You’ve probably heard of Hygge – the Scandinavian concept of cosiness, contentment, simple pleasures, and enjoying good times with good people. But how do you actually work hygge into your everyday life? Here are 100 easy ideas!
What exactly is Hygge anyway?
a quality of cosiness & comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being
100 Ideas To Add Hygge Into Your Everyday Life
It’s easy to add a little hygge into every aspect of your life. From the way you live at home and how you enjoy the outdoors, to spending time with others and enjoying convivial food and drinks, there are so many ways to cultivate a hygge outlook on life.
Scroll down to download the complete list as a PDF!
Hygge Home Comforts
- Make yourself a “hyggekrog” – a cosy, comfortable place to sit & get your hygge on!
- Use ambient lighting: turn off glaring overhead lights and use candles & fairy lights.
- Turn a dark spot into a cozy corner with a battery-operated candle or lantern. Many of them have timers so they automatically turn on at the same time every day.
- Use your favourite scents with electric diffusers or oil burners – even give your home a signature scent!
- Think about using a salt lamp to give a warm glow & add some soothing negative ions to the air.
- When you get in from work, change into a comfortable outfit that FEELS like you’re home.
- Have a special mug for your favourite hot drinks, especially when you need cheered up.
- Add soft textures to your home with cosy blankets, cushions and throws.
- Invest in some proper woolly Nordic socks for warm toes whenever it’s chilly.
- Give your bathroom a spa makeover and have an at-home spa day.
- Add houseplants to your space for uplifting greenery and an air-cleansing oxygen boost.
- Pick up an old piece of furniture at an auction or salvage yard & have fun painting & restoring it.
- Clear the clutter & love your space more! Filling your home with things you love is definitely hygge.
- Find a corner of your home where you can keep a jigsaw puzzle set up for people to work on, or a board game like chess or checkers set up for people to play on a whim.
- Let the sunshine in! Open those blinds, crack the windows and fill your space with light and air.
- Treat yourself to a stay-in-bed-day or pyjama day one weekend and feel no guilt.
- Take notice of the seasons and how they change. Enjoy and appreciate the differences of each one.
- Try walking at sunrise or night-time to get a different view on the world.
- Go for a picnic and enjoy eating outdoors, even if it’s just in the park.
- Go for long hike in a place you love.
- Challenge yourself to get some fresh air every day and see how much it benefits both your mental and physical health.
- Try the Japanese art of “forest bathing” and surround yourself with trees and nature.
- Stop to enjoy the view. It’s not just about reaching the destination.
- Head to the coast. Feel the sand between your toes and soak up the feelgood negative ions.
- Sit outdoors at a café (bonus points if it provides heaters & blankets in cold weather!)
- Go wild camping somewhere remote.
- Take a flask of hot chocolate with you on a long walk.
- Sit round a firepit or campfire, and make s’mores.
- Bring the outside in by collecting seasonal greenery or driftwood to decorate with at home.
- Benefit from the natural hygge of coming in from the cold. Put cozy clothes on, have a hot drink and curl up in front of the fire.
- Plant and grow something of your own. It could be flowers, vegetables, or herbs on a windowsill, or have a sunflower growing contest with the kids.
- Plan a weekend away somewhere you’ve always wanted to go.
- Make your own outside space more hygge, by adding comfortable seating, solar lighting, blankets and cushions. Voila – an extra room to your home!
Hygge With Others
- Write a handwritten letter or card to a faraway friend.
- Catch up with people you haven’t seen for a while over brunch.
- Start a cinema club with likeminded friends for regular movie nights.
- Make space in every weekend for quality family time together.
- Arrange a board game night.
- Unplug! When enjoying time with loved ones, leave your phone in your bag.
- Make regular fixtures to see friends that you can look forward to.
- Join – or start! – a book club.
- Reach out to a friend you haven’t heard from for a while. It could be just what they need.
- Find a group activity you enjoy – could be a sport, a choir, a hobby group, or anything else.
- Host an afternoon tea – possibly the most hygge meal of all!
- Volunteer at a charity who’re looking for helpers.
Hygge At Work
- Make your workspace a more pleasant place to sit: declutter and clean, add a plant and some photos of loved one and/or places you love.
- If you’re working from home, close the work day with a little hygge ritual like lighting a candle and turning on some music as you put away your laptop and clear your work space.
- Take your vacation time! Have a few restorative hygge days at home if you can’t travel.
- Don’t succumb to presenteeism: if you’re sick, stay home and properly recover.
- Bake something for your co-workers.
- Have a favourite work mug and a regular afternoon cup of tea routine.
- Leave a treat on your work bestie’s desk.
- Get outside at lunchtime to give yourself a boost with fresh air and natural light.
