Hygge: Creating a Positive Attitude in the Winter


I have to confess how much I don't like the Fall time change. I get gloomy and sad because it gets dark so early. Because we live almost as far East as you can go in the Central time zone, it gets dark around 5:00 here. The lack of sunlight really affects my mood, attitude and overall happiness and I have to work really hard to not give into it.

Last year, Kyle sent me an article about "hygge". "Hygge" (pronounced "hue-guh") is a Danish word that means cozy, warm, and special. It is an attitude that the Danish people came up with to cope with their long, dark, cold, boring winters. 

At hyggehouse.com, hygge is described like this: 

"Danes created hygge because they were trying to survive boredom, cold, dark and sameness and the undefinable feeling of Hygge was a way for them to find moments to celebrate or acknowledge and to break up the day, months or years. With so many cold, dark, days, the simple act of a candle glowing with a cup of coffee in the morning or a home cooked evening meal with friends can make a huge difference to one’s spirit.

By creating simple rituals without effort {such as brewing real tea with a little china cup every evening to stopping at the flower shop every week} the Danes see both the domestic and personal life as an art form and not every drudgery to get away from. The incorporate hygge into their daily life so it becomes a natural extension rather than a forced and stressful event." 

While we don't have cold winters where I live at all, the lack of sunshine has the same effect on my mood and attitude. So Kyle and I started talking about how we can incorporate this concept in our home to help me cope with the season. 

Some of the ways we have found to do that in our home are:

- tea. I drink a cup of tea every morning and most nights. I have been a tea drinker for years, but the ritual of it helps me start my day and end it on a happy note.

- tasty meals. During this season we have more hearty and warm meals like casseroles and breads and I am looking for special recipes, not just the same ones on our regular rotation. It's amazing what food can do to affect your mood. I realize this comes after me announcing a healthy eating plan, and to be honest I'm still working to find that balance. But a lot of days, it's worth it.

- blankets, reading, writing, snuggling. I look for the extra snuggle moments, the few minutes here or there to read a favorite book or take a few minutes before bed to write while I drink my cup of tea. 

I think the main thing is being aware and looking for the cozy moments to take advantage of. The Danish people were certainly on to something by living this lifestyle. They are known to be some of the happiest people in the world and have one of the coldest Winters. Something to learn from them and ideas to implement into our own cold winters and seasons of life. 

1 comment

  1. Such wonderfully simple and cozy ways to combat the doldrums of winter and darkness. Thanks, Carrie, and God bless!

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