Warm up these cold, dark days of winter in Colorado by practicing the principles of hygge (pronounced hue-gah), a Danish word meaning coziness and wellbeing. Hygge is much more than a simple term, it is a way of life that cultivates warmth, simplicity and comfort. Practicing these warming experiences is believed to promote feelings of happiness and can even help counter Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The best part is, hygge is a completely personal process, comprised of any and all experiences that give you the warm and fuzzies in the depths of winter. Here are a few examples of how people practice hygge.
Turn Off the Lights, Build a Fire (or Light a Candle)
There’s something soothing about turning the lights off and cozying up to the fire, or dining by candlelight. Firelight sets a calming mood for a nice, quiet hygge night at home. If you don’t have a fireplace, candlelight will do just fine. Take this principle a step further. Put down your phone and turn off the tv, pick up a book or have a conversation with a loved one. Mindfulness and minimizing distractions can ease stress, allowing for a more peaceful atmosphere.
Indulge in Some Comfort Food
Give in to those comfort food cravings every once in a while. Think warm and satisfying. Cinnamon rolls or porridge for breakfast, soups and breads for lunches, stews and casseroles for dinner. Whatever food makes you feel good, is hygge.
Warming Drinks that Warm the Soul
Speaking of coffee, warm drinks are a hygge essential! Whether you prefer cocoa, espresso, herbal tea, brewed coffee or a hot cocktail, warm drinks are sure to make you feel cozy.
Get Outdoors to Enjoy the Season
Hygge is not just about cozying up indoors, it’s also about finding joy outdoors in the wintry season. Colorado has tons of exciting outdoor winter fun: downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and ice climbing. These activities can be expensive an require a good amount of driving but don’t worry, there are less expensive alternatives for outdoor adventures!
Hiking isn’t just for the warm season – put on your microspikes and go for a winter hike. Always Choose Adventures offers free outdoor adventure get-togethers, including winter hikes and snowshoeing. Feel like a kid again by trying out the epic sledding hill at Boulder’s Chautauqua Park (or the classic kid favorite — the hill at Scott Carpenter Park). Another fun activity is to enjoy some old fashioned outdoor ice skating in Louisville at WinterSkate.
To learn more about hygge, check out The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking.