A Hygge Practice Could Help You Beat Those Winter Blues

The winter season is an excellent time to spend with family and friends and create a cozy ambiance with scents, lighting, and sound effects. The method is beneficial during this season when shorter daylight hours and stressful holidays can cause mood drops. Natalie Dattilo, a Harvard clinical health psychologist, describes hygge as a mindset that prioritizes togetherness, affection, slow living, gratitude, and contentment.

World Happiness reports rank Nordic countries like Denmark as the happiest. Getting isolated and depressed would be easy. Jaime Kurtz, a clinical psychologist at James Madison University, said hygge helps them cope with long, dark winters. Social connection is one way to practice hygge.

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Clinical psychologist Pauline Wallin says that social connection and gratitude are the most important factors correlated with happiness. Social bonding and well-being can be increased through sharing and enjoying meals together. It doesn’t mean you have to overextend yourself socially.

It can evoke similar feelings in the right environment, even if you cannot physically be with your loved ones. Wallin said, “It is possible to remember family and friends at different times of one’s life while eating, drinking, and inhaling comforting aromas.” In the same way that smell and memory are closely related, so is music.

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Dattilo said, “Make sure your environment is filled with the smells you love and provide comfort. Think sugar cookies, spices, or chicken noodle soup.” It is also possible to improve the ambiance of a room by choosing the proper lighting. Researchers have found that people tend to perceive warmer lights as more relaxing.

Augustin explained that soft textures are relaxing to the touch. A cozy pair of pajamas, a soft blanket, or a pair of fuzzy socks might come to mind. Kurtz suggests turning to hygge to combat long nights and chilly weather. She said, “Embrace the weather! Light a fire, wear soft clothing, make a warm beverage and snuggle a pet or a loved one.”