It may seem counterintuitive, but some of the happiest countries in the world are the ones that receive the least sun during the year.
Many of us appreciate the energizing pep that a sunny day can provide, yet perhaps we long too much for warmer weather and brighter days. One reason those living in Scandinavia are content is that they don’t wait for summer to get warm and cozy: they do it each and every day.
Hygge, pronounced “hoo-ga,” is a Danish and Norwegian idea and attitude that’s all about finding warmth and peace even in the darkest and coldest of days, and it’s catching on this side of the Atlantic.
What follows are ways to embrace Hygge in your life that will have you not simply surviving winter, but thriving in it.
Microfiber Weighted Blanket: In winter, you don’t just want any blanket to wrap yourself in. You want one that’s comfortable and serves a purpose. A weighted blanket will help calm, soothe, and aid in better sleep — all important during a season that can be stressful and disruptive.
Square Floor Pillow: Make every place and situation in your home as inviting as can be. Floor pillows shake up routines and create a new, engaging space, which is especially fun for dining or entertaining friends.
Reindeer Family Pajamas: When you’re home in the wintertime, always wear the comfiest thing you have. At a time when it’s important to keep spirits uplifted, we love holiday onesies that inspire some levity while still being outrageously cozy.
Zippo Refillable Hand Warmers: Don’t let any part of you get uncomfortably cold this winter. Actively fight discomfort by making sure you’re always ready to brave and prevail over the weather. Refillable hand warmers will be your best friend when you’re trekking outdoors.
Electric fireplace: If you don’t have one in your home, consider acquiring an electric fireplace for the wintertime. Not only does it warm the house, but it provides a cozy atmosphere, a pleasant glow, and — for some — a sense of nostalgia.
Appeal to the senses
Essential Oil Diffuser: Most people are familiar with how lovely diffusers are to have around the home. They put into the air the aroma of your choosing while often relieving a bit of the dry air and sometimes providing a warm glow or pleasant hum. Grab one for each room you spend time in.
Essential Oils: Hygge is about being an active participant in your life when it’s cold and dark, so don’t just use any oils in your diffuser. Find the scents that evoke warm feelings and pleasant memories, whether it’s peppermint that reminds of the holiday season or lavender that creates a spa-like setting.
Yankee Candle Balsam & Cedar: A potent, quality candle serves two purposes come winter; first, it provides a powerful, unique aroma that sometimes a diffuser can’t achieve. Second, it offers a natural, warm light, which is something you should always seek out — allowing you to turn off those fluorescents.
Maximize your relaxation
Star Wars Jigsaw Puzzle: Put down and turn off your screens; set time away from electronics each and every day. Do something fun and engaging. Puzzles are ideal, as they can take up time and can be done solo, alongside a partner, or with a group of friends.
Pandemic Legacy Season 1: Similarly, board games offer a thoughtful and sometimes competitive diversion that’s welcome during the winter. Pandemic not only offers you an evening of fun away from the TV but gives you something to look forward to with friends.
Drink warming beverages
Stovetop Tea Kettle Infuser: Tea is warming and can help to calm nerves, rejuvenate spirits, and prevent illness during the darker times of the year. Hygge involves patience and quality: find delicious loose leaf tea and take the time to infuse and enjoy it to the fullest.
Italian Decanter and Whiskey Glasses Set: For an adult drink of choice, whiskey is a similarly warming beverage this time of year. Just like tea, enjoy a glass in an aesthetically pleasing and aromatic way. Hygge isn’t just about what’s purely functional; you want pleasing sights and sounds, like this crystal decanter set.
Foot Spa: Take care of your body, mind, and soul this winter by pampering yourself and indulging in therapeutic and relaxing endeavors. Book a massage, manicure, and pedicure; if you can’t get out, then bring a foot bath home to help soothe.
Infrared Sauna: Admittedly, this is a pretty pricey indulgence. But we would be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the biggest ways Scandanavians stay happy and embrace winter: spending a lot of time in saunas and hot tubs. So if you live in a colder climate, you may want to think about investing — or at least joining a gym that has one.