With online classes and working from home being quite prevalent, it’s easy to become isolated. Putting in the effort to spend time with people (even if not in person) undoubtedly helps with our overall wellbeing.
- Hygge can promote better sleep – Practicing mindfulness (especially in regards to electronic usage) and making your surroundings comfortable are two common ways of integrating hygge into your life – coincidentally, they also happen to help you sleep better.
- Hygge helps us focus on what’s important to us – The great thing about hygge is that there isn’t any set definition – if none of the concepts we listed above really fit with your vision of hygge, that’s okay. As long as you’re practicing it in a way that promotes your own wellbeing, that’s the most important thing.