- Listen to a favourite radio station or have a productivity playlist.
- Review your work/life balance and try to stop taking work home with you unless essential.
Hygge Reading and Listening
- Reading is a naturally hygge activity, but make it even more so with books such as The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.
- Subscribe to some podcasts you enjoy and set aside a certain time in the week to listen to them. I save mine up for a candlelit bath on Friday or Saturday evenings!
- Listen to some audiobooks – even better if they’re dramatised like old-fashioned radio plays. Snuggling up on a rainy afternoon with hot chocolate & an audiobook is maximum hygge!
- Spend a rainy Sunday watching old movies from when you were a kid.
- Once a week, have an evening where you don’t get sucked into watching Netflix: instead chill out with a good book, or have a bath listening to some favourite music.
- Make a playlist of songs from your favourite decade and blast it out loud. (If you have an Echo, Alexa will happily oblige by playing you songs from a specific year.)
- Make a seasonal reading list of spring/summer or autumn/winter books you want to read
Hygge Days Out
- Treat yourself to a facial, massage, or favourite beauty treatment.
- Visit an antiques shop or antiques fair and enjoy browsing for bargains.
- Enjoy seasonal activities like ice skating in winter and fruit picking in summer.
- Head out to a favourite museum or art gallery and team it with lunch somewhere you’ve been wanting to try.
- Find a an old-fashioned secondhand bookstore, preferably with open fires, and spend a cosy afternoon.
- Give the kids free rein on choosing the day out and watch how much they enjoy it.
- Invite a like-minded friend to go for an experience day with you.
- Be like the Scandinavians and go for a sauna to relax and reinvigorate yourself.
Hygge Eating and Drinking
- Learn how to cook a favourite comfort food from your childhood.
- Build a collection of hot drinks to choose from to suit any mood.
- Try a new soup recipe on a cold day and enjoy with crusty bread.
- Have a hygge baking afternoon listening to old songs on the radio.
- Enjoy eating seasonally and locally. Food that’s in season and hasn’t travelled tastes so good!
- Make seasonal preserves, e.g. raspberry jam in summer and chutney & marmalade in autumn & winter.
- Make dinner in a slow cooker to enjoy the aromas and anticipation all day long.
- Have regular candlelit dinners either by yourself, with your partner, or with the kids.
- Embrace the Danish concept of fika – taking a break to enjoy coffee and cake .
- Eat together with your partner or as a family whenever you can and discuss your days.
- Eat foods high in vitamin D throughout the winter when levels are naturally low.
- Indulge in the Nordic tradition of Fridagsmys or cosy Fridays: staying in and enjoying simple pleasures such as games, movies, and sweets.
- Keep one morning of the weekend free for tea or coffee in bed and a slow, lazy breakfast.
- Get your weekend chores done early on in the weekend so you can spend the rest of time feeling truly free to do whatever you like.
- Don’t overplan your weekend – leaving space in the schedule for spontaneous fun is hygge!
- Indulge in aperitivo hour – a cocktail & salty snacks before dinner is a lovely weekend treat.
- Visit somewhere hygge – whether it’s a laid-back brunch spot you’ve been wanting to try, or a cosy bookshop on a rainy afternoon.
- Arrange an activity for Sunday evening so you don’t start dreading Monday morning before the weekend’s even over.
Have a Hygge Outlook on Life
- Enjoy anticipating the things you love. Plan early for holidays, vacations, celebrations, and events you’re going to. There’s so much joy to be had in positive anticipation. I love to watch Youtube videos of places I’m going to visit, or writing to-do lists for Christmas (fun to-do lists, not boring ones!)
- Embrace seasonal traditions such as planting things in spring, pumpkin picking and blackberry picking in autumn, and decorating for the holidays.
- Create traditions for celebrating birthdays and special events. These things give a lovely rhythm to your life and give you things to look forward to. Kids also love them!
- Select a random set of photo memories on your phone and spend a happy few minutes reminiscing about a trip or event.
- Add some hygge routines & rituals to your life, like Friday movie night or Saturday pancakes.
- Try making a thoughtful gift for someone who’d appreciate it.
- Perform random acts of kindness, and teach your kids to do this too.
- Start each day by taking 2 minutes to remind yourself of the good things in your life. The feeling of hygge is closely linked with contentment & gratitude, so help yourself to feel it.
- Feel no guilt at taking a nap or going to bed super early when you need to.
- Embrace the Scandinavian viewpoint of there being “no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” and get outside whenever possible to benefit your mental and physical health.
- Buy yourself some flowers for no reason other than to brighten up your favourite room.
- When you get back from a trip, make sure to print some of the photos you took. Frame them and hang them around the house to remind yourself of those fun times.
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