I was inspired last week by a Pinterest post to do this fun challenge. The idea is to keep the hygge cozy going, even though winter is nearing its end. Hygge is a Scandinavian lifestyle, centered around creating connectedness and coziness, and not just a winter tradition.
Without knowing what it was called, I have practiced hygge throughout my life. I realized recently, when my DNA test results showed I have Scandinavian ancestry, that I perhaps have a genetic connection to this delightful way of embracing life.
The purpose of the 7 Day Hygge Challenge is to do something fun, something different, every day, to keep the cozy element central in my life. The list is below. Play along!
1. Monday – Light a new candle, in a fresh light scent, and/or add strings of tiny white twinkle lights indoors or outside.
2. Tuesday – Have an evening without screens…no TV, computer or cell phone. Read a book, play a board game, work a puzzle or listen to music.
3. Wednesday – Create something…bake, draw, write a letter, sew, knit, paint, color, play your own tune or make a craft.
4. Thursday – Bring nature indoors…plants, fresh flowers, dried twigs. Create an arrangement, display or vignette.
5. Friday – Have a movie night at home, with cozy clothes and comfy wraps, and include a tasty treat and favorite drink.
6. Saturday – Get outdoors. Take a walk in nature, alone or with companions.
7. Sunday – PJ Day. Stay in comfy clothes all day. Have breakfast in bed, don’t make plans, read, watch Netflix, light candles, savor tea time, pamper yourself in your favorite way.
I love this type of challenge. It fires up my creativity and allows me to play. I look forward to focusing on hygge this week, and creating more intimacy, more coziness and more connectedness in my home and life.
Although spring is still officially a couple of weeks away, it arrived for me yesterday. Already feeling the desire to do a spring cleaning and decluttering, I completely stripped my bed down, laundering everything. As I remade my bed last night, I deliberately left off the woven cotton blanket. That’s all it took to flip my spring switch.
I love this time of year, as the earth and my spirit both experience a reawakening. My creativity shifts into a higher mode as well. I recently shared a post about the hygge lifestyle that I’ve embraced. Hygge, pronounced hue • gah, is a Scandinavian custom that creates well being, connection and warmth. You can read that post HERE. When I think of hygge I think of candlelight and cozy blankets and a crackling fire. But hygge can be practiced and celebrated throughout the year.
I’ll be sharing ways to create a hygge lifestyle during every season. Today’s post celebrates the impending arrival of spring, with 15 ways to keep the cozy going.
1. Bring the outdoors in – Spring announces the earth’s awakening and the return of green plants and colorful flowers. Purchase bouquets of fresh flowers and display them in a white pitcher or your favorite container. Start flower and vegetables seeds indoors, for transferring to the garden, and plant tulip or daffodil bulbs in pots for a splash of spring colors indoors. Try tucking a blooming pansy into a tea cup filled with potting soil.
2. Brighten home décor – It’s time to pack away the darker colors. Freshen the house with lighter colored pillows and rugs, declutter spaces that have accumulated stuff all winter, and take down heavy draperies. Hang white or sheer curtains over the windows. Let the sunshine light in and on mild days, throw open the windows. The breezes that stir through the house cleanse away stale energy and lifts our spirits.
3. Switch out bedding & pjs – While changing home décor, switch out heavier bedding for lightweight cotton sheets, coverlets and quilts. Pile on the pillows. Swap flannel pjs for comfy cotton as well. Hygge is all about cozy layers. Trade heavy throws and blankets for piles of lightweight wraps, shawls and quilts for those evenings when the air is cool and you want to curl up with a good book.
4. Eat outdoors – Spring invites us to venture outside. Enjoy al fresco dining on a patio or porch. Use lots of linens and candles, and serve a healthy meal on your best plates.
5. Read a book outside – Stretch out on a reclining lawn chair or a colorful quilt on the ground and lose yourself in a book. Try a new author or select a book on a topic you’ve always been curious about.
6. Bake something – Hygge encourages nurturing ourselves with good food. Try out a new recipe. Bake from scratch. Create your own recipe. I’m excited to try recipes from my new Thrive magazine.
7. Go for a walk outdoors – Explore new walking trails, look for signs of spring, breathe in the cool air, go for a bike ride.
8. Create a fairy garden – Use a new or vintage container and create a miniature garden, complete with tiny accessories. Home garden stores and craft stores sell items for fairy gardens. And many plant shops offer classes on how to create your own small garden. I will be creating my first fairy garden in a vintage wheelbarrow this spring.
9. Play in the rain – With spring comes refreshing showers to help the earth awaken and growing plants to thrive. Grab an umbrella and enjoy the rain. Splash in puddles, tip your face to the sky, and if it is warm enough, forget the umbrella and experience dancing in the rain.
10. Continue using candles and essential oils – Candlelight isn’t just for the winter months. Use tea lights and white candles everywhere…indoors and on porches, patios and in the garden. Switch to lightly fragranced essential oils, such as lemon and lavender in the diffuser. Hang tiny white twinkling lights outdoors.
11. Do good deeds – Hygge promotes relationships and community and helping others. Volunteer. Practice acts of kindness. Remember to nurture yourself too.
12. Have a picnic at the park – This is another excellent way to enjoy being outside again after the cold short days of winter. Invite friends, throw down a big tablecloth and have everyone contribute to a smorgasbord type picnic. Or enjoy a solo picnic with your favorite foods. This is one of my Artist Date ideas that I look forward to carrying out.
13. Find a new favorite beverage – Winter hygge encourages hot drinks such as coffee, teas and cocoa. For spring try lighter drinks such as herbal teas, freshly pressed juices, flavored waters, and iced coffee. Brew mint tea, let it cool and serve over ice.
14. Keep fresh fruits & veggies on hand – A wide assortment of fruits and vegetables are coming into season. Keep a fruit bowl full of your favorites and try something new. Keep a veggie box or crate full as well. Try meatless dinners, using produce that is in season.
15. Celebrate – Find reasons to rejoice as everything around us stirs. Have brunch with friends, take a family member to dinner, welcome spring with a tea party for one…yourself. Whatever makes your heart sing, go and do that, in a celebratory way.
I hope some of these ideas got your creativity going. Spring is a time of rebirth, of new beginnings, and a promise that life continues. I will be embracing hygge and spring with a Seven Day Hygge Challenge, beginning Monday. Follow the posts and play along, or create your own cozy, comforting traditions. You can’t do hygge wrong if your celebrations create a sense of joy and warmth. May we open our hearts and our homes, and welcome spring.