Post-Holiday Hygge – Simple Ways To Cozy Up Your Home As You Wait For Spring

Hygge, pronounced (Hue-gah), is a word used widely by Danish and Norwegian people to describe a feeling of well-being, protection and coziness. Denmark’s cold season is long and brutal. The idea of hygge was formed as a survival strategy to psychologically help people to get through the long winters. It’s become a way of life for them. The months between the December holidays until spring are an ideal time to implement some post-holiday hygge to cozy up your home as you anticipate the next season.

In recent years, the hygge moment has made its way to the US and has become a bit of an Instagram sensation. I wrote about hygge as self-care during the pandemic here: Self Care in Tough Times. But even before the movement, all of us have felt hygge before it got popular, on social media. Maybe we just didn’t know there was a name for it. The essence of hygge can be described as the feeling you get when you laugh with good friends, curl up in a blanket to read your favorite book, or the warm and homey feeling that you get from sitting by a fire with a bowl of homemade soup on a cold day. By naming these activities as hygge, we are adding some intentionality and meaning.

During the very darkest days of winter, holiday lighting indoors and outdoors along with special gatherings and lots of activity keep our spirits up. The post-holiday time after the lights are stored away for another year and more normal routines resume can be a glum, depressing time. Using these weeks – or even months in some climates – as a winter hygge season can be cozy and help stave off post-holiday blues. Whether you are coming home after a long day of work or school or working at home, creating post-holiday hygge in your home will lift your spirits.

The Elements of Winter Hygge

 These elements of winter hygge are all related to our senses – sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.

Lighting. Achieving that sought-after hygge feeling has much to do with warm lighting. Soft, calming lighting will make your home feel soothing and welcoming. Accomplishing this can be as simple as lighting a fire in your fireplace, or a few well-placed candles and hanging some string lights.

Perhaps you have dimmers on some of your electric lights and rarely use them. They allow you to soften the lights per your mood. (You could even have a dimmer or two installed if you don’t already have any.) Changing out your bright bulbs to warmer lighting will also help give your home a cozy feel. There are all sorts of cute, hygge inspired lights and light fixtures on the market that you can install to give a little more of an authentic hygge feel. There are some fascinating hygge lighting options here.

 Scents. Scented candles, essential oil infusers and seasonal potpourri will also make your home feel more inviting and cozy this winter. Rather than the holiday scents – cinnamon, pine, apple, etc. – choose other cozy scents like, lavender, pumpkin, vanilla and sage. Scents, especially from essential oils, stimulate smell receptors in the nose. These receptors then send messages through the nervous system to the limbic system — the part of the brain that controls emotions. This is why essential oils are used to decrease stress and help us sleep. Check out this wide variety of essential oil diffusers to add to your post-holiday hygge home.

Cozy loungewear, slippers, blankets. Hunker down during the cold months in cozy loungewear and slippers. Choose natural fibers like cotton, flannel, silk or knit. You will look forward to coming home after a long day to put on your most comfortable clothes. Have soft, cozy blankets, throws and comforters where you relax – and in your home office.

Home cooking and baking. The scents and tastes of home cooked meals and home baked bread, cookies, cakes, etc. are essential hygge. You may find that prepping your meals ahead of time will help reduce daily pressure. Or use some of the ready-to-cook meal options you can now purchase. Crockpot meals are a winter favorite because they can be put together ahead of time, then set it and forget it. You will come home after a long day to the fragrant smell of dinner already cooking. And the taste surpasses that of takeout or microwave meals.

Baking bread and goodies can be a therapeutic, relaxing activity as well as a great shared activity with others. And of course the aromas while they are baking and the finished products are the best!

Soothing and inspiring music. We’re all over holiday music by this time of year. How about gathering some CDs or create a playlist that are your post-holiday hygge selections? Play them as background while you work at home, prepare meals, relax and read. This can be a tradition from now into the future.

If you want to learn more about this topic, I recommend this book: The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living  May you enjoy implementing elements of post-holiday hygge in your home!!

I’m Carol Brusegar, author, photographer and curator of information. My focus is on gathering and writing on topics that enhance all our lives – regardless of our age. Topics include health and wellness, personal development, innovation and creativity, and a variety of helpful, practical tools and practices. I have a special interest in helping people over 50 years of age to create their 3rd Age – the next stage of their lives – to be the best it can be. Visit my Amazon Author Page to find my published books:

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