Hygge — pronounced as hoo-gah — is a delightful Danish concept that can’t be translated into a single word. Rather, it’s one of those “you know it when you feel it” situations.
Hygge has been described as a coziness of the soul, a hug without the physical touch, the art of creating intimacy, and even cocoa by candlelight.
The essence of hygge is comfort, coziness, and contentment. Though it’s considered an art by the Danes, it’s only recently gained popularity in the US. And now that we’re all spending more time inside than usual, we at Hudson Healing Arts believe it’s more important than ever to prioritize creating cozy spaces we love.
The beauty of hygge is there’s no one right way to go about it; in fact, there’s infinite ways to impart this quality into your daily life and boost your wellbeing, and it doesn’t require you to spend a dime!
Boosting Your Home’s Hygge Factor
Intuitively, you probably realize why hygge can’t be distilled to a single word. You can get this warm, fuzzy feeling from a variety of sources, whether it’s a warm, crackling fire or bundling up in your favorite robe.
In pre-pandemic times, you may not have thought much about consciously creating hygge — it was likely something you were pleased to stumble upon, like the nourishment of running into an old friend. This winter, however, we’re facing the loss of our normal activities and the traditions we hold dear. To create a greater sense of wellbeing amidst these challenges, being proactive about enjoying the small things and making the season feel special means everything.
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite ways to cozy up and create a soothing atmosphere this holiday season!
Embrace Warm Lights
Lighting has a remarkable impact on our mood — just think of how you feel under the glare of fluorescent lights, versus a soft, candlelight glow. One of the positives of being home so much is the ability to control the lighting we’re exposed to to a much greater degree than usual.
To create ambience and a touch of romance, consider candles, Himalayan salt lamps, twinkling lights, light therapy lamps, and lanterns to be your best allies. If you have a fireplace, this is also a wonderful time to make the most of it.
Tap Into the Power of Scent
Did you know that smells have a stronger tie to memory and emotion than any of the other senses? There’s no better way to nourish yourself with memories of past holiday seasons than with a little nostalgia in the scent-department. Whether it’s with potpourri, essential oil
diffusers, candles, plants, flowers, or perhaps baking a delicious treat, filling your home with a feel-good aroma will also fill your heart with a greater sense of peace. One quick way to create hygge is to pour fresh coffee beans into a decorative bowl, and then nestle a few tea lights into the beans.
P.S. At HHA, Young Living essential oils are our favorite way to embrace the power of aromatherapy. If you’re interested in ordering any of Young Living’s products, visit www.youngliving.com and use #220708 as the referral number. Or feel to call us– we’re glad to be of help.
Create Sensory Delights
Hygge is all about treasuring the simple pleasures, which is why we’re huge advocates for having an abundance of soft, pleasing textures on hand. Velvet blankets, fuzzy socks, comfy robes, fluffy pillows...okay, we think you get the picture! Having these items readily available encourages you to treat yourself to self-soothing on a more regular basis, which in turn gives your nervous system a little TLC.
Indulgence tends to get a bad rep in the US, but the Danish believe that adding some mindfulness to the process is nourishing to the mind, body and soul. This means taking the time to slowly savor the treats you love, instead of completely restricting yourself or eating every treat in sight. It’s even been referred to as “a food hug.” Whether it’s a steamy beverage, a warm bowl of oatmeal, or a hearty, seasonal stew, give yourself the gift of being present to fully enjoy it.
The vibration of sound influences every cell in your body. This probably comes as no surprise when you consider just how good you feel when you hear your favorite song. Playing calming music or instrumentals, or nostalgic music that reminds you of happier times, is an incredibly simple yet effective way to cleanse your energy, relieve stress, and harmonize your emotions.
Refresh Your Home’s Energy
Perhaps you’ve made an effort to bring more coziness into your home, but something still feels unsettled. We’ve all been home much more than usual, so if you’ve noticed the energy in your house getting condensed or heavy as of late, not to worry: It’s common for energy to get stuck in spaces. AshWork energy clearing is an effective way to restore the flow and fluidity in your home and pave the way for greater hygge. Feel free to contact Beth O’Boyle, our advanced AshWork practitioner, at (201) 653-7700 ext.1.
As always, we truly hope at least one of these ideas resonates with you and helps you find greater peace during this difficult time. Here’s to a safe, healthy and joyful holiday season, from the HHA family to your family!
Hannah Chenoweth is a Hoboken-based conference producer and freelance writer who enjoys covering all aspects of health and wellness.