A pair of female legs on the bed with a cup of tea next to them on the sheets.
10 Little Ways Hygge Can Help Relieve Stress In Your Everyday Life
by Caroline Burke
Originally Published: 

If you haven't heard of the Danish phrase "hygge" by now, I'm about to drop some serious knowledge on you. The Danish term has recently exploded with popularity in other parts of the world, probably because it represents the secret behind how the happiest country on Earth is using hygge for anxiety and stress relief. Clearly, the people in Denmark know what they're doing, and it's time we all take notes.

Pronounced "hoo-gah," the most direct translation of hygge is "cozy." But make no mistake about its importance: Hygge is considered to be central to Danish national character, as well as a direct contributing factor to the country's longstanding position as the happiest country on Earth.

So, what exactly is a "hyggelig" moment? Essentially, it's one filled with comfort and intimacy, with the intent of reminding you that life is good. The range of hygge activities span the gamut: You can curl up with a book, or have a cup of tea with a friend, or even just put on a pair of slippers. It's not so much the specific activity that matters, but rather the feeling that the activity in question creates.

This winter, adding a little hygge to your life might just be the difference between feeling fulfilled or just feeling frustrated. Here are 10 easy ideas on how you can put a little more hygge in your life, like the Danish do.

Give Yourself 10 Extra Minutes In Bed

Even if it means setting your alarm a little earlier, consider planning ahead for 10 extra minutes of under-the-covers time as part of your morning routine.

You can use those few extra minutes to simply enjoy the relaxing sensation of being snuggled up in bed. Or maybe you can take the time to go through the things you need to get done that day. Or, hey, perhaps you can reap the benefits of some skin-on-skin contact, if you know what I'm sayin'.

Splurge On A Cozy Robe And Slippers

Reversible Sherpa Robe, $103.50, Anthropologie

Whether it's a robe, a pair of slippers, or a flannel pajama set, you deserve to treat yourself with some apparel that you can slip into after a long day at work.

Anthropologie is currently offering 25 percent off of all sleepwear and slippers, which is honestly the best reason ever to add a little more snugz in your life.

Spend Time By The Fireplace

If you do have a fireplace, the first thing you should do is invite me over. Secondly, you should plan one night a week to sit by the fire and completely unwind.

If you don't have a fireplace, there are plenty of apps and channels that offer the visual sensation of staring at a fire, which, TBH, is almost just as good. Netflix's Fireplace For Your Home (and maybe a hairdryer positioned at your face?) will be just as good as the real deal.

Set Aside A Weekend Solely For Self-Care

The holidays can be hectic to the point of being overwhelming. In the new year, set aside a weekend in January that is totally devoted to taking care of yourself.

Whether that means a mani-pedi, a Harry Potter movie marathon, being alone, or spending time with friends, take a full weekend to do all of the hygge activities that make you feel relaxed and cozy.

Start Drinking More Tea

Drinking tea has countless health benefits, from reducing your risk of heart attack to soothing the digestive system, but a more psychological benefit to drinking tea is the calming sensation it bestows upon you and your mindset.

Drinking a mug of tea in the morning or the evening can be an easy habit to introduce into your life, one that encourages balance and relaxation — the ultimate hygge-inspired combo.

Practice Mindfulness On A Daily Basis

Too often, we treat meditation and mindfulness as activities we can only squeeze in as a special occasion, when in reality, they should be staples of our daily lives.

If you can take 10 minutes out of each day to meditate (even if that just means closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing), you'll feel more centered, relaxed, and connected to your life. Meditation reduces stress, improves concentration, and increases overall happiness. Plus, you can do it without ever having to leave your living room, making it the ultimate form of hygge.

Get Into Knitting

Knitting is a totally hygge activity, since it requires repetition and helps you maintain focus without taking up all of your mental energy (once you know how to do it, that is.) Plus, it's an easy way to come up with free holiday gifts for friends and family for the rest of your life, which is a total bonus.

Create A Chocolate Reserve

The easiest way to get real happy real quick? Pop some chocolate into your mouth! That's right, eating chocolate is an actual hygge activity, and a suggested item for all hygge emergency self-care kits.

The next time you go to the grocery store, buy a chocolate stockpile for your new hygge life. No one will judge you if you go through it all faster than you planned.

Buy A Beautiful Coffee Mug

Hygge is all about embracing and appreciating little moments in your life, and making them as cozy as possible. So instead of buying a coffee from around the corner and drinking it out of a to-go paper cup, invest in a beautiful travel mug that makes you happy every time you look at it.

Or, if you're a real coffee-lover, buy yourself a pour-over to make some amazing coffee at home.

Invite Friends Over For A Hygge Night

You don't have to live that hygge lifestyle alone; in fact, some people prefer to practice hygge in a group. Invite your friends over, and have a totally hygge-inspired night, filled with hot chocolate, blankets, old movies, and maybe a fun card game or two. Spreading the cozy vibes will reinforce your own mood, as well as spread it to the people you love most.

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