What is Hygge, and How It Can Help Your Mental Health

Everyone is talking about hygge these days. But, what is this mysterious word and how can it help you feel better? Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish way of living that can be roughly translated to mean coziness. So, this trend of hygge is really about making your life and home as cozy as possible. How could you not be into that?

Hygge isn’t just about feeling cozy; it can help your mental health as well. After all, Denmark (where hygge is originated from) has been voted the happiest country in the world. Here are some ways you can embrace hygge and improve your mental health: 

1.    Prioritize your sleep. To be as productive and healthy as possible, you need enough good quality sleep. Aim to get at least 8 hours of sleep at night and take naps whenever possible or needed. If you need some help getting or staying asleep, try taking magnesium or melatonin supplements to trigger your body’s natural sleep response. You can also diffuse lavender essential oil or rub it on your feet to calm yourself down before bed. Getting enough sleep can help you feel your best. 

2.    Give your home a cozy makeover. Make a list of things that make you feel the coziest and comfortable. These things could include candles, warm blankets, books, a warm fireplace, or calming music. You could also change the lighting in your home. Get away from bright, fluorescent lights and focus on warm, low lighting. 

3.    Speaking of music, a big part of hygge is music. Fill your home with your favorite tunes to keep you in a positive and calm mindset. Take headphones with you when you head somewhere that makes you feel anxious too. 

4.    Embrace the outdoors and fresh air. Hygge isn’t just about the coziness of your home. It is also about getting enough fresh air and outdoor time, which can be difficult this time of year. Even a 10-minute brisk walk outdoors has been shown time and time again through research to improve your health and your mood. So, bundle up and take a little walk to clear your mind throughout the day. 

5.    Take a social media detox. Taking time to take a break from screens can ease anxiety and depression because it helps you stay in the moment, gets you away from negativity and the comparison game. 

6.    Set aside time to do something that feels good. The average working week in Denmark is 8am-4pm, and they generally work less than Americans and spend more time taking care of themselves. Set time aside every single day to do something that nourishes your mind and body and helps you relax. This could be an evening bath, time to read a good book, watching your favorite TV show, getting a massage every month, or going out with friends.