Self-care is a crucial part of my day-to-day life. As a social worker, I know what it feels like to be stressed to the max! With the changing season and the drop in temperatures, I also find myself indulging in pampering myself in a more conscious and mindful way.
Since about 2018, I’ve implemented the Danish practice of hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) into my end-of-the year downtime. For those of you who aren’t familiar with hygge, the definition is simple. The almighty Oxford Dictionary defines the term as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being“. The overall goal of hygge is to make yourself as comfortable as possible, engaging in activities that bring you pure joy, and anchoring your body and mind into enjoying present moments. A bit more curious about hygge? Check out articles here and here to gain a deeper understanding of the power behind this popular worldwide craze.
In today’s post, I’m highlighting the basics of my hygge self-care regimen. Keep reading to discover the five elements needed to create your own hygge-filled experience!
1. Find a cozy place
The art of being cozy starts with creating a suitable environment. This means ridding yourself of all things distracting… whether it’s your cell phone that automatically links to the anxiety-ridden Instagram or work-related matters that sit in the back out your mind. Remember that you must establish a sense of calm, within yourself, which will help with further relaxing your spirit and body. For me, my cozy place is my bed. Point blank. It’s the coziest place in my house; now, sometimes I opt for my couch, but my bed is undefeated. Take time to find out what kinds of surroundings speak to you – it could be your living room, a garden patio that sits near a awe-inspiring view or even an small corner inside your walk-in closet.
2. Incorporate a warm beverage and hearty snacks
Next, pour it up with your go-to cozy beverage! Hygge enthusiasts highly recommend adding something warm to your relaxation time. Try out a spicy chai tea latte, a hot chocolate, a warm apple cider or a hot matcha option. If you’re not who finds satisfaction in downing these types of options, aim for preparing a few cozy snacks – think toasted sandwiches, a bowl of pho or ramen, blueberry pancakes, veggie-filled pizza, cinnamon rolls – the possibilities are endless.
3. Woven blankets, knits and fluffy pillows are welcome!
We always have to dress the part in life. Hygge is no different. Comfort is the key to successfully garnering that cozy feeling into your self-care routine. For myself, I choose to don my fluffiest cotton socks, warm oversized sweatshirts and my trusty electric blanket (which does have its own place on my bed). Think cozy materials: fleece, flannel and cashmere. Whenever I want to snuggle up and wind down, that’s my uniform. I’m not worried about hair, make-up, lashes nor looks – and that’s the beauty of it. Lounge and release in what feels good to you!
4. Fire up a candle
Candles give instant bonus points for hygge prep. My sister actually calls me a candle hoarder because I am constantly changing my scents to match my many moods. But, in actuality, it’s just my thing! There’s just something that fills my spirit with a sense of ease and tranquility with the faint flickering of a lit wick. I’m not sure if it’s the visual of the reddish-orange light or the soft crackling of the burning, but in my experience, candles are very therapeutic. For those slow moments, collect deep and mellow scents – right now, DW Home’s Caramel Apple is my current obsession.
5. Do what makes you happy
This element of hygge is probably the most significant for me. Life is filled with constant “on” moments and rarely do we get the chance to be “off”. We’re “on” at work, at school, out with our friends, dealing with daily struggles and hardships, but our “off” moments sometimes struggle to help us to fully heal and recover from being “on”. In this last tip, the message is simple, do what something that brings you complete and total satisfaction: spend time petting and playing with your dog and/or cat, flex your creative muscle (try crafts and DIYs), call a loved one, catch up on your podcasts, read a book, or just enjoy your peace and quiet. Make this time your time. Be adventurous with your choices, hell, try something new! Be present. Get back to you and make it count.
“Hygge is all about appreciating the little things in life and being thankful for them.”
– Sofie Pedersen