The weather is getting colder and we could mourn the passing of sweltering hot days and (socially distant) swims at the beach... or we can start thinking like the Danish and embrace the glorious coziness of hygge. What's that, you say? It's pronounced "hoo-guh" and it is literally the art form of a creating a lifestyle hug, and of turning every aspect of your life into a way of nurturing yourself and creating an atmosphere of pure comfort.
We know, it sounds amazing - and it's a lot easier to incorporate into your daily life than you might think. The concept has been around for a while (The New Yorker even did this great piece on it a couple of years back) but it feels like, in these difficult times when self care should be front and centre for us all, there's never been a better time for us to give it a go.
We've put together this list of seven things you can do to have a bit more hygge in your life this winter. Dip your toe in by trying one or two, or go full Scandi and crack on with all seven, the choice is yours!
Either way, we guarantee your life is about to get a whole lot more snuggly...
1. Surround yourself with good people
We're all being extra selective about who we see and associate with these days from a health perspective, but it's also really important to make these decisions in a way that protects our mental health. It might sound obvious but now is the time to only spend time with people who make you genuinely feel good about yourself. Focus on family and friends who support you, encourage you, love you in a healthy way and make you happy - and ditch everyone else. Frankly speaking, this is the perfect time to start culling those toxic relationships (just blame COVID-19, even if it doesn't quite make sense;).
2. Let yourself rest a little more
Seriously, just take a bit more time for yourself and be okay with it. We're all so used to rushing around so much that it feels almost scandalous to just stop and rest for a while, but it's the best thing you could possibly do. Spend an extra hour in bed in the morning (or an extra 10 minutes, if that's more realistic). Do a little meditation when you're feeling tired. Take a nap in the afternoon if your body needs it. Rest is not just good, it's essential for self care and it's the best gift you can give yourself right now.
3. Spend some time in nature
It's totally possible to enjoy nature while still being responsible and socially distant - and spending a few minutes each day in the great outdoors can make an enormous difference to how you feel. If you're lucky enough to have a garden, then you've got it sorted. But even if not, there are plenty of lovely green public spaces that can be enjoyed - find one close to you and go for a walk, sit on a bench or a rock, breath in the fresh air, enjoy the feel of the sun on your face and let the breeze ruffle your hair.
4. Create a cosy atmosphere
Setting the scene is very important, if you're looking to achieve peak hygge, and making sure your lighting scheme is spot on is the first step. Forget any kind of harsh overhead lighting. Think softly lit table lamps and LOTS of candles. You want you home to feel gentle, soothing, cosy and welcoming. Using some scented candles is a nice idea too but don't overdo it, and take things up another notch by making sure you have plenty of soft jumpers, blankets and socks on hand for extra snuggliness (extra points for cashmere).
5. Simplify your life and tango with minimalism
Stripping back the excesses in life always feels good, and shifting to a more minimalist way of thinking and being is a great way to let a bit more hygge into your world. This doesn't need to be stressful, and it's important to find a strategy that works for you. So if you're not ready to do a full Marie Kondo, just take it slowly and each day put five things you no longer need or use into a plastic bag ready to give away (if it's still usable) or throw out (if not). Anything you haven't used or touched something in 12 months, it's fair game. Do this for a week and you'll strip your home of 35 unnecessary items.
6. Go natural and local as much as possible
Now is a fantastic time to focus on locally made and there are so many amazing Aussie companies creating beautiful products right now. We're super proud to work with lots of incredible local brands including Tea Tonic, Flightamins, No Issues, Wotnot, Tecmask, The Jojoba Company, Lip lip and so many more. Each and every one of these companies is working super hard to create sustainable and organic products and using them really does feel amazing. Try them in one of our Cloud Nine Global packs (check out the options in our online shop) and give yourself a much needed treat.
7. Put away those devices
We're all so ultra connected these days and spend hours each day looking at screens, but this is definitely not the hygge way. You don't have to get too crazy with it (we all need to maintain contact to some degree) but find some little ways to minimise it. Try making your bedroom a tech-free zone and revert to using an old school battery alarm clock. Create a tech curfew at 8pm each night, and shift to gentler evening activities like reading a real paper book (crazy, right?). Set a limit on your social media apps (you can do this in your phone's settings) so you don't spend more than an hour each day endlessly scrolling. They're little things, but they make a HUGE difference when it comes to making you feel happier and more nurtured. Give it a try and let us know what you think...