A Peaceful Happy Life: 20 Ways To Live Hygge This Winter

Posted in Family Traditions, Home {Our Nest}, Home Decor, Inspiration
on February 5, 2017

Hygge is a way of life, that is embraced in Denmark, where according to various studies, people are happier than anywhere else in the world.  By creating warm, cozy homes, celebrating the season, unplugging from technology, and connecting with loved ones and nature, the Danish have learned to live a satisfied and fulfilled life.

I decided to investigate the Hygge way of living, and what I discovered is simple and doable.  It’s these simple steps that help the Danish actually enjoy their long winters, and embrace each season of life.

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Here are 20 ways to live a more balanced and peaceful, Hygge kinda life.  Enjoy!

1. Sip Something Hot

I’m hardly ever without a mocha or Latte in my hand on any given day, and apparently, that’s a very Hygge thing to do.  In Denmark, the happiest people in the world, bring hot cups of cocoa on the go with them.  They sit down in the evening by the fire and actually enjoy their Cappuccino.  They savor their beverages.  Now, that’s definitely a habit I can adopt.

2. Get Outdoors

The Danish spend time outdoors, even in the dead of winter.  It’s very true in my own life, that days when I’ve spent time outside, I’m happier.  I don’t know if it’s the sunshine, or the fresh air, or the beauty of nature.  But, I definitely notice I’m happier and more content with my life when I get take the time to go on a walk, build a snowmanwith the kids, or gaze up at the falling snow.

3. Pamper Yourself

Nothing is more relaxing after a brisk winter walk (see…getting outside…hint hint! ?) or a busy day at work, than a hot bubble bath in the evening.  Or, what about a foot soak by the fire?  Or, how about a quick manicure while you cuddle up on the couch for a chick flick?

I think the overall goal is to take care of yourself.  Show yourself some love.  All of which will help you be more balanced and peaceful.

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4. Write Your Thoughts

The Hygge way of life involves writing.  Jotting down your thoughts, your memories, or simply what you’re thankful for that day.  Writing allows you to pause in the moment of that day, in the history of your life, and record it.  Writing is a powerful thing if you think about it.

I’m not necessarily a long journal writing type of person, but I certainly enjoy writing here on the blog.  I feel creative and a sense of accomplishment when I finish a post.  It fills me with a sense of pride that I can put words together on a page (or a screen in this case), and that my words may help someone else live a happier life.

So, if you are new to the world of writing, and it seems intimidating, don’t worry.  That’s ok.  Try jotting down a quick thankful thought for the day, or add a quick memory or child quote to your journal.  Record your life for future generations.  It will be worth it.

5. Roast marshmallows in a Bonfire

I love a calm quiet evening with friends sitting around a bonfire, telling stories and laughing, and roasting marshmallows for smore’s.  Well, truthfully my marshmallows 9 times out of 10 end up catching on fire!  Ha!

 Slowing down, enjoying a sweet snack, and talking with friends and family over burning marshmallows is very Hygge.  Sounds good to me!


6. Visit Friends & Family

The previous step led right into this one.  Danish people maintain close relationships, which makes them happier people.  Knowing that you have the support of friends and family is priceless, and your relationships are invaluable.  So, take the time to visit, plan parties, host a game night or bonfire, and connect with people.

7. Embrace Seasonal Food

In winter, whip up some homemade soups, breads, & pastas.  You know, stick-to-your-ribs kinda comfort food.  Dishes that make you feel all warm and cozy inside.  It’ll give you a few more reasons to look forward to the dreary days of winter.

8. Listen to Music

Music has a special way of lifting the spirits and plays a huge role in living Hygge.  So, create your perfect playlist.  Pick songs that you love.  Songs that you can sing at the top of your lungs and dance to.  Turn up the volume, and belt it out and dance like no one’s watching.

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9. Try a New Seasonal Activity

Remember the wonder of winter when you were a child?  I loved catching snowflakes on my tongue, sledding down hills, and making snow angels.

