Slow down, live simply and appreciate the small things with these eight hygge hobbies.
Hygge (or it’s Norwegian cousin koselig) is the Danish concept of cosiness, wellbeing and bonhomie that has taken the world by storm in recent years. But you don’t need to be in the north of the Northern Hemisphere to practice a bit of winter hibernation goodness.
In fact, so many of us are practicing hyggelig already without even knowing it!
The hygge movement is the “lifestyle” craze that invites you to not buy anything, slow down and care for yourself.
It’s the art of appreciating the small things. Of taking your time and creating a space of sanctuary in which to care for yourself and your kin.
Winter is the perfect time to perfect your household’s hygge rituals. So here are eight ways to create cosy-times in the cold.
1. Turn out the light
And crank up the woodfire or light some lanterns. Low, warm lighting in the evenings is a good way to unwind and creates a sense of safety and sanctuary. And as an added bonus, it saves on electricity.
Set a time to switch off devices in the evening. And instead watch woodstove TV or read a book by candlelight. Crackling fires are pretty synonymous with hygge, but if you don’t have an indoor woodburner you can always try a bonfire in the backyard.
2. Crack out your crafts
The click-clack of a knitter in the home is a comforting, steady reminder of slowing down. Winter is the season to knit (preferably a pair of hygge woollen socks!).
If you’re not a knitter you could turn your hand to a bit of slow stitching and start working through your mending pile with these tips.
Scandi folk love their coffee and cake (it even has a special name in Sweden, fika). The smell of something sweet baking in the oven is almost as good as eating it! But cooking from scratch also has the added benefit of forcing you to take time to do something with your hands.
4. Walk in the rain
How often do we cancel outdoor plans because of the weather? But being outdoors in the elements is exhilerating. Connecting with nature is another element of slowing down and enjoying simple pleasures.
As well as walking, we love gardening, dancing and puddle-jumping in the rain. So long as you’ve mastered step one and there’s a warm sanctuary to return to once you’re soaking wet!
5. Parlour games
Conversely, rainy days can be a great excuse to stay indoors and pass the time with some good old-fashioned games.
Connecting with family, both young and old, over a game is special. But there’s some evidence that playing board games is actually a mood-booster. If you’re sans-fam or need some alone time, puzzles are a pretty great mindfulness tool too.
6. Curate a “to read” stack
Okay, so now is the time to make a stack of all those books you’ve been meaning to read. And then… gasp, read them! Making time to slowly pore over an idea or escape into a novel is super hygge.
It’s a contrast to the fast world of emails and online news where we’re given “one minute reads” and quick listicles (like this one!).
7. Sunday lunch
Gathering with close family and friends over food is a fundamental human ritual. You don’t need to go the whole-hog and host Christmas in July.
Keep things simple and make regular space for home-cooked family meals in your weekly schedule.
8. Take a break
So we usually schedule work breaks for the summertime, but if you really want to get your cosy on take some time off in the winter. Whether you head out of town or just enjoy a staycation, creating time for yourself is very hygge.
If you can’t take a break from working, then try paring back. Leave work on time, don’t read work emails at home and keep your private space as a sanctuary.
How do you do hygge? Share your tips in the comments below!