Banish the winter blues with a little bit of Hygge

Try the Danish way of turning the dark winter months into a brighter, more positive experience

Hygge
(Image credit: Taryn Elliott/Pexels)

Have you ever heard of Hygge (pronounced Hue-Guh)? It's a Danish way of living where, as Meik Wiking states in her book, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, "Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe, that we are shielded from the world and allow ourselves to let our guard down."

With this winter being one of the hardest for many people, particularly if we're not able to be with the people we love, now is the time to focus on what you can do to make yourself feel better. There is nothing better than a bit of Hygge to beat the winter blues.

Why Hygge?

Danes have repeatedly been found to be the happiest people in the world, and this might have something to do with their ability to make the most out of the colder, darker months. They use this time to celebrate, come together and get cosy. 

We all know that feeling when we're cuddled up in a blanket next to the fire without any TV noise or radio, and we feel good; really good. That's Hygge. It's all about simplicity, and finding the joy in that.

Hygge is about promoting well-being and is a huge part of Danish culture. Rather than focusing on the short days, the rain and the cold, Hygge helps to turn winter into a time that can be used to do the cosy things we can't do in summer.

How can you practise Hygge?

Hygge

(Image credit: Cottonbro/Pexels)

Hygge can be expressed in many ways, but it's really about finding a feeling of cosiness and contentment in whatever you're doing. Traditionally practised with friends and family, it's about producing a feeling of togetherness. However, this doesn't mean you can't do it alone. If you're away from family this winter, try connecting virtually and bring the togetherness through screens. It is possible.

Here are a few ways to practise Hygge, alone or with others:

  • Cook your favourite food and enjoy eating it
  • Slow down and take your time doing things, whatever they might be; for example, walking the dog, or making a cup of tea.
  • Become more mindful
  • Engross yourself in a winter hobby
  • Light scented candles and watch the flame flicker

Living with Hygge in mind can help to lift your mood, enhance your well-being and make this winter feel a little less blue. Try it!