Hygge- A Danish Self-Care Winter Practice
Hygge pronounced "hoo-gah" is a Danish practice that's very similar to self-care. It's a lifestyle experienced all throughout Europe that consists of enjoying the simple things in life while being as comfy as humanly possible. Hygge is that feeling of snuggling under your comfiest blanket while reading your favorite book.
Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Alberta, Natalie Van Deusen, states that “the best translation is coziness, but not the physical coziness that you get when you put on a sweater or cuddle up with a blanket. It’s more of a state of mental balance and psychological well-being.”
For many the Winter is a wonderful time of year but if you're anything like me the Winter can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the Fall and continue into the Winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody."
This is the perfect description of my symptoms every Fall and Winter. My energy levels are extremely low, I need at least 8-9 hours of sleep, and I'm extremely sensitive. I mean I pretty much cry every time I see a puppy commercial. Over the years, I've discovered various ways to cope with my SAD symptoms like traveling to tropical islands during the Winter, eating a wholesome diet and exercising regularly. But I've also come to realize that a little T.L.(Self)C. and hygge promotes the ultimate sense of well-being and alignment.
Below is my go-to list of Hygge approved activities:
- Light Candles and set the mood! Why have harsh lights when you can bask in the soft glow of candles? Get yourself some beeswax candles scented with essential oils and reap their healing properties as a bonus.
- Drink a Hot Cacao & Matcha Latte to warm your body from the inside out. Not only is a matcha and cacao latte chock-full of antioxidants and anti-depressant properties but it'll really set the tone for a cozy day.
- Pull out your comfiest sweatpants & blanket. I know, I know! You're probably dealing with some inner turmoil about whether or not you deserve a day of comfy sweats and cuddling but I promise you once you've done it you will feel ZERO regrets.
- Grab your favorite book or watch that movie you've been dying to see. If you know me, you know I'm a total book and TV show junkie. There's nothing I love more than catching up on a TV show, reading a book and winding down. Thankfully hygge is all about the simple pleasures in life!
- Cook up a pot of stew or chili and call up some friends. Guess what? You don't have to hygge alone this Winter! Make a delicious meal and invite your favorite people over to bask in the hygge vibes with you.
PRO TIP: Whether you hygge with friends or alone, the one thing that is NOT hygge is staring at your phone all day! Put your phone down and let the true relaxing begin.
If you're about that hygge life, let me know in the comments below. What are your favorite ways to love yourself up and hygge during the Winter months?
Love it? Pin it, babe! The world deserves a little Hygge in their life.
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