There’s just something about the winter time. Yes, it’s cold. Yes, it can be grey. But, there’s another way to look at the darkest season, as well. Winter is also the coziest time of the year by far, and who doesn’t love to feel cozy? There’s just something about the early sunset that whispers, “Hey, it’s okay to stay in tonight. Relax, recharge, and enjoy” into your ear.
Never before has it felt like the choice to stay in was so, well, trendy. It seems like a small rebellion has begun against the idea that you have to force yourself to go out, even when you would be so much happier to just put on your pajamas, slather on a face mask, make a cup of tea or pour a glass of wine, and chill out. We are here for it.
The perfect accompaniment to our desire to stay in? The Danish concept of hygge! Consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries on Earth despite a wet season that lasts eight months, Denmark definitely knows a thing or two about staying cozy and happy during long, cold winter nights. (Ever visited Copenhagen in the middle of the winter? Trust us when we say that it is FREEZING!) Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah) doesn’t have a direct English translation, but it’s generally understood to be a combination of a sense of coziness, contentment, and well-being. Hygge is super personal and accessible and can be whatever you want it to be—whatever makes you feel most content!
At its core, hygge encourages spending time with loved ones, laughing, celebrating, and savoring the small joys in life. Below, we’ve gathered some of our favorite ideas for brightening up your life and home throughout the shortest days of the year.
- Light as many candles as you can find and turn out the rest of your lights. Nothing makes you feel cozy like candlelight. Fun fact: Danes burn 13 lbs of candle wax per person each year!! They even burn candles in schools and office buildings!
- Bring fresh flowers inside all winter long. If you live somewhere warm like LA, find some blooms that are in season at a local farmer’s market. If you live somewhere where 30 degrees feels warm mid-January, just grab a bouquet from the grocery store. Either way, the happiness effect of fresh flowers is the same!
- Bake something decadent! The smell will instantly set you at ease and make you feel especially at home. There’s a reason real estate agents always have cookies baking in the oven at an open house! Plus, treating yourself and truly enjoying your favorite comfort food is very hyggelig (meaning “hygge-like”).
- Spend some time journaling! Taking time to yourself to write or sketch encourages creativity and mindfulness, which will benefit you in all aspects of your life. Just let your mind wander! We think our new Outdoor Adventure journals are especially fitting for a hygge night in–inspired by our love of the outdoors, they’re perfect for remembering sunnier days and appreciating all that nature offers year round.
And, let us know how you stay cozy during the winter! Until then, you can catch us wrapped in a blanket with a cup of tea permanently attached to our hands until May. Happy hygge!