Why can’t we have this much fun as grown-ups?  How about trying a new seasonal activity like skiing, snow shoeing, or ice skating?

Instead of wishing winter away, how about we embrace it and immerse ourselves in it so much, that we wish it would never end.

10. Invest in Comfy, Cozy Clothes

Let’s be honest.  There’s no way you’ll ever want to spend time outside in the freezing cold and “become one with nature” if you’re freezing your fanny off, right?  The Danes, invest money in their winter wardrobe.  They buy high-quality boots, coats, and so on.

I feel so comfy in winter clothing.  I love blanket scarves, and fluffy sweaters, and warm snuggly socks.  Living Hygge includes investing in a wardrobe that’s comfortable, practical, and that makes you feel your prettiest, even in a thousand layers.

11. Plan A Vacation

If you’re tired of layering in long underwear and 15 adorable cute sweaters, trade in the cold for a nice long weekend on a beach somewhere.  Or,  if you can’t get enough of winter, how about planning a romantic ski trip.

The Danish use this time in winter to plan adventures for the year ahead.  They get away “on holiday”, and escape to a sunny place, or coordinate a family getaway.  Part of what makes them so happy is that they plan time away, and actually vacation.

It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive.  Some of my favorite vacations are “stay-cations” where we spend every day eating out, going to the movies, spending time at home working on projects, and discovering amazing things near our home.

So, take a lesson from their textbook, and take the time to relax and getaway from the stressors of life.

12. Play Board Games/Host A Game Night

Some of my favorite date nights aren’t spent at fancy restaurants or on expensive adventures.  Instead, they are at home fighting over who’s cheating at a board game. ?

When the snow is falling outside, and you’ve arrived home after nature walk, what could be more romantic than sipping hot chocolate by the fire, listening to some of your favorite tunes, and completely clobbering your hubby in Monopoly?  I don’t think it gets much better than that.  Add a few candles, some cashmere socks, and cable-knit throws and you’ve got a completely Hygge inspired game night…AKA, Perfection.

13. Enjoy the Soft Glow of Candlelight &/or the Crackle of the Fireplace

Another principle of Hygge living is lighting some candles and starting a fire and enjoying the soft “romantical” atmosphere.  Winter can be bleak and dark, making it the perfect time to cozy up your space with candles.  Not to mention, they can fill your home with your favorite scents of the season.

And, of course, a roaring crackling fire just screams wintertime.  Which do you prefer?  Candles, or a cozy fire…or both?!? I think I’m a “both” kinda girl.

14. Bring the Outdoors In

Brighten up your home with fresh colorful flowers and plants.  Not by only do they add a pop of color that can enhance your space, but they also have other benefits like cleaning your air.  A vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen table always makes me feel instantly happier.

15. Create a Calm, Cozy Home

Those who live Hygge, spend the time and effort needed to create a warm and cozy home that they love.  They spend money on furnishings and decor that they love.  They don’t live in clutter.  They fill their space with photos and art, fluffy blankets, and patterned pillows.  Fill your home with that which inspires you.

16. Bake Some Goodies

The Danes, indulge in chocolate and savory sweets.  They spend time in the kitchen making their favorite goodies.

As soon as the weather begins to turn cooler, I am instantly in the mood to bake.  I love making chocolate chips cookies and brownies.  I know that baking makes me happy (…probably because I like to sneak cookie dough and brownie batter ?), but it fills my home without a delectable scent and my family benefits too.  I can see how baking can be very Hygge.

17. Unplug from Technology

People who embrace this Hygge way of living, purposely unplug for a certain timeframe each day….and they don’t have a panic attack that they’re not up to speed on the happenings around the world.  Baaawwwwaaa?! ?

We live in such a busy society, with people all across the globe at our fingertips.  It can be a blessing.  But, it can also be a huge stressor.

