It’s that time of year again. The time of year when the semester is winding down and the stress is winding up. With finals looming on the horizon, a way to combat the dreaded slump and care for yourself is practicing “hygge.” Hygge (pronounced hooh-ga) is a Danish lifestyle trend that promotes feelings of warmth and community through activities such as sitting in front of the fire or reading a good book. It is often called a secret to happiness.
If you’re like me, taking time for yourself isn’t always easy. However, self-care is especially important during the winter. While all of the following options may not be feasible for everyone, the intent behind hygge is taking time for yourself and making sure that you find ways to deal with your stress in healthy ways (whatever that means for different individuals).
Below are some ways to implement hygge in your weekly routine in preparation for the end of the semester:
Elevate your space.
One of the main elements of hygge is creating a space that is comfortable and homey; a space that you look forward coming back to at the end of the day. Start by keeping your room clean regularly – nothing is better than coming back from a long day at Roy to an already made bed. Add pillows and throw blankets. You don’t have to spend a lot of money either. Last week, I bought a $10 plush blanket from Walmart and it is by far one of the softest blankets I have ever purchased. If candles aren’t allowed in your living space, consider creating mood lighting with salt candles or twinkle lights.
Get cozy and slow down.
Bundling up is a must as it gets colder outside. In the spirit of hygge and the holiday season, upgrade your comfort by wearing extra layers such as scarves and mittens to class. Not only will you be warmer, but you will also be more relaxed. At the end of the day, put on a pair of slippers and sweatpants. And while you’re at it, make time to enjoy any free time by engaging in homey activities such as journaling or reading a favorite book.
Many people are wary of indulging in holiday sweets for fear of gaining weight. But there is such a thing as moderation! Instead of eating six mediocre candy canes, treat yourself to one especially delicious holiday cookie. Treating yourself doesn’t just refer to food; if you’re craving a nap after a day of running around, take it. Hygge is all about saying yes to life’s little pleasures that bring you small moments of joy.
Warm drinks are a must.
Another essential component of hygge is taking the time to enjoy your favorite hot beverage. If you’re not much of a coffee person, consider making a cup of tea or cocoa. Don’t forget to sip it slowly too. And maybe find a spot to sip while watching it snow over East College.
Shut off your phone.
A final key element of hygge is learning to be present. This means shutting down hectic social media platforms (at least for a little while). Phones too often get in the way of down time. When was the last time you actually watched a Netflix movie instead of mindlessly turning something on while scrolling through your phone? Also, hygge isn’t just about alone time. It’s also about spending quality time with the people you love. If you’re not a fan of cold weather outdoor activities, there are plenty of cozy options indoor activities to choose from such as meeting up at Starbucks or exploring an exhibit at Peeler Art Center. Hygge is about making your time and company your own.