7 Ways To Maximize Hygge This Winter

You don't have to be Danish or Norwegian to practice hygge, which is pronounced hyoo-guh. Merriam-Webster defines hygge as a word to describe coziness derived from the Norwegian tradition of burning candles during the winter and finding solace in the flickering flames. But there's more to it than simply lighting a candle or two. 

Hygge has become a pastime in colder locales worldwide over the years, allowing people to better enjoy the darkness and cold of winter by embracing habits that warm the body and soul. For some, it's about finding peace while being alone; for others, it's about better connecting with the people around you. To add more hygge in your life, all you must do is enjoy more comfort, especially during the dark and cold winter months. So embrace more joy and warmth this winter with some hygge maximizing tips that will offer comfort whether you're alone or sharing your home.

1. Create a cozy space

Not everyone lives in a small space, as The Spruce describes as perfect for hygge, but everyone can make a space perfect for comfort and relaxation in any size of home. Whether you're integrating hygge into your entire apartment or tiny house, or you're creating the most comfortable living room, you'll want the following things:

  • The right lighting
  • Cozy items
  • Refreshing plant life
  • Happy reading materials
  • Creative inspiration
  • Warming foods and drinks

2. See the light

The dark days that winter brings can lead to feelings of depression, per The New York Times. However, proper lighting might help make your home more relaxing.

Curbly looks at proper lighting for a hygge atmosphere. They suggest beginning with candles; real ones bring warmth, but you can opt for fake candles and still get the flickering and added mood lighting. For real candles, consider picking scents that give you warm and fuzzy feelings. They also suggest dimmer lighting from overhead. Lights with dimmer switches allow you to brighten things up when needed but keep a relaxing glow when you don't.

3. Invest in comfort

Adopting hygge elements may cut down on your heating bill. Invest in cushiony, warm blankets, whether you're using them in the bedroom, on the couch, or in a comfy chair in your cozy corner. Furry pillows, a fluffy rug by the fireplace, and extra throw blankets will keep you toasty.

Oversized sweaters, thick warm socks, and pretty robes are all hygge. Check out these choice duds Paste suggests for a hygge wardrobe. The idea is to pick stuff that doesn't fit too snuggly, keeps you warm, and is made of fabric that feels good on your skin.

4. Bring the outdoors in

Millbrook explains how plants help bring positivity into your home, which helps with your hygge atmosphere. Plants make beautiful natural décor, are good for the air, and offer a great hobby to partake in. They'll also remind you that warmer days and fresh blooms will return. If you feel like you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to plants, pick succulents, as they need a lot less attention than some other houseplants. You'll only need to water them every couple of weeks and ensure they're getting the right amount of filtered sunlight.

5. Grab a book

If you're beginning to adopt a lifestyle of hygge in your home, consider checking out one of these books suggested by PopSugar to get to know everything you can about living comfortably. Of course, you don't have to read books solely on the subject of hygge; pick books that make you smile, that give you warm feelings, that motivate you to let go of things, that make you want to be a better person. Self-help books, books on minimalism, and books that you love (no matter the topic) are all excellent choices.

6. Get creatively cozy

Hobbies are a great way to embrace hygge living, but you want to do things that still feel leisurely. Montana Happy has an excellent list of hygge-worthy hobbies; think of things that rest your mind and keep your hands busy. For example, many people enjoy knitting, but you can do something as simple as putting puzzles together.

You can also pick up hobbies that add to your general hygge lifestyle, like creating landscapes and terrariums with your indoor plants and making your own candles to burn.

7. Warm up your insides

Cuddle up in a blanket and oversized sweater, light some candles, and grab a good book while enjoying a hot beverage. Whether you prefer coffee, tea, cocoa, or something stronger, warm drinks are very hygge. Throw in some extras, like some honey to sweeten your tea or a candy cane to stir your hot cocoa, for maximum pleasure.

You may want something to eat with that tasty drink, and Elle Decor has some fantastic hygge recipes worth trying. Think warm comfort foods, like oatmeal and macaroni and cheese.