5 Easy Ways to Embrace Hygge, the Danish Secret to Happiness,In Winter

By now, you’ve probably heard about the cozy Danish lifestyle concept of hygge (pronounced hue-guh) before. While not directly translatable, hygge is essentially the embodiment of warmth, comfort, and mindful indulgence. Imagine curling up with your favorite book in a fat, cushy armchair or sipping hot cocoa in front of a warm, crackling fire. Imagine the pleasure of slowly eating a gooey cinnamon roll, layer by layer, from a sturdy ceramic plate.

All right—now you’re getting it. That’s hygge. And, considering Denmark consistently ranks among the top happiest countries in the world, I’d wager there’s probably something to it.

With winter fast approaching, I’ve been looking for different ways to incorporate hygge into my daily routine in order to maximize my feelings of well-being and connectedness. Here are seven different practices you can adopt to help make hygge part of your permanent lifestyle.

1. Buy candles—and lots of them.

Now, I’m not suggesting you line your entranceway with candles and cause a fire hazard, but candles—and ambient lighting in general—are key to hygge culture.

What’s not to love about flickering lights and the warm glow of an open flame? If you can’t have candles in your home for any reason, fairy lights are a good alternative—and not just during the holiday season.
2. Find little ways to nest throughout the day.

You know that feeling of comfort you get when you return to a place you were once intimately familiar with—such as a childhood home? Aim to recreate those feelings of coziness wherever you are.

Put on a pair of warm, cozy socks or drape a soft blanket over your shoulders while you work, and pay attention to how it feels against your skin.
3. Gather with your loved ones.

How does the old saying go? No man is an island?

Community and relationships are the hallmarks of hygge, so cuddle up with your partner, plan a wholesome board-game with your friends or cook and eat a warm and nourishing meal with your family. Make excuses to meet up with the people you value, and enjoy your time with them.

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