The tree is down and the decorations have been put away. Yet the happy times don’t have to end. Winter is so often dark and cold but maybe we should embrace our longest season. Maybe we should do as the Danish do and bring on the Hygge!! Hygge ( pronounced hoogah) is a Danish word that describes a feeling of cosiness and joy. It embodies the pleasures we take in simple things such as enjoying a mug of hot tea whilst the rain beats at the window, reading a favourite book by candlelight, getting together with friends in a cosy pub or snuggling on the sofa with a pile of blankets and cushions and a good film. It seems that people in Denmark cannot wait for Winter to arrive and their contentment with this time of year surely contributes to their nation being ‘the happiest’ in Europe. 🙂
With this in mind I have consulted ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking of The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen ( yes there is such a place! ) and written a list of ideas to help us get through the rest of January and February. No two months need the concept of Hygge more, I feel.:)
Light candles. The home always feels so much cosier by candlelight.
Feel toasty. Snuggly socks, slipper boots, cozy cushions & throws all add to that super cozy feeling.
Hot drinks. Your favourite coffee, tea or hot chocolate in a lovely new mug. Why not try an unusual tea , add a flavoured syrup to your coffee or some ginger to hot chocolate.
Bring Nature Indoors. Treat yourself to a few plants or flowers. Or when your out and about look for fir cones, greenery, berries etc and arange them inside.
Take up a creative hobby. I’m always saying I will learn to crochet! Or how about rag rugging, knitting or cross stitch.
Bring out the boardgames. Invite friends or family round for boardgame fun. Remember Scrabble, Monopoly, Connect 4, Kerplunk?
A good book. Hunt out your library card and take out some stories by your fave authors to read over Winter.
Old Movies. Oldies are the best I think. Some of my faves include Rebecca, The Ghost & Mrs Muir, To Catch A Thief and Roman Holiday. Snuggle down with some of your fave films.
Slow Cook. Make Winter warming stews and fill the home with amazing aromas. Oh and invite friends round for a hearty supper. They can always bring pudding. 😉
Discover a New Box set. There are so many! Currently binge watching The Killing on Netflix and just caught up with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Any recommendations?
Dig out old photos. Or print out some of your favourites and put in a photo album to enjoy flipping through on a cold Janury evening.
Create a Hyggekrog. This is cozy nook in the home where you can snuggle in a blanket with a good book and a brew.
Build a Hygge Emergency kit. For those times you just want to curl up with all favourite things. Add candles, a book you love, notebook & pen, chocolate, your fave film, some snuggly socks, pjs, a face mask, a pretty teacup and your tea of choice. Or whatever makes you happy. 🙂
Daylights at a premium in January and February so I will try and make the most of it. 🙂 Here are a few ideas.
Out & About.
Blustery Beach Walk. The UK is full of almost deserted beaches in the Winter , so why not wrap up warm and blow those cobwebs away with an invigorating walk along the coast. Look out for wintering water birds and big skies.
Hire a Beach Hut for the day. Why not rent a base for your day out at the seaside. Be sure to take essentials such as warm blankets, hot water bottles, flasks of hot chocolate and your fave board games. Heres a Beach Hut day rental site in St Annes.
Find a Cozy Cafe. There’s nothing more comforting than finding a cozy cafe to relax in when the weather is miserable outside. You can even get that Hygge feeling in one of the many Scandinavian cafes that are popping up around Britain such as Baltzersens in Harrogate and Nordic Bakery in London.
Snowdrop Walks. January & February bring out carpets of snowdrops. A sure sign that Spring is tentatively on its way. The National Trust has information on Snowdrop walks near you. 🙂
Book A Weekend Away. The great thing about booking a few days away out of season is the price! Look for somewhere with a wood burning stove or open fire for that extra Hygge feeling. I used Sally’s Cottages to find a cozy cottage for a weekend in January.
Borrow a Dog. If you don’t have a four legged friend, borrow a pooch from a friend or family member and take them out for a long country walk. Fresh air is honestly one of the best cures for the Winter Blues and your new companion will be very appreciative.There’s even a website Borrowmydoggy.com that you can sign up to.
Spa days. Look out for pamper package offers at local spas and treat yourself.
Ice skating. Find your inner child and get out onto the Ice. Some outdoor rinks are open throughout January, like this one www.canarywharf.co.uk
January & February Celebrations. Take note of winter celebrations such as Burn’s Night at the end of January, Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday or ‘Pancake Day’ , Candlemas/Imbolc and Valentine’s Day. Or make that Galentine’s Day to celebrate the girl pals in your life!
Hope this post gives you a few ideas of how to combat those Winter Blues. Oh and if it does actually snow, make sure you dig out that sledge!! 🙂