It’s Almost Christmas Time, So I Lived A Hygge Lifestyle For A Week To Get In The Spirit

Am I the only one who doesn’t quite know how to behave during the holiday season? Everyone always says it’s the time to get cozy and rest, but it’s also the busiest time of the year. I know I’m not the only one who feels the pressure and stress of the holidays. For many people, the holiday season feels more like a season of stress than a season of rest. 

 
 
 
 
 
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That’s why this week, I lived a hygge-inspired lifestyle to get properly ready for the Christmas season. So grab a warm cup of hot chocolate, put on your sweats, and cozy up on the couch for a week of hygge life! 

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What is Hygge?

 
 
 
 
 
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If you’ve never heard the word ‘hygge’ before, allow me to transform your life. Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish word that means “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people.” The word originated from an old Norwegian term that meant “well-being.” If you want to read more about it, I highly suggest reading The Little Book of Hygge for a short and sweet hygge how-to. 

So, while this week will be restful, it’s more like rest 2.0. Hygge isn’t so much about times of rest – rather, it’s about creating a lifestyle of well-being. A hygge lifestyle suggests creating an atmosphere of peace, comfort, and warmth wherever you go. 

I wanted to try out some hygge practices around the holiday season because that’s when the Danes hygge most often. While you can hygge throughout the year, Christmas is the perfect time to take on some of these hygge habits. The Danish use hygge as their weapon to fight against the winter blues and come out more joyful. Without me knowing in advance, I needed to fight off those winter blues pretty badly this week.


Why the World Needs Hygge

 
 
 
 
 
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Let’s face it — we’re tired. Nearly everyone is either already burnt out, or has been flirting with burnout for some time now. Indeed conducted a survey that found 52% of the participants experienced burnout in 2021. This was a 9% increase from the study they conducted in 2020 before the pandemic. 80% of participants said they believed “COVID-19 has impacted [the] workplace burnout. Out of that 80%, 67% said burnout has worsened during the pandemic.”

Not to mention, there is rarely a time where we are without our phones, computers, TVs, iPads, Apple Watches, or any other manner of distractions. Our addictive lifestyle suggests that we are more comforted by screens than by the people we love. 

Hygge seems to be the remedy for both of these problems. While lighting a candle and sitting outside might not fix everything, it is a stepping stool to becoming more mindful around this season as to where we put our efforts and focus. 


My Challenges

 
 
 
 
 
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I usually plan these challenges around my life and travels. I say ‘usually’ because this holiday season threw a wrench in those carefully crafted plans. Due to a number of crazy events, I was stuck in my old college town, living with my partner’s family for six out of the seven days this week. So somehow, I attempted to live a hygge lifestyle with my future in-laws. 

On a positive note (because I need one right now), my job this week is to be present, warm, and cozy. Hygge is all about fostering, harboring, and growing relationships. I’m with some of my favorite people, and in one of my favorite places in the world (Virginia). And in the end, nothing can be that bad when you’re looking out onto the Blue Ridge Mountains.


My Week Of Hygge Life

@shesafullonmonet_

 

It’s almost Christmas and what better way to celebrate than living a hygge lifestyle for a week? #hygge #hyggehome #christmas #shesafullonmonet

♬ Warm Christmas Lofi Beat – Gloveity

I liked how I arranged my challenge for resting, so I attempted to do something similar with my hygge lifestyle. I found some of the most popular ways to live a hygge life and I ran with them. So this is my hygge week! 


Eat Hygge

 
 
 
 
 
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Any challenge that lets me eat warm, cozy foods all week long is the challenge for me! This challenge happened the week after Thanksgiving, so the leftovers were seemingly endless and the ‘season’s eatings’ were wonderful. Good, quality, warm food is a huge part of the hygge lifestyle. I took some time (not just Thanksgiving day) to actually be present for the meals we had. Whether that meant my phone wasn’t at the table, my computer wasn’t out, or the TV wasn’t on, I tried to be present every time food was out. 

I’m currently curled up on a love seat with my partner eating a slice of pie that’s as big as my head. The Christmas tree is next to us, soft music is playing in the background, and the lights are low. I couldn’t imagine a better way to be hygge while also being with the people I love the most. Some of the best hygge inspired food to pay attention to are coffee (check on that), warm drinks (check), sweets (check), and seasonal fruits and veggies (less of a check).

