Have you heard the word “hygge” before?
I mean, if you’ve been on Pinterest at all in the last year I’m sure you’ve seen it a time or two – it’s everywhere (I’ve got a whole Pinterest board dedicated to it). But, if you Google the word, one of the first questions that pops up is “what the hell is Hygge?” (seriously, I laughed out loud), so it may not be as familiar to everyone as it is to those of us who have become obsessed with it.
“Hygge” is a Danish word that describes a moment or a feeling that is cozy, special, and comfortable. We don’t have an equivalent in English, but the closest word would be “cozy”. It’s that feeling you get when you’re snuggling with your partner on the couch, or when you light your favorite candle and settle in with a glass of tea. It’s the way you feel when you’re belting your favorite song while you’re cooking dinner and sipping some delicious wine, or how you never want to leave your bed on a rainy Saturday morning.
I love everything about the concept of hygge, and I take intentional steps to bring more of it into my life and home on a regular basis. But, it does take effort – hygge is something we all want more of but we’re often too busy to recognize it when it happens. So, in an effort to help you bring a little more hygge into your life, I thought it would be fun to put together this little 7-day hygge challenge.
Each activity will only take a few minutes to prep for, but it will make your day feel way more special. They’re all things you can do in the evening after work, and they’re guaranteed to make your days feel way more hygge.
7-Day Hygge Challenge
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DAY ONE: Light a few candles throughout your house, turn on some music, and pour yourself a glass of wine (or tea, if wine isn’t your thing) while you cook dinner. Even the most annoying everyday tasks can feel much more special if you put a little effort in. I find that candles and music are easily the best way to make your home feel a bit cozier.
DAY TWO: Have a family movie night – and make it special! All it takes to bring things to the next level is a tiny bit of effort, I promise. Pop some popcorn, grab some candy from the gas station on your way home, and bring out every blanket in the house. Make a pallet on the floor for the kids and cozy up on the couch for a fun family movie that the kids have never seen before – bonus points if it’s one of your childhood favorites (Jackson loves Labyrinth and Wizard of Oz!).
DAY THREE: Ask your partner to take over the kids’ bedtime (or wait until after you’ve put them down) and settle in for a long bath. Don’t forget the bath oils (this is my favorite), bath salts, and anything else that makes things feel a little more special (here are a few tips on how I made the bathroom in our last house feel like a spa). Don’t forget a good book!
DAY FOUR: Get baking. There’s nothing like a sugary and warm treat fresh from the oven to make you feel all of the cozy feelings, so do a little digging on Pinterest and find a fun new recipe that you can try out. I love to involve my son in baking adventures (here are a few tips on how I do it), but you could also pop on a movie to keep the kids busy if you’d rather do it solo. My favorite thing to bake is plain ol’ chocolate chip cookies (I use the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag – you know, Phoebe’s grandmother’s secret recipe), but we also love these brownies (I use a simpler recipe for the brownies themselves and just follow this for the topping), and these s’mores bars.
DAY FIVE: Get outside for a long walk. After dinner, grab the family (and the pets, if you’ve got ’em!) and head outside to wander the neighborhood a bit. Pick some wildflowers, take a few photos, and let the kids run some energy off. We’ve got a small park near our house that has a great area for the dogs to play, and we love to take the whole family out there.
DAY SIX: Call a friend. A big part of hygge is about connections and relationships, and it feels good to be intentional about connecting with a friend. Choose someone you haven’t talked to in a while, set aside a few minutes to chat, and give them a call. I know, I know. We all prefer texting, but there’s nothing like actually hearing a friend’s voice to really connect you. If the friend is local I give you permission to text them to ask them to meet you in person for coffee, but try to make some effort to go beyond just a quick text – it tells your friend you’re thinking about them, and even if you hate talking on the phone, I promise it’ll feel good to catch up with someone.
DAY SEVEN: For the finale of your hygge week, it’s time to spend an entire evening without screens. Turn off the television, put your phone away, and turn on some music. Pull out some board games and settle in for an evening of quality time with your family. If you need some recommendations, here are a few of my favorite family board games. I promise – there’s nothing that will connect your family like a good board game!
If you’re still looking for some ideas for how to bring more hygge into your life after you complete this challenge, I wrote this post with some basic ways to make your life more hygge, and this post on how to hygge in the summer. I’m all about this concept, and it feels really good to be intentional about adding some coziness to your life.
Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to light some extra candles, cozy up on the couch, and stay in your pajamas a little longer?