Let’s face it — life in the modern world can take a serious toll. In the face of hectic work and personal schedules, we all need to recharge our batteries and make ourselves a priority from time to time. The Danish concept of hygge is pretty much the perfect antidote when you start to feel a little stressed or spread thin. That’s because it all centers around using life’s simple pleasures to create a feeling of contentment, coziness, and well-being. Sounds pretty good, right?
If you’re not sure how to incorporate a sense of hygge into your life, we can help. Here are some of our favorites ways to practice optimum self-care that can boost your mood and melt away the stress.
Hygge might seem like a complicated concept, but it’s really pretty simple. Take the time to enjoy all of the little joys that can help you create a cozy feeling of well-being. That philosophy makes self-care as easy as can be, so you never have to feel overwhelmed by stress again.
Most of us find it pretty difficult to disconnect from the world of texts, phone calls, and social media. But having your attention on your phone 24/7 is going to make it a little difficult to take in life’s simple joys. Whether it’s an email from the office or a text from a family member, our constant need to stay in touch can be seriously stressful.
Try to dedicate some device-free time each day. Leave your phone, tablet, and/or laptop charging in another room so you can enjoy a face-to-face conversation with a friend or write your feelings down in a journal. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to relax when you’re not checking Facebook or Twitter every five minutes.
It might seem like a minor detail, but the lighting that surrounds you can definitely influence your mood. Think about it — the bright fluorescent lighting at work isn’t exactly calming, is it? When you’re trying to create the cozy feeling of hygge, you definitely want to keep the lighting soft.
Candles are the perfect choice for soft mood lighting because they can easily fill a room with a warm, cozy glow. You can boost your mood even further by lighting a scented candle and practicing a little aromatherapy at the same time. String lights can also work as perfect hygge-approved lighting for your home. Drape them over your mantel, across a wall, or around a mirror frame for some subtle illumination in any room.
While it has become popular in the U.S. in recent years, hygge actually dates back to the early nineteenth century in Denmark.
Hygge prioritizes the feeling of contentment, so don’t feel guilty about indulging a craving for your favorite comfort foods and beverages every once in a while. Surprise your family by whipping up homemade pancakes for breakfast or baking a batch of your favorite cookies or cupcakes. In cold weather, a thick, rich, and creamy soup and grilled cheese sandwich can really hit the spot.
Warm beverages are the perfect way to get a cozy vibe going, too. Whether you enjoy hot chocolate, hot apple cider, hot buttered rum, or a simple cup of tea, pour yourself a mug, put up your feet, and feel the relaxation wash over you.
When you’re feeling stressed, it often helps to find an escape from your real-world problems. Unwinding with an engrossing book, movie, or TV show is usually the best way to do that. Get comfortable on your couch and spend a couple of hours reading or watching to help you relax.
For the coziest experience, cuddle up with a comfy pillow and a warm, soft blanket. Hygge values companionship, too, so if you’re watching your favorite movie or bingeing the latest season of your favorite show, invite some friends and family to enjoy it with you. Keep the group small, though, to really create a warm feeling of intimacy.
The right music can definitely help you relax or boost your mood. Create a playlist of your favorite soft, mellow songs for occasions when you want to take a little time for yourself. If you aren’t sure what songs to put on your list, classical music is always a good option when you’re going for a cozy, soothing mood.
You don’t have to rely on music — you can find apps with calming nature sounds like ocean waves or falling rain that can be soothing when you need a little pick-me-up. You can even find some good sources of white noise around the house, such as a crackling fire, to help you decompress.
Enjoying life’s small pleasures definitely means taking in the wonders of nature when you can. Spending time outdoors can be a great way to relax and improve your mood when you’re feeling stressed. Take a walk through your neighborhood to admire your neighbors’ flowers, go for a hike on your favorite trail to marvel at the foliage, spend a lazy day at the beach, or just sit outside on your patio to take in the stars.