Cooking is also a huge part of hygge. It’s said that the longer something takes to cook, the more hygge it is. So I embraced that once I got home and could cook in my own kitchen. My partner came over and we made everything from cookies to stir fry. There is nothing like being in the kitchen and working with your favorite person as you make something together. 

I also felt as though it was very hygge to make something and then immediately serve it, so it’s still hot and fresh.


Be Present

@olehenriksen

 

Did you know: The term “Hygge” is a Danish word that Ole lives by everyday and the idea of selfcare is imbedded into the philosophy of our brand 🧡

♬ Stories 2 – Danilo Stankovic

This was the real challenge, especially when my plans changed. Because we were stranded, it was hard for me not to go into panic mode and just focus 100% on my work, my tasks, and my lists. I always try to grasp for any control over what little I can by creating more lists. But this week, I tried to put away the lists and my work and really be present. 

Thankfully, it wasn’t too hard, considering I was around people I love and who love me. It is true, however, that we can so often get caught up in all the tasks and distractions of work and life until suddenly, we can’t seem to talk about anything except those things. And that’s such a shame. 

Because my partner and I were in his hometown and my college town, we knew the space around us really well. We made sure to hit up some of our old favorite spots and when we were there, we both made an effort not to take pictures or document it, but simply be there and be present with each other. My partner mentioned how often I’ll try to capture a moment with a photo and by doing that, it distracts from the original moment and it breaks the ‘spell’ that being completely present has put on us. 


Spend Time in Nature

 
 
 
 
 
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This one both was and wasn’t hard for me. It was slightly difficult because, while I love being outside, it’s cold. It was easy because we’re staying in a beautiful house that has a deck that looks out at the Blue Ridge Mountains. So here I am, typing away about how hygge and relaxed I am, and I sincerely mean it.

Truly immersing yourself in nature will never be a mistake. You will never waste your time by bringing your work outside and taking a second or two to look around you and take in all of creation. Nature is grounding and recentering. We often get bogged down looking at screens all day and it’s important to take a moment, step outside, and allow nature to refuel you. 


Hygge Workout

 
 
 
 
 
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You know I had to work out this week! Thankfully, I haven’t been doing crazy workouts anyway, due to my cycle. I tried to also respect the hygge way of life as well, so I chose workouts that had a strong focus on the mind and body connection. I did hours of yoga and walking and really took time to listen to my body and respect what it wanted out of every single day. 

Yoga always lets me get out of a calorie-burning mindset and into a more present mindset. The grounding practices let me take a moment every morning to focus on my body and what it’s capable of. 


Creating

I’m not sure why, but I feel as though it’s very hygge to create. I feel the most at rest when I’m working with my hands to do something. I brought my embroidery and crafts on my trip, but I never felt right pulling them out for some reason. 

I did, however, draw out and color in the new segment for my bullet journal. I always wait until the end of the month so I can outline the new one while reflecting on the old. It was also nice to mindlessly draw a bit. I would never say I’m good at drawing, but it was fun to doodle while no one was watching and when it really didn’t matter. 


Decorating for Christmas

 
 
 
 
 
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Of course, I had to decorate a bit! Once we got home, I was able to set up my little tree and spruce it up a bit. It made me feel so happy and warm to add that element to my home and of course, I did it in my pajamas! While decorating for Christmas might not be something you can do year-round, it is nice to look around your home and find ways to make it cozier. If you want to hygge-up your decor, look into buying blankets, pillows, and candles. Many candles were burned in the making of this article. 


My Review

 
 
 
 
 
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If you’ve never tried anything hygge, this is your sign to do it. You don’t have to dedicate a week to the hygge life, but just start small. Cook dinner with your family and friends, build a blanket fort and never leave it, light every candle you can, and get in your Christmas pajamas and bundle up! There is no better time to experience a hygge lifestyle than the holiday season! 

While I may not solely practice the hygge lifestyle from now on, I do want to implement some of these cozy practices into my life. There is no reason not to focus on being present, especially during this holiday season.

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Have you tried to live a hygge lifestyle? What are some hygge practices you’ve implemented into your lifestyle without even knowing it? Comment below!


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