How to embrace the spirit of hygge this winter

It’s that time of year again. It doesn’t feel like a moment has passed since the sun was searing down and parching the land. And now, we find ourselves in the midst of shorter evenings, bitterly cold wind and a lack of desire to step foot outside our homes. 

It can have serious health implications and many of us have accepted the truth that we simply aren’t as happy during the winter. But all is not lost. We don’t have to wait until spring before we begin to smile and welcome the light back into our lives. It seems that all we need is to improve our surroundings at home to make it the warmest and most comfortable place on earth; something that the Danes refer to as ‘hygge’. With a cosy glow in our hearts, we can not only endure the colder months but possibly enjoy them as well.

Hygge – how the Danes cope with the winter

Hygge—pronounced ‘hyoo guh’—is defined by the Oxford dictionary as ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being’.

In much the same way that animals build a nest, warren or drey, humans also need comfort, warmth and security. With the rising cost of living in many parts of the world, it can be tempting to turn off the heating and cut down on any luxuries. But in doing so, we risk creating a negative aura that can last for several months.

The idea of hygge is simple. Northern Europeans, especially those in much colder climates such as Denmark and Norway, have long been able to accept the winter far better than those residing slightly further south. And this is part one of the story. Stop trying to fight it and learn to love it!

How exactly are we supposed to learn to enjoy the most inhospitable season of all? Well, let’s take a look at a few suggestions and see if we can’t get our hygge on.

Start nesting

One of the most important elements is to create a homely and welcoming place to spend your time during those dark and gloomy days. Even though outside may be less than perfect, inside we can produce some serious levels of comfort. Warm furnishings, rugs, throws and blankets can all help soften the blow—excuse the pun. And a light but thick duvet will help induce a long and relaxing sleep. A good pair of woolly socks wouldn’t go amiss either. Replace stark lighting with warm glowing light bulbs and consider replacing the curtains with something with an autumn hue and thick enough to keep the cold out and the warmth in.

Play games

If there’s one piece of sound advice to take away from all of this, it is that everybody should avoid being alone. On a serious note, spending too much time without interaction with other people can be detrimental to your health. So what better way to pass the time than playing games with friends and family? Beyond the traditional board games and other time-passing inventions, it’s also possible to find a lot of enjoyment in video games and slot games as well. 

You don’t need to leave the house or wrap up warm to make the most of them and sometimes you can even play them online for free. Free spins no wagering is one of the most commonly sought-after slot solutions. At some online iGaming sites, they hand you free credits to use and you don’t have to risk any of the winnings thanks to the no wagering requirements. Definitely something to consider.

Enjoy the arts

TV, books and films are all fantastic ways to enjoy a cosy winter evening at home either by yourself or with a loved one. It’s the perfect time to catch up on some of the classics that may have passed you by over the years or perhaps even indulge in a little box set bingeing. A subscription to one of the top streaming services will see you through the winter months with unlimited access to some incredible titles.

Indulge in a little comfort food

A large part of the hygge mantra is based around convivial gatherings with friends and family. Enjoying some warm hearty meals with a nice bottle of wine is the perfect way to spend the afternoon or evening by the fire. Prepare some naughty desserts to finish off the perfect dinner party and perhaps select a nice bottle of brandy to round things off in the most splendid way. Whatever your ideal dinner gathering looks like, make sure you take your time to enjoy every last second of it. There’s no rush, so savour the moment.

Brave the elements

This may sound like it goes against all of our previous advice. But like it or not, a little exercise is always important for our mind, body and soul. Wrapping up warm and heading out into the bracing wind will help get the blood pumping and clear away the cobwebs. And the best thing is, it’s the cheapest source of heating. You won’t be cold anymore when you arrive home after a brisk yomp across the local park.

Why wait? Christmas is here!

There is no better way to get into the Christmas spirit than through the ethos of hygge. It is the perfect time to put into practice all of the above and prepare for a couple of months of comforting surroundings shared with the very best of company. And with any luck, by the time spring comes around, our spirits will still be high and the winter will have provided some fond memories.

Written by Monella