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Warm Up With These 5 Hygge Ideas

family healthy thinking in every season

Are you staying warm?

Here in the Twin Cities we are having one of the longest stretches we have had in February of not getting above zero degrees. And this historic winter event is not just staying in the north! From Canadian border to the southern point of Texas, the weather as been brrrrrrrr. . .

When you can’t change the weather, you need to join it, or at least change your attitude. It is time to follow the Danish lifestyle of hygge.

What is Hygge?

Meik Wiking, the author of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets To Happy Living, and CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (For real? There is a happiness research institute?) tells us that hygge has been called everything from “the art of creating intimacy,” to “coziness of the soul,” and even, “cocoa by candlelight.” 

Hygge is acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary, as cozy, charming or special.

There is nothing to buy to create a hygge setting, no “how-to” list, or required lifestyle. It only asks that you slow down and appreciate the present.

“The Danes focus on the small things that really matter, including spending more quality time with friends and family and enjoying the good things in life.” Meik Wiking


Hygge is pronounced HOO-gah. It can be noun, a verb, and an adjective. Practice saying it in a few sentences:

  • What a hyggelig home you have.
    • Hyggelig = hygge-like, nice, pleasant, enjoyable
  • We spent the day in our hyggebuskers. 
    • Hyggebuskser are pants or sweats designed to give you maximum mobility and comfortability. We would never wear them in public but they are secretly a favorite.
  • You are such a hyggespreder.
    • Hyggespreder = someone who spreads the hygge
  • I am putting on my hyggesokker.
    • Hyggesokker = those warm, wooly socks or slippers that are worn out but fit your feet perfectly
  • Friday night is reserved for familiehygge.
    • Familiehygge = family night for games and hot cocoa
  • I am going to snuggle up in my hyggekrog and read a book all afternoon.
    • hyggekrog = a nook, a quiet corner
  • I am a hyggeligt!
    • I appreciate life’s simple pleasures


Warm Up With These 5 Hygge Ideas

  1. Cook something yummy that takes hours.

Find a recipe that takes hours to make and will fill your home with rustic, savory smells that make your stomach growl each time you step near the kitchen.

Last Sunday, Scott and I spent 4 hours making Bolognese Sauce. It was delightful as we watched the slow simmer send up an occasional bubble as the sauce reduced to thick, rich, meaty yumminess.

(The recipe and video of the afternoon-long cooking is posted in the free Queen in the Kitchen Cooking Community. Join us!)

  1. Give yourself a cozy attitude by the clothes you wear.

Find your slippers, wear your favorite leggings and oversized sweater, and tie your hair up in a messy bun.

Lounge around in your decade-old pair of sweatpants with zero shame! 

  1. Appreciate the slowness of the day.

Clear your calendar. Hygge means not being in a hurry but focusing on the simple pleasures at a slow pace. Recognize and appreciate the present moment, whether that is with family, or friends, or alone time.

  1. Keep it old school.
  • Choose board games over computer games.
  • Set up a table by the corner window and watch the birds at the feeder while you put together a puzzle.
  • Create a place in your home to snuggle up in a warming blanket with a cup of tea. Write a letter or read a book.

  1. Set a calm ambience.

What setting helps you and your family quiet down?

  • Dig through your cabinets and find all the candles you can. Even the flameless ones with fill the room with flickering lights.
  • Turn on your diffuser with a scent that triggers relaxation.
  • Choose background music that quiets the heart. 

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3 NLT

Today, let's begin something together!

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