Hygge: How Cozy Winter Habits Boost Mental Well-Being

Feeling that chill in the air? Don’t worry; we’ve got something cosy to talk about – hygge. Not just a trendy term, it’s like a warm hug for your soul during the icy months. So, grab your favourite blanket, let’s dive into the world of hygge and see how it can amp up our winter well-being!


In the midst of frosty temperatures, there’s a Danish well-being concept that captures the essence of creating a cosy, comforting atmosphere – hygge. Pronounced “hoo-ga,” this lifestyle approach is more than just an Instagrammable aesthetic; it’s about embracing the simple pleasures that elevate our Winter well-being. It’s about making your winter days warm, comfy, and most importantly, healthy. 


These simple habits can prove to be just the cure for the “big sad” we all get especially during Winters. You can do this by just incorporating some small actions and habits that will help you feel better. Read on to know what they are!


Why Does Winter Make Us a Bit Blue?

Okay, let’s get real. Winter can be a bit of a mood spoiler. Short days, long nights, and a serious lack of that sunshine vitamin – it all plays tricks on our mood. Less sun can mess with our sleep and mood-regulating serotonin levels. Plus, who feels like hitting the gym when it’s freezing outside? And the whole ‘I’d rather stay home’ vibe can lead to some serious Netflix and isolation.

Why Exactly Do We Feel Gloomy in Winters, Especially?

Winter, with its shorter days and longer nights, can bring about changes in mood for various reasons. One significant factor is the reduced exposure to natural sunlight, leading to a drop in serotonin levels, often associated with mood regulation. The lack of sunlight can also disrupt the body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm), affecting sleep patterns and contributing to mood changes. 


Additionally, the colder weather might discourage outdoor activities, reducing physical exercise, which is crucial for maintaining mental well-being. The winter season can sometimes lead to social isolation as people may be less inclined to engage in social activities. All these elements can contribute to the development or exacerbation of mood problems during the winter months. Understanding these factors allows for better strategies to navigate the challenges and prioritise mental health during this season.

What’s the Meaning of Hygge?


Derived from the Norwegian word for “well-being,” hygge is an integral part of Danish culture. It encapsulates a feeling of warmth, togetherness, and contentment, emphasising the significance of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Imagine you’re wrapped in a blanket, sipping a hot beverage, and immersed in a good book while the winter wind dances outside. That’s hygge, but for the mind as well.

Hygge in Everyday Life 


Picture this: it’s a gloomy winter evening, and the frosty wind is tapping at your window. You decide to take matters into your own hands. You slip into your cosiest sweater, wrap yourself in a blanket scarf that feels like a warm hug, and suddenly, your ordinary evening transforms into a haven of comfort. As you curl up with a good book, surrounded by soft textures that evoke a sense of security, you realise that this is hygge in action. It’s not just about warmth; it’s about creating a sanctuary in the midst of the winter chill, one knit sweater at a time.


Creating a Cozy Atmosphere 


Your living space becomes a canvas, and you, the artist of cosiness. It’s not about grand gestures; it’s about the little details that turn your place into a warm embrace. Soft blankets draped over your favourite chair, warm lights casting a gentle glow, and the subtle crackling of a fireplace or your curated playlist in the background. As you sip on a cup of hot tea and bask in the ambiance, you’re not just decorating; you’re creating a cosy haven that whispers, “Welcome home.”


Hygge and Mental Well-Being 


In the realm of mental health, hygge is your secret weapon against the winter blues. Imagine a Sunday afternoon, you’ve created a cosy corner with soft blankets and warm lights. You’re not just physically comfortable; your mind is at ease. Hygge encourages mindfulness, urging you to be present in the moment. As you savour the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the pages of your favourite book, you’re not just practising self-care; you’re cultivating a mindset that says, “I deserve this moment of peace.”

For Us, the Young Adults Hustling Through Winter

The life of a young adult in winter – it’s like a constant juggling act, isn’t it?


