Hygge is really hot right now. This Danish word describes that magical feeling of coziness, comfortability, feeling of contentment and overall well-being. Google hygge and you're likely to come across a lot of blogs talking about how to integrate it into your life. So, what I'm really saying is, "look how super original I am!"
As I read about this Danish word, I've learned it's a goal to aspire to. How can the choices I make in my daily life help me achieve a feeling of hygge? It's as aspired to as love and happiness. With that in mind, I thought I'd walk through some of the choices I've been making this winter to help me find that feeling of hygge, prioritize self care and try and beat the inevitable winter funk.
Nourish Your Body
One of the biggest ways I've tried to practice self care hygge-style is by really nourishing my body. To me, this is a two-fold process. First, I've really focused on trying to eat nutrient dense foods that taste delicious and nurture my body. It's especially important to really pack in the foods rich in vitamin D, since we're not getting our regular dose with the ample sunlight of summer. Some good examples are fatty fish like salmon, tuna or shrimp. Don't eat meat? Egg yolks and mushrooms are also great additions!
Fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods is very important, but so is the second part: eating foods that make you feel warm and happy. Life is too short to not have foods that warm you from the inside out. Think yummy soups like pho or ramen, chunky stews with veggies and oxtail, congee topped with mushrooms and a perfectly pouched egg. Don't stop there! Drink that coziness with bone broth, herbal teas and even a perfectly brewed cup of coffee. Your food shouldn't just nourish your body, it should nourish your soul, so choose options that make you feel warm and happy.
Check out some of my favorite nourishing recipes over on my Pinterest page!
Slow Down Just Because
I'm busy, you're busy, we're all super busy. One of the most important self care lessons I've learned is to listen to when your body needs rest. Embrace that sometimes, it's okay to do nothing. Find the things that you've been meaning to make time for. Do you have a book list you've been waiting to tap into? Light your favorite candle, put on some snuggly socks and get reading! Is your Netflix watchlist a mile long? Snuggle up with a warm blanket and enjoy an episode of a show that makes you happy. Great British Baking Show, anyone? You could also try setting aside time to journal. Writing down your gratitude for the day is shown to improve your outlook significantly; who doesn't want that?
It's really easy to make excuses for why we're too busy to give ourselves downtime. The truth is, there will always be something that needs to get done or that we should be doing instead. Sometimes, it's more important to give yourself the space to rest and do something that serves no other purpose but making you feel happy.
Need a cozy blanket to add more hygge to your Netflix binge? Check out Love Your Melon, which also gives back with each purchase!
It feels a bit opposite of the cozy nature of hygge, but getting outside is an important aspect of living a hygge-minded life and giving yourself important winter self care. It can be super daunting to imagine heading outside during the coldest months of the year, but getting fresh air can make you feel like a whole new person.
Take advantage of those sunny winter days and get outside! Take a short hike or try a new outdoor activity like cross country skiing. Even better, get outside with your kiddos! Get snowy and sweaty. Breathe in that amazing cool, crips air and get those warm and fuzzy feelings about winter.
Check out a few of my favorite winter outdoor spots: Dodge Nature Center and the Minnesota Zoo!
Pampering myself is critical in the winter for self care. Face it, most of us don't have that budget to hit the spa on a regular basis, but you can always bring the spa to you. Hygge is all about the importance of a total feeling of well-being, which pampering yourself can definitely achieve! Sink into a warm bath and embrace that feeling of contentment you get by just being. I love to put a cup each of epsom salt and baking soda in my baths, then choose an essential oil that fits the situation, like lavender or eucalyptus. Just be careful to choose an oil that is okay for direct skin contact. Peppermint oil may be a bit much! Also be mindful of which oils aren't appropriate for you if you're pregnant or breastfeeding! You can learn more about what oils may irritate your skin or be harmful during pregnancy here.
Don't want to DIY a soak? Honey and Sage Co. has some of my favorite soaks!
The most beautiful thing about hygge and self care is that it can be so easily blended into your daily life, even by devoting 15 minutes each day. It's easy to use the excuse that you have so much to do or that parenting takes priority, but you'll never be able to fully give yourself to those important roles unless you feel like your cup is full.
So, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket with a hot mug of tea and binge that next episode of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Go ahead, hygge it up.
If you're interested in learning more about hygge, check out "The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living."