I’m sure we’d all be a lot happier, if we spent an hour or two a day away from our phones, computers, TV’s, etc., and actually spent that time connecting with the world around us and the people near us.  Are you up for this challenge?

18. Spend Time with a Good Book/Magazine

Ugh!  Reading!  I’m a blogger, and I hate reading.  That’s probably not a great combination.  But, quite honestly, I think nursing school ruined any chance I had at being a “reader”.  The reading homework in nursing school was out of control.  I’d spend hours reading hundreds of pages in anatomy textbooks learning about this disease and that diagnosis. Oiy!?

Now, that I actually have the opportunity to read for fun, I still have a hard time making myself park myself somewhere and just read.  It’s really not my cup of tea.  If anything, I find short articles more interesting than long novels.  I like magazines and blogs…short helpful writings that I directly get something out of.  That, I find relaxing and invigorating.

How about you?  Do you love getting lost in a good book, or are you more like me, and enjoy pictures and shorter articles?

19. Movie Nights & Popcorn

 A good movie is certainly something that I like to enjoy on a cold winter’s night. Hence, “Netflix & Chill”!

Bake up something yummy, or pop some buttery popcorn; snuggle up on the couch next to the crackling fire; unplug for a couple of hours; & add another movie to your favorites list.  That’s my kind of Hygge night at home.  How ’bout you?  What are your favorite movies to watch on a “cozy pajama don’t move from the couch” kinda day?

20. Lastly, Find Beauty & Purpose in the Little Things

Living Hygge can create such happiness and satisfaction in life because it causes you to slow down and appreciate the simple things.  Simple things like candlelight, snowflakes, written words, petals, and fresh from the oven cookies.

It’s these simple things that create a “lively atmosphere” of thankfulness and peace. If we adopt even a few of these steps in our lives, I truly believe we will be happier and more satisfied.

What do you say?  Are you going to join me, and Live Hygge?!  Take the 14 Day Hygge Challenge below & don’t forget to visit my Hygge Shop! 

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  • Reply Amanda Waelchli

    Ohh. I love this post. I think I’m going to try a few of these!!

    February 5, 2017 at 9:34 am
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Glad you enjoyed it, Amanda! ?

      February 5, 2017 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply Nancy

    In Denmark, the people are referred to as Danes or Danish. The Dutch live in the Netherlands and Germany. My grandfather came to this country from Denmark by ship when he was 6 years old. Probably why this concept intrigues me so much. Great article otherwise!

    February 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Thank you so much for correcting me. I will fix this immediately. I’m glad you enjoyed the article anyway. ?

      February 26, 2017 at 10:29 pm
  • Reply Janis

    Stephanie- What a lovely post! What beautiful pictures you have, and great ideas. I, too, discovered hygge last winter, and fell in love with the idea. As an ICU nurse going through burnout, it was balm to my stressed soul. I ended up leaving my job to heal from my burnout, and putting hygge concepts into action helped a lot with that- few things recharge my soul like snuggling in a cozy blanket by the fire, cocoa in one hand, and a good book in the other. In fact, I love hygge so much that I founded a little business a few months ago called Cozy Read (www.cozyread.com), and everything I have in my little shop is hygge approved. I just created two boxes this week that are specifically hygge-centric. Seeing how much you love hygge too, I thought you might be interested in checking them out. And, as a fellow nurse, I know you know a handful of people who could use a sweet box of hygge in their life too- from coworkers to patients. I’m so glad you have shared your heart and your wisdom here- thank you! Sending my love and wishes for a happy hygge winter to you.

    January 9, 2018 at 6:52 pm
    • Reply Stephanie Wilson

      Oh wow, Janis! I just looked into your site! I absolutely love your hygge boxes. Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I certainly know as nurses how important it is for us to practice self-care so that we can be our best for our patients and our families. Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to getting in contact with you.

      January 9, 2018 at 10:11 pm
      • Reply Janis

        Excited to get to know you too!

        January 13, 2018 at 6:22 pm

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