Winter is a season that is often dreaded, despite many holidays that occur within it.  It makes sense; why would we look forward to longer days in darkness and the cold? These two factors often lead to a Vitamin D deficiency or seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as seasonal depression. What would it be like to change your behavior to welcome the darkness and the cold weather?

Scandanavians embrace the cold temperatures and dark days by engaging in Hygge, and they are some of the happiest people in the world!  If anyone can give us some tips on how to manage the wintertime, it could be the northern countries of Europe who experience long winters.

Meik Weiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, defines Hygge as a sense of comfort, and togetherness experienced in cozy atmospheres. In other words, Hygge is feeling at home.

We invite you to consider utilizing all 5 senses to embrace the concept of Hygge in your home!


  • Hang up art in your home that brings you joy. You can always thrift the art pieces!  If you are creative, you can make your own art (hint: we are all creative in some way).  
  • Set time aside to read. 
  • Dim the lights or use warm lighting to create a calming atmosphere. 


  • Turn on calming music, or any music that makes you feel happy and cozy.  For those who are musical, keep your instruments out and in your awareness. You may get inspired to create your own music!  
  • If you have the means, light a fire in the fireplace, or find a video of a fireplace online. The crackling of burning wood can be soothing. 


  • Put on warm socks and a sweater.
  • Grab your fuzziest blanket, or knit your own cozy blanket.
  • If you have a pet, cuddle up next to them.


  • Light candles.
  • Boil a pot of water with comforting herbs or fruit of your choice to fill your space.
  • Related to taste, baking fills your space with lots of lovely smells. 


  • Brew a cup of tea, make hot chocolate or glogg. 
  • Eat something you enjoy, whether it be something sweet or savory.

You can create a Hyggekrog (a hygge nook) and fill it with these items: books, blankets, etc. By keeping them out in your vision, it will remind you to utilize them throughout the winter.

Hygge is often described as the warm and cozy feeling from time spent with others, but there is nothing wrong with practicing it on your own. If with others, be intentional about your time together. You may consider turning off your phones and using that time to catch up with each other or share gratitude. Hygge can shine a light on your own boundaries and behaviors with yourself because of its focus on intentionality with time.

If you find yourself having an issue with being intentional with your time then take small steps or even consider going deeper with one of us by learning why this is difficult for you.



Wiking, M. (2017). The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning.


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