Our house, especially in the winter months, runs deep with all things Frozen. The songs are constantly on repeat, the movies are frequently requested, and anything Olaf is heavily sought after. At a recent visit to the bookstore, my son and I found a book called, Disney Frozen: Anna and Elsa’s Hygge Life, which got us wondering.
It’s a thing, but why is it a thing and can kids do it too? Does it require a ton of effort and all the accoutrements? Like anything that sparks curiosity, I had to investigate. Turns out, we may having been practicing hygge without even knowing it.
The Hygge Life
Hygge (pronounced, Hue-guh) is a Danish concept that encompasses the feeling of comfort and joy internally when doing certain things, void of stress or worry. Think of it as the “warm and fuzzies” or “finding your happy place.” Although Hygge has found its way into current lifestyle trends, it’s been around since the early 1800s referring to one’s well-being. No, it’s not about staying indoors or requiring certain blankets or candles to create a cozy ambiance (unless that makes you happy). It’s much more and way simpler than that.
So, how do you hygge exactly? Truth is, there is no particular way to do it. It may be the ambiance seen on your IG or Pinterest feed that you want to emulate at home, or it may be burying yourself in a sea of pillows and blankets as you binge watch. You might see your child be hyggelist (filled with contentment) when snuggling with their favorite stuffed animal or when coloring for long periods of time. As long as it makes moments meaningful and brings happiness, that’s living the hygge life.
Want some ideas of how to incorporate hygge into your family’s life? Try these out (remember, if it doesn’t bring joy or it’s not meaningful to your family, save yourself the stress and don’t do it):
- Lighting is everything. Lighting can set the mood and energy level in the household. If it’s sunny out, let that natural light shine on in. As the sun sets, warm soft lighting (such as candles or even the Christmas lights you haven’t put away yet) can provide cozy vibes.
- Welcome nature indoors. Nature is known to boost mood, but the winter months can leave our surroundings void of color. Add some color and greenery into your house with potted plants or even using that AeroGarden you got this past Christmas. Bonus: plants help with air quality. If you don’t have a green thumb, buy some flowers from the grocery store every now and then.
- Get your food and drink on. You know when you take that first sip of morning coffee or tea to set your day and it immediately makes you smile? Yeah, that’s hygge. Have some of your family’s fave comfort foods and beverages. For my son, it’s all about baked goods while the girls enjoy fresh cut fruit with whipped cream.
- Wardrobe check. Bring comfort and security even in the worst of weather. Being from Florida, I LOATHED the cold for the longest time. However, I’m loving getting layered up and warm to enjoy the winter weather with my kids. Invest in suitable, thermal pieces to keep your kids warm so they can enjoy the outdoors even in January.
- Come together. Part of the hygge spirit is the idea of togetherness. In our house, it’s a movie night every Friday where we dim the lights, grab the blankets and pillows, make the popcorn, and watch a movie together. You could break out the board games or puzzles, or have a family read-in together. Give your kids your undivided attention during these times. That means go phone-free and stay present.
There are many routes to experience the hygge state of being. If it makes you and your family feel good and internally happy from the inside out, then you’re doing it right. Stay cozy!
What Is Hygge? (thespruce.com)
Hygge: What It Means and How to Bring It Into Your Life (greatist.com)
How to Hygge with Small Children | Embracing a Simpler Life
11 Handy Ways To Do Hygge As A Family (amotherfarfromhome.com)