“Hygge is like a compass, steering us towards small moments that money cannot buy you, finding the magic in the ordinary.”-Marie Tourell Soderberg
Once the joy of the holiday season starts to wind down and the harsh winter days take its place, many people can feel down, sluggish and even depressed.
This, my friends, is called ‘the winter blues.’ Ugh.
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As the years have gone on and I have started to get older, I definitely feel the woes of the winter. The days are typically gray and bitter cold, the sun is not up as long and I tend to not ever want to leave the house. Ever.
I, personally, am someone who’s mood is very affected by the weather so this time of year can be pretty difficult for me. (I feel bad for my husband!)
Honestly, I never really realized just how many people go into a type of depression during the winter months until I started researching how I was feeling. Ask 10 people that you know and I can almost promise you that at least eight of them feel the winter blues.
Since I live in New Jersey, where the winters are seasonably freezing and the sky is gray most days of the week, I knew a few years ago that I needed to figure out how to make it through the winter and not go into my hole and hibernate until Spring.
There is one thing, a way of life really, that I have found that has drastically changed my life during the winter: Hygge.
I love that word!
Pronounced hue-geh, this Danish way of life centers around coziness, contentment, living in the moment and putting an emphasis on the little details and moments. (Basically, everything I want and strive for in my life!)
There is something so profound and beautiful about living a life of hygge, especially in the winter. About slowing down, embracing the cozy moments in your life and creating a life of contentment in your home.
This way of life is simple and focuses on not just hibernating because you don’t want to go out in the cold but rather making your space feel so comfortable that you don’t feel the frigidness of the season. (Is frigidness a word?)
If you are like me, and find yourself dealing with the winter blues each year, I want to share with you a few hygge things I have done that has made this time of year so much easier and actually enjoyable to get through.
As many candles in your home as possible. Seriously. There is nothing like lighting a few candles when it is only 5:00 pm but already dark outside!
Instead of putting on every light in your house, put candles in different spots in your home and let the warmth of the candlelight fill your space.
Cuddle with large, fluffy blankets.
On those nights when you have nowhere to be and nothing to do, get out the largest blanket you have and cuddle on the couch. Even better than a knit throw is a weighted blanket that is specifically made to make you feel less anxious and move comfortable.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of sitting under a large blanket and just relaxing when the world is so cold outside your door!
Listen to soft music.
While you are cooking dinner or doing homework after school with the kids, put on some soft music that will help you relax. I don’t know about you but putting on music instead of the TV helps me feel more relaxed and at peace, especially during the winter.
Read all the books or magazines.
Go to your local library and pick up a few new books or magazines to dive into every two or three weeks during the winter months. I am someone who loves to read, regardless of the day of the week or month of the year, but particularly in the winter I find myself sitting down with a good book often.
This is one of the best ways I know to feel peaceful and content at the end of the day.
I know, this may seem ridiculous and you are probably saying ‘no way’ right now while you read this but just hear me out. Going outside when it is freezing probably seems like the worst idea ever but it truly will help connect you to the season and get some fresh air, even if that air is cold.
I find that even if I just go for a 10 minute walk in the snow or on a sunny day in the winter, I feel much happier and can embrace the beautiful parts of the season.
Try new recipes at home.
Each season, I love using some of the ingredients that are prominent during that time of the year like pumpkin in the fall or fresh vegetables in the spring. During the winter months, try cooking at home as much as possible and try out some new recipes.
Include your little ones and significant other in the kitchen and all cook a beautiful meal together. Sit by candlelight around the table and enjoy the dinner you prepared together!
Spend time with family and friends.
I know it is so easy to just stay home, hibernating all winter but your soul will feel happy and at peace when you spend time with your loved ones. Get together with a few friends for a dinner party. Have a movie night with family members. Play board games with your family.
This is a sure fire way of lifting your mood and feeling the warmth of those around you.
Try out a new hobby.
Take up knitting. Start painting. Write in a journal. If there is something that you have been thinking of trying, now is the time to do it.
Implement some of these things into your everyday life and let hygge help you beat those winter blues once and for all!
Do you ever feel the winter blues? What are some things you do to combat that feeling? I would love to hear your ideas! XOXO