I love Minnesota winters with all of my being. I jump at the first snowfall and mourn the last. The snow, the snow blowing, the cold air hitting my lungs, the evergreens, the quietness, the sledding—they make my heart beat. But with this beloved season comes the shortest days, the greyest afternoons, the darkest evenings, and the coldest cold. Whether you love this season or not, winter can always use a touch of this Danish thing called hygge (hoo-ga or hue-ga). (Scroll to the end of the post for a giveaway.)
This post was created in partnership with Seven Sundays, a Minnesota-made muesli with minimal, wholesome, real ingredients. Muesli is a part of our morning breakfast ritual—pour, soak, make coffee, then eat.
I first heard the word hygge a couple years ago from my favorite wallpaper company Hygge & West. The Danish word started to slowly seep into the headlines across the pond. I fell in love with the concept. There’s no perfect word in english to capture it, but cozy would probably be the closest. It’s kind of like incorporating a special weekend at the cabin into the everyday. Hygge is a noun, but it has the gusto of a verb to create happy-making rituals. Hygge is finding joy in the simplest of things, like the warm flicker of a flame. It’s creating a thoughtful rhythm to otherwise ordinary days. While it’s typically practiced during winter, the philosophy can transcend any time in life that you need a mood booster (like working a job you don’t love). Here’s a couple simple rituals we practice around here to keep spirits high.
Buy a beautiful candle holder and actually light the candles. When I was little, I hoarded my Lisa Frank stickers. Never used one for fear I’d run out. I have the same problem with candles. If you’re like me, just light them—at the early sundown, at your desk, on a dark day, at the dinner table. There’s so much magic in a flicker.
Games aren’t just for the weekends. We play semi-mindless games during the week—like tic-tac-toe, a game of speed, or a Quixx. About once a week, Kev and I sign-off at night, play one too many rounds of Quixx, and call it a date. Playing games is kind of like working out. It’s hard to get started, but once you do, they yield so much energy and happiness (unless you’re on the losing end).
Take a 2pm coffee, tea, or warm beverage break. It’s that natural point in the day when you need a little nudge of energy, especially on gloomy days. I practice this religiously. I love it for the extra cup of coffee and the tempo it adds to my day. It’s something to look forward to. Maybe coffee drinking isn’t your thing? Insert another simple happy-making ritual here.
Keep a winter hobby or start a new one. Mine is knitting by the fire with a wooly blanket and a floor pillow (and if it’s after 5pm, a glass of wine). I use big sticks, knit simple projects, and don’t count my stitches. Though, I haven’t done enough of this this winter. I’m resolved to pick up my sticks instead of scrolling endlessly on my phone at night. Bleh. Next year, my goal is to start an outdoor winter hobby, one Hal can do with me.
Check out this website. Listen to this podcast. Start a Sunday Supper dinner party with friends. Try adding muesli to your morning ritual. Buy a good pair of slippers and splurge on a cozy wrap. If you’re in Minnesota, get outside and head to The Great Northern going on right now. We’re going to the Luminary Loppet this weekend. And you’ll never guess who’s going to be there—Seven Sundays! They’re serving warm muesli. (See you at their tent?)
SOURCES: Wallpaper | Candle Holder (thrifted) | tic-tac-toe | Aeropress | Wool Blanket | Floor Pillow | Living Room Details | Knitting Needles
Add a little hygge to your mornings. Enter to win a Morning Hygge Gift Box—Aeropress, Seven Sundays Muesli, Minnesota roasted coffee, enamel mug. Giveaway runs from 2/2/17—2/5/17 at 12am CST.