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Hygge: How to Enjoy Being Stuck Inside

Although we’ve enjoyed a few unseasonably warm days recently (75 degrees?! Heaven!), Williamsburg is definitely still in winter mode. This is where hygge comes in. Pronounced “hoo-gah,” hygge is THE Danish trend sweeping the nation right now. In essence, hygge is the concept of enjoying coziness. It transforms the idea of staying inside because of the cold into a relaxing, warm, inviting experience to enjoy.  Articles and even books about hygge are all the rage right now (for example: The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Cup of Jo).

Here are some of my favorite ways to create hygge:

  1. Make a blanket fort. One of my SOE friends went so far as to put a TV inside hers. I did not want to leave.

  2. Do a clean sweep. A few weeks ago, my roommate (bless her) spent two hours helping me sort through clothes, books, and random things that somehow appeared in my room and then box it all up for Goodwill. I felt less stressed afterwards… and also like I need to do another clean sweep. (How does next weekend sound, Molly?)

  3. Spend time on Pinterest. Pinterest is a magical place where you can design your own dream home, wardrobe, vacation, menu, career, or whatever else for free. Bonus points if you get motivated on Pinterest and then set legit goals afterwards to make your wildest Pinterest dreams come true.

  4. Nurture something. Cuddle with your dog or cat, take care of a plant, make faces at a goldfish through the tank. Don’t have any of the above? Borrow one from a friend. (Make them drive so that you can stay inside.)

  5. Movie marathon. Pick a really random theme (old-school inspirational sports movies, B rated horror movies, Disney Channel classics from your childhood, Thanksgiving themed movies, whatever) and spend the day enjoying them with popcorn, hot chocolate, and as many blankets as you can find (unless you used them all for your fort).

  6. Call or Skype someone you care about. This is a prime time for catching up with your cousin in Wisconsin, your best friend in California, or your parents in Florida. Let their love warm you up.

  7. Make a bucket list. Plan out all of the things you’ll do once the temperature breaks 50 degrees. Heck, you can even buy tickets if you’re really feeling gung ho. Write them down now before you get distracted by being outside in the sunshine next month.

  8. Do one adult thing that you’ll be really proud of. Learn how cook a perfect chocolate cake, figure out how to do financial stuff (a good book to start with is “The Wealthy Barber” by David Chilton, although fair warning, it’s super cheesy), update your LinkedIn, or finally wash all those “hand wash only” clothes that have been piling up in your closet. You’ll be so proud! You totally got this.

  9. Practice that thing that you really want to get good at but are scared to try around other people. In my group of friends, that looks like cooking, singing, painting, writing poetry, and/or twerking. Pick at your own risk.

  10. Set dares with your group of friends. Each person gets to dare one other person to do something (safe) by the end of the day. This usually ends with lots of funny stories and unexpected adventures.

Stay warm and enjoy the last leg of winter, friends!