Winter has been a struggle for me in the past years. I live in Northern Canada where our winter can span nearly 8 months. I’ve recently discovered the potential of hygge to beat with winter blues and it’s been a game changer for me.
“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience, rather than about things. It is about being with the 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. You may be having an endless conversation about the small or big things in life – or just be comfortable in each other’s silent company – or simply just be by yourself enjoying a cup of tea.” – The Little Book Of Hygge, Meik Wiking.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a therapist. This is not meant to be medical advice. If you are suffering from severe depression or anxiety, please consult a professional.
SOME PRACTICAL WAYS YOU CAN USE HYGGE TO BEAT THE WINTER BLUES
Embrace “There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather”
This is one of my favourite books written by a Swedish mother living in America. She talks about the culture difference between raising children in Scandinavia vs America. I won’t lie and say that I am excellent at believing that there is no such thing as bad weather, -35ºC will still always sound bad to me ? But I’m working on it!
Another popular Scandinavian phrase is “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. Overall, the concept here is to Get Outside even if the weather is less than ideal!
Most people think of Hygge as sitting by a cosy fire inside sipping hot chocolate. And while that is true, getting outside on a daily basis is also a key factor to hygge.
Like I mentioned above, getting outside in the winter can be hard. But I try to get outside every single day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. It makes such a big difference in my mood, energy and mental health.
Sip On A Warm Drink
Instead of throwing your morning coffee into a travel container and drinking it on your commute to work, make your morning coffee/tea part of a sacred morning routine.
If you want to use hygge to beat the winter blues, sit by a fire (real or fake), under a blanket and slowly sip on a warm drink in the morning.
Lighting is one of the main ways to utilize hygge to help with winter blues. Creating cozy, warm lighting is fairly simple to do!
I stopped burning scented candles in my home years ago when I learned about their negative impact on our health. Unscented, organic beeswax candles are an excellent option!
Now I actually have fake candles but they look SO real, and even flicker the way a real candle would creating that element of hygge to beat the winter blues!
Keep Twinkle Lights Up
After packing up Christmas decor, many people find that their homes feel bare and cold. Keeping a few strands of twinkle lights out after the holidays is an excellent way to make your home feel cozy!
A real fireplace is the ultimate Hygge factor, but if you live in a home without a real fireplace you can purchase a gas or electric fireplace! We recently purchased a little gas “woodstove” and it has made our home feel so cozy.
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Warm, Nourishing Foods
One overlooked way to use hygge to beat the winter blues is to eat warm nourishing foods.
Yes, treats are a part of hygge. But another key aspect is eating foods that will make your body feel good!
In the winter I find it harder to eat vegetables, salads, smoothies, etc. I want warm comfort food. Thankfully, there are so many ways to make warm, comfort food that is healthy and nourishing to our bodies!
Make a different soup recipe each week, or experiment with cool weather vegetables like butternut squash, beets, brussel sprouts, spaghetti squash, leeks, etc.
One thing that adds to winter blues for many people is the lack of connection and community with other people. Once Christmas is over, people tend to go into somewhat of a hibernation. To some, this sounds amazing, but to others who are more extroverted this can be incredibly isolating.
There are lots of ways to encourage community during the winter that encourage hygge to beat the winter blues together!
- Invite Friends Over For A Games Night
- Host a dinner party where everyone brings a cozy meal
- Invite friends over for a hygge brunch
- Have a winter bonfire
- Go to the spa with girlfriends
- Go skating/sledding with friends
- Do a puzzle with friends
Put Your Phone Away And Be Present
For myself and for many other people, the constant connection to my cellphone can make me feel anxious. Hygge is all about being present, so put your phone away and enjoy the moment that you’re in right now!
I hope these will help you to beat the winter blues with Hygge!