The Perfect Hygge Routine To Make This The Coziest (& Most Bearable) Winter, Ever

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Here’s a scene: it’s a snowy, winter night and you are sitting by a cozy fire with a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa in hand. Candles are flickering on a table nearby, making it possible for you to curl up and read your book.

No, it’s not a far-fetched fairy tale, it’s called hygge (pronounced hoo-guh) and it just might change your life.

According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of The Little Book Of Hygee: Danish Secrets To Happy Living, this Danish concept is “a defining feature of our cultural identity and an integral part of the national DNA.” Hygge is derived from the Norwegian word “well-being” and in his novel, he explores all the essentials to living like a true Dane. Who wouldn’t want that? They are considered the happiest people in the world, after all.

Here, we’ve got the scoop on the perfect cozy hygge routine to make winter more bearable.

Bust out the candles

Candles are what Wiking likes to call “instant hygge.” And it’s not hard to see why. With their soft lighting and warmth from the flames, they add a cozy ambiance to any room or social gathering. You can use them for several occasions such as a dinner party with friends, watching TV (fluorescent lights are the very opposite of hygge), or just curling up on the couch with a good book.

Aim to use ones that offer a pleasant smell and place them in places that are comfortable and easy to reach around the home. It might be a good idea to make sure each room is stocked with candles so you don’t have to constantly be switching them from room to room. Wiking also suggests using lamps that have warm and soft-lit bulbs or a fireplace if you have one since it’s the ultimate large candle.

Make a winter playlist

If you take the time to listen, music is all around us. It’s the sounds of the streets outside and horns blaring or it’s the constant teaser reminders that Ariana Grande’s new album is out (we get it, Ari). So, yeah, music is all around us and instead of being bombarded with different sounds, we can take charge this winter by creating a winter playlist that will make the long days a little easier to get through. “There’s just something about music — particularly live music — that excites and activates the body,” says Joanne Loewy, the study’s lead author, director of the Armstrong center and co-editor of the journal Music and Medicine. “Music very much has a way of enhancing quality of life and can, in addition, promote recovery.”

To make it easier, you can find hygge playlists that are already online. If you’re curious as to what kind of music this will be, it will most likely be based upon Wiking’s definition of what hygge is: “Hygge is humble and slow. It is choosing rustic over new, simple over posh and ambiance over excitement.” This may include a lot of slow tempos and acoustic tracks. Feel free to make your own curated playlist, filled with all the songs that have you feeling cozy and relaxed.

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There is nothing fancy, expensive or luxurious about a pair of ugly woollen #hygge socks – and that is a vital feature of the anatomy of hygge. Champagne and oysters may be many things, but hygge is not one of them. . Hygge is humble and slow. It is choosing rustic over new, simple over posh and ambience over excitement. In many ways, hygge might be the Danish cousin to slow and simple living. . It is wearing your pyjamas and watching #LordOfTheRings over Christmas, it is sitting in your window watching the weather while sipping a glass of #gløgg, and it is looking into a log fire on a winter’s evening while surrounded by your friends and family. . Photo: kryzhov/Shutterstock #hyggelig #hyggeligt #hyggehome #hyggelife #ChristmasHygge #slowliving #socks #ChristmasSocks #hyggesokker

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Try these activities

Although hygge is often pictured with someone curled up in blankets by a warm fire, it doesn’t just mean hibernating all winter. With hygge being described as the comforting feeling we get when we go home for the holidays, how could we resist taking part in all the fun and getting to feel like a kid again? There’s skiing, snowboarding, sledding, building snowmen, or having a snowball fight with your family. Doing these fun activities will lower your stress and might even have you appreciating winter in all its cold, snowy glory. Just be sure to bundle up afterward with a cozy blanket and a cup of hot chocolate!


Host a night in with friends or family


Forget hibernating alone this winter — according to Morley College lecturer Susanne Nilsson, the Danes are big on “togetherness,” which means spending time with those close to you. Since winter can be a pretty depressing time of the year,  the last thing you want to do is isolate yourself. Instead, make it a routine to get together with friends and family at least once per week.

“Hygge could be families and friends getting together for a meal, with the lighting dimmed, or it could be time spent on your own reading a good book,” Nilsson says. “It works best when there’s not too large an empty space around the person or people.”

To do this, you could have a candlelight dinner, roast marshmallows by a fire, or host a game night. Just be sure to have some sort of sweets nearby as they are essential to the Danes and hygge!


With all these hygge routine tips in mind, who needs summer and spring? This year, you will have the coziest winter ever!

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