How To Embrace A Hygge Lifestyle If You're Just Starting Out & Don't Know What To Do

by Caroline Burke

2018 is finally here, and that can only mean one thing: It's that time of the year to be totally freaking terrified by all of the resolutions you promised you would take on. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the fact that it's only day two, you might want to consider adding this feel-good resolution to your list of habit changes: to start practicing hygge. If you're not familiar with this way of life, rest assured, there are plenty of tips about hygge for beginners that you can use to help you embrace the change.

"Hygge" is a Danish term that loosely translates into a notion of "getting cozy." More specifically, it's “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." As you may have already guessed, the Danish credit their hygge lifestyle for why they're consistently rated the happiest country in the world. The best news about all of this? Hygge is basically just a state of mind, one that you can access from anywhere, in virtually any way you see fit, and of course, it essentially allows you to have a good reason to snuggle up more often.

If you're not already completely sold on the idea of hygge as your number one New Year's resolution priority, consider this:

A hygge lifestyle basically encourages you to cancel your plans, throw on a fluffy robe and slippers, and watch Netflix all day long.

OK, maybe it doesn't encourage you to cancel your plans, but it does emphasize the importance of finding little ways to encourage contentment and well-being, and those two definitely go hand-in-hand in my book.

There are countless ways to start adding a little bit of hygge to your life, but it really depends on what you, as an individual, find comforting.

The easiest way to start is to find a few free minutes in your daily routine and save them for an activity focused solely on your well-being. For example, you could set your alarm 10 minutes earlier so that you can enjoy your morning coffee without feeling rushed. Or, conversely, you could set your alarm 20 minutes later if all you want is just a little more shut-eye.

Some basic ingredients to the ultimate hygge Friday night might look like this: slippers, PJs, a fluffy robe, a new book (or a new TV series, depending on what relaxes you), a decaffeinated mug of tea, and a deliciously scented candle.

Hygge doesn't necessarily have to be about being alone, though. It's all about what makes you feel content.

If you're a social butterfly, hygge might mean having a girls' night or meeting someone for coffee on a Saturday morning. The key is figuring out what makes you feel warm and cozy, and then mindfully seeking that feeling out on a more consistent basis.

One way to approach a new hygge lifestyle is to write a list of your favorite things and activities. For example, my hygge-inspired Saturday looks something like this: pour-over coffee at home, snuggly socks and slippers, a mountain of blankets, some Sex And The City re-runs followed by a full season of Girls, then maybe an hour or so of baking something drenched in butter and sugar.

The point of hygge is that it's not a specific activity or an especially soft product that you have to buy. Rather, it's a way of life that prioritizes little moments to keep you happy, centered, and content in your day-to-day living.

Try to find a little bit of hygge each day this week, and see how your mindset changes.

In the wake of the monstrous year that was 2017, you deserve to add a little bit of self-love to your daily routine, and the wellness focus you incorporate into your own life will surely reverberate back out into the communities you interact with.