How to Hygge All Year Long

If you’ve spent any time on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter lately, you’ve probably come across the word ‘Hygge’.

And you’ve also probably asked yourself, “what the???”

Hygge (HUE-guh) is a Danish word that doesn’t seem to have an exact translation in English. Its meaning is a combination of coziness, comfort, happiness, and contentment all rolled into one.

The Danes have turned hygge into a way of life. As a lifestyle, hygge means living your life to the fullest. It means connecting with the people you love and surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy and comfort. That usually means candles, home-cooked meals, and getting together with your favourite people. Sitting by the fireplace on a cold winter night, sipping a hot cup of cocoa while reading, or taking a stroll and appreciating nature.

Hygge is the reason why Denmark and other Nordic countries like Iceland, Sweden, Finland and Norway consistently rank at the top of the World Happiness Report.

Disconnect!

Disconnect from the Internet, from social media, from fast food, from mind-numbing strobe lights at your favourite bar. In short, anything that puts undue stress on your mind.  

Of course, you don’t need to go cold turkey! Start slowly by limiting your dependency on your current lifestyle habits.

  • Turn off your internet for a couple of hours and spend quality time with your family.
  • If cooking is not your thing, order healthy food instead of fast food.
  • Instead of going out on the weekend, invite friends over, light some candles and enjoy a simple but healthy meal with them.

As with any new habit, it takes time to stick. Living the hygge life feels great in the beginning but what happens once you exhaust all your ideas and life becomes monotonous again?

We’ve got ideas that’ll keep your hygge life going strong all year round!

January

Start the year right by surrounding yourself with your loved ones and spend a fun evening with them. Go to the movies or host a movie night at your place and watch your favourite Amazon Prime show or movie with your friends. The best part? You can turn this into a monthly or even weekly tradition.

February

It’s the perfect weather to hit the slopes. If you’ve never skied, snowboarded or snowshoed before, now’s the perfect time to go on an adventure. Just borrow or rent the equipment you need from Back Country and start shredding the fresh snow. Even if all you end up doing is falling on your @$$ every 5 minutes, you’ll be doing it with people you love (who’ll probably laugh at you as all good friends should do). Cap the evening with an après drink huddled around the fireplace and perhaps an Ibuprofen or two!

March

Been thinking about travelling to your dream spot? Crunch some numbers, take advantage of discounts with Travelocity, and plan a short trip with family and friends. Don’t have the budget to go to your dream spot? Then just plan a weekend getaway to the nearest lake, trail, or mountain. Or if there’s no room in the budget, have an adventure at home by throwing a dream vacation planning party. Set the mood by watching documentaries about the place and cooking a few dishes from their cuisine and create an itinerary of everything you’ll see and do when you actually go there.

April

The month of perfect weather for hiking, canoeing or camping. Gear up for any excursion at Atmosphere and earn Cash Back. Start a campfire, roast some marshmallows, and tell each other spooky stories that’ll make you jump at every owl hoot and snapping twigs.

May

Maximize your hygge vibes by planning a weekend away renting a rustic, cozy cottage or farmhouse with VRBO. Try horseback riding, chopping wood, BBQing or board games at your next adventure and connect better with your friends and family.     

June

With the Canadian winter finally behind us, it’s time to bask in the newfound summer heat. Get the tan you always wanted (but safely) with a little help from Bliss’ self-tanning products and by sprawling away at a beach with a friend (or a book). Play a match of volleyball to get your blood pumping and make new friends.

July

The perfect month to plan family picnics and potlucks. Get everyone to pitch in with cooking and chores. Make an event out of it with great food, fun games and lots of music. Drive out of town and discover new picnic spots.

August

Make the most of the clear nights and looking at the stars with your telescopes. Nothing like gazing at the stars to make you think about your role in this universe. You might not find the meaning of life, but you’ll definitely enjoy sharing the experience with your family and friends. Pair stargazing with classic hygge desserts like gingerbread, rhubarb and custard cake, and Danish butter cake to make it a night worth repeating!

September

Treat yourself to a spa day at home. Light some candles, give yourself a pedicure and soak in a hot tub with your favourite music if you’re alone. If you’ve invited a friend over, then set up a DIY mani-pedi and facial stations, then relax over tea, snacks, and super juicy gossip.

October

Make the most of fall. Take a trek through the forest and enjoy the breathtaking auburn foliage. Explore pumpkin patches with the kids or participate in arts and craft activities as a family.

November

With the weather turning cold, ward off the chilly air with homemade soups. Invite family and friends to cook and bake together. Don’t have the right tools? Order some from Hudson’s Bay and feel like a pro in the kitchen.

December

Amplify your home’s coziness by ordering scented candles from Bath & Body Works, plush robes and boots from UGG and trendy jackets from GAP.

Whatever you end up doing, remember hygge is all about forging bonds and strengthening relationships. Try and stay in touch with your loved ones not through social media or the phone but through meals and adventures together.

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