I want to thrive in the winter, not just survive

hygge

I recently listened to one of my favorite podcasts‘ hosts talk about their favorite things in fall and the holidays. One of the things mentioned was hygge, a Danish word that roughly refers to coziness but in a much broader way. Hygge encompasses not only coziness but also connection with others, slowness and mindfulness. It is often easy to feel trapped by winter; hygge brings an intentionality to really embrace the season.

My husband, Carlos, and I talked pretty often over the summer about how we can learn to do more than survive the winter. I think the concept of hygge is exactly what we’ve been looking for.

It has been less than a week since I began thinking about this concept, so I don’t have it all figured out. But I really wanted to share the concept and challenge you to see how you can bring hygge into your home this winter. If you are looking for more ideas, check out my post on my favorite things for fall and winter.

Coziness and decor

For me, coziness involved buying new throw pillows at Target to help make the living room more cozy (they had a 30%-off sale on pillows, so that really worked in my favor; as did the fact that several of our old ones had holes in them and needed replaced anyway).

Coziness in my house also means lighting more candles. Since there are only a few places I can have lit candles during the day without fear of the kids burning the house down, I think battery-powered candles on timers might be the way to go in some rooms. Candles that turn on every evening around 4:30 pm can help the evening feel calmer. If money is tight, Dollar Tree has a lot of different candles and battery-operated candles. I was also excited to find out that you can buy battery-operated string lights (see the image below). Am I the only one who didn’t know these existed?

lights

Of course, coziness also means lots of blankets and slippers and hot drinks with whipped cream on top. I have also decided to embrace the baking I naturally feel like doing when it is colder. Baking bread, muffins and cookies is never a bad thing.

Connectedness

I think connectedness is much more important that any decor. I want to prioritize inviting friends over — for dinner, for desert, for games, for whatever. Spending time with people matters and I want there to be a togetherness and fun that comes along with being stuck inside during the winter.

For our family I want to do more themed evenings, more game nights, and more watching movies with everyone piled on the couch. In the summer, we don’t do much of that because we are busy with other things, so now is when I want to be intentional about making it happen and making it feel special.

Slowness and mindfulness

I think slowness tends to be a natural part of winter. I am hoping that by keeping that in mind, I can attempt to embrace it rather than fight it. Spending evening with cozy blankets, candles and a good book is what I envision as part of that slowness. I want to be mindful that this coldness is only here for a season and that I can choose to embrace the season. It really is a choice I need to make; I can’t just expect it to happen on its own. Realistically, it is probably a choice I will need to make often!

That is as far as I got with hygge — mostly just brainstorming at this point. I would love to hear what things you do in the winter to thrive and to bring in a little hygge.

If you are interested in more thoughts on hygge, I recommend this Facebook group or the blog post, “How to Hygge.” Both of them really inspired me.

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5 comments on “I want to thrive in the winter, not just survive”

    1. Me too! I knew I needed to share the idea since I struggle through winter every year. I am hoping this year is different.

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