Work, studies, social pressures – it’s enough to make anyone feel overwhelmed. That’s where hygge steps in as your silent supporter. It’s the warmth of a blanket fort on a lazy Sunday, the joy of a spontaneous game night with friends, and the aroma of comfort food that brings back memories of home. For us hustlers navigating the chaos of winter, hygge is not just a lifestyle; it’s a lifeline that keeps us anchored in moments of joy and comfort amidst the hustle.


Actions & Habits That Can Help Improve Mental & Emotional Well-Being During Winter


  1. Soak in Some Sunshine

   – Step outside, feel the daylight on your face – it’s like nature’s vitamin D for your mood.

   – Throw those curtains wide open, let the sun dance into your living space. Sunlight isn’t just for plants; it’s your mood’s best friend.

   – On those cloudy days or when the sun’s on vacation, consider a light therapy lamp. It’s like a little box of sunshine just for you. 

Quick tip: An easy search on Amazon will just do right!


  1. Move That Body

   – Let’s keep it real; we’re not all gym enthusiasts. But, even a little indoor dance party counts as a workout!

   – Yoga, winter sports, or just a stroll – pick what feels right. Your body releases those feel-good endorphins, and suddenly, everything’s a bit brighter.


  1. Eat Happy

   – You are what you eat, right? Load up on fruits, veggies, whole grains, and proteins – the fuel for a happy, balanced mood.

   – Fish and flaxseeds have these cool mood-boosting omega-3 fatty acids. They’re like your brain’s cheerleaders.


  1. Keep the Social Fires Burning

   – Winter can make us hermits, but resist the urge. Stay connected, even if it’s just virtual coffee dates or game nights.

   – Plan indoor activities that make you forget about the cold for a while. Laughter is the best winter warmer.

Our suggestion? Make some time for grabbing a small brunch or schedule a teleparty movie watching event from the comfort of your home. 


  1. Chill, Literally

   – Deep breaths, my friend. Try meditation, mindfulness, or just sitting quietly with your thoughts.

   – Stress is a snowball; nip it in the bud with these relaxation practices. Your mind will thank you.


  1. Make Your Space a Safe Haven

   – Blankets, soft lights, and hot cocoa – create your cosy corner.

   – Think of it as giving your living space a warm hug. Surround yourself with things that make you go, “Ahh, that’s better.”


  1. Goal Setting, 101

   – Break those tasks into bite-sized goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your to-do list doesn’t have to be conquered in one either.

   – Celebrate the little victories; they add up. And remember, if the day doesn’t go as planned, that’s life, not a fail.


  1. Sleep Like a Winter Baby

   – A consistent sleep routine is your ticket to dreamland. Your body loves schedules.

   – Set the mood for sleep – dim those lights, ditch the screens. Your mind will thank you by being all bright and alert the next day.


  1. Joyful Pastimes

   – Hobbies aren’t just for Instagram. They’re sanity savers. Read, craft, cook – do things that make your heart sing.

   – It’s not wasting time EVER if it’s investing in your happiness 🙂


  1. Professional Love When Needed

    – Last but not the least – No shame in asking for help. If winter blues linger, chat with a mental health pro. They’re like guides for your emotional snowstorm.

    – Therapy is not just for the big stuff; it’s your mental health tune-up. Because you deserve to feel good, all seasons.


Remember, it’s your winter, your rules. Let’s make it a season of self-love and good vibes.


It’s essential to listen to your body and mind during the winter months. Everyone’s experience is unique, so finding a combination of these strategies that works for you can contribute to a more positive and fulfilling winter season.


As winter unfolds its icy embrace, hygge beckons us to cultivate moments of warmth and connection. It’s not just a lifestyle; it’s a mindset that can significantly impact our mental well-being. So, grab your favourite blanket, light a few candles, and indulge in the cosy embrace of hygge. Your mental health will thank you.


This Winter, try and infuse some hygge lifestyle into your routine. If you find it challenging to get started, we’ll help you!

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