When the concept of hygge made its way to the U.S. a few years ago, I was delighted. Winter has always been a tough season for me, mainly because I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, but the idea of savoring the season’s inherent coziness really appeals to me. Though we tend to think of it as a purely winter concept, the Danish know that hygge can be enjoyed all year long. At its heart, hygge is simply about slowing down and enjoying time alone or with those around us. It’s not about perfection, but about making everyday moments special. There’s certainly nothing seasonal about that!
If fickle spring weather has you feeling like winter might never end, then take a look at a few of our favorite ways to lighten up gray, rainy days — and celebrate the warm sunny ones, too.
1. Bring the outdoors in
If you don’t already have a houseplant or two, let hygge be your excuse for bringing one home. Not only will they cheer up your living space, but they’ve been shown to improve mood, concentration, and reduce stress levels. Many species are also excellent detoxifiers, ridding the air in your home from dangerous indoor pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene. Don’t have a green thumb? Worry not. Champion detoxifiers like snake and spider plants are extremely difficult to kill, making them perfect for beginners.
2. Update your candle
Nothing says hygge more than a candlelit room, and spring doesn’t mean you have to pack them away until next winter. Simply update your scents for the season with lighter, fresh fragrances like Rosewater Driftwood or Tangelo Palm Frond.
3. Sip up spring
Winter hygge is all about getting cozy by the fire with a mug of cocoa or a glass of mulled wine. This spring, try out a refreshing, infused, beverage recipe, like a lavender lemonade, cucumber mint spritzer, or share a bottle of cold rosé with some of your favorite friends.
4. Refresh your fabrics
You won’t need your heavy knit blankets as the temperatures rise, but you can still get cozy under a light throw. Brighten up your home with lighter colored accents, too. Swap dark throw pillows for pale yellow and mint green, update your comforter with a floral duvet or hang some spring-themed hand towels in your kitchen. A warm and welcoming living space will make you happier at home — whether the sun is shining or spring showers are drizzling.
5. Enjoy a seasonal treat
In winter, the Danes love gathering with friends or family to bake and enjoy a flaky pastry or a decadent cake. Invite some friends over to help you bake (or just eat!) a seasonal springtime treat like cheesecake, strawberry pie, or a tray of lemon bars. Remember — these treats don’t have to be Instagram-worthy. Making and savoring them with loved ones is the real hygge experience.
6. Pack a picnic
Hygge is all about savoring the moment, and what better way than to make a meal the main event? Take advantage of nice weather days and pack up a picnic to take to the park or just your own backyard. It’ll be a refreshing change of pace from meals at the table or a hurried bite at the sink. Up the hygge by packing seasonal treats like chilled asparagus soup or purple potato salad with green beans. Slow down and enjoy conversation as well as springtime sights, sounds, and smells.
7. Get back on your bike
Has your bicycle been hibernating since November? Take advantage of warmer weather by leaving your car at home and taking your bike instead. Whether you’re running an errand or just exploring a new neighborhood, a bicycle ride is a great way to get mindful. You’ll be surprised at all the things you notice when you’re moving slower and don’t have a windshield in the way.
8. Play outside
Winter hygge calls for gathering loved ones around a board game while the wind howls and the snow blows outside. In spring, gather up some friends or your family for an outdoor game. Whether it’s travel Scrabble on a picnic blanket, giant Jenga at the neighborhood bar, or a few rounds of cornhole in the backyard, you’ll be making memories and feeling that springtime hygge before you know it.
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