The leaves have fallen, the weather is colder and the sun sets around 4:00pm; all signs of the impending Chicago winter. And with the pandemic, Chicagoans may be spending more time at home than a typical winter. So how do we learn to embrace wintertime this year? In comes the Danish art of Hygge. Get cozy as we break down how hygge in your home can help you beat the winter blues.
So What Is Hygge?
The word hygge has deep roots in both Danish and Norwegian culture. In old Nordic, the word means seeking refuge, protection and well-being. It first appeared in Danish writing in the 18th Century and has since evolved into an idea fondly embraced in Denmark and Norway. In essence, it means to create a warm atmosphere and enjoy the goodness of life with great people. Sitting around a warm fire, savoring your favorite comfort food and relishing the company of loved ones all capture the essence of hygge. Hygge is all about warmth and well-being, putting a focus on creating a calm, peaceful and welcoming atmosphere.
Winter is actually the high season of hygge, when candles can burn brighter and blankets and oversized scarves are already in use. In a city where winters are harsh, hygge can help Chicagoans nestle into a happier cold weather routine.
How to Practice in Your Home
Whether you’re in an apartment, condo or home, you can capture a sense of hygge in your space. Lighting is key to a cozy atmosphere; light a fire or opt for candles. Contrast the cold weather by settling in with your softest blankets and brewing your favorite cup of coffee or tea and relax. Its practices are loosely defined, but it’s best to keep it to simple pleasures: reading a book over watching tv, or playing a board game over looking at your phone. Hygge is all about creating an atmosphere of comfort and serenity, something we could all use a little more of this year. Here are a few more detailed ideas for further inspiration.
Whether hygge becomes part of your regular self care routine or just something you try once, we think it’s the perfect way to enjoy a little extra time at home this year.
Photo from 1905 N Howe