There’s something about fall that makes us want to slow down, rest a little, and renew our spirit. Maybe it’s because it comes so close on the heels of a hectic summer. Or perhaps it’s the cooler days and changing colors that call for coziness, cuddles, and catching up on self-care.
Hygge is the perfect way to do just that – slow down, cozy up, and indulge in some feel-good-all-over self care.
So What Exactly is ‘Hygge’?
Pronounced ‘hoo-gah’, hygge is a Danish concept that exploded in popularity around the world thanks to ‘The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets To Happy Living‘, written by Meik Wiking.
Hygge cannot be translated literally. There’s no one word that describes it adequately. According to Meik Wiking, “the true essence of hygge is the pursuit of everyday happiness”. It encompasses a feeling of well-being, happiness, and cozy contentment brought about by enjoying the simple things in life.
The Danes should know. Denmark regularly features among the top 5 in the list of the world’s happiest countries, published every year by the World Happiness Report. The Danes believe in simplifying their life in order to bring in more positivity, comfort, and contentment. They focus on the small things that really matter, including spending more quality time with family and friends.
Hygge is all about being cozy, warm, comfortable, positive, and happy. It’s about simplifying materials possessions, spending more time with family and friends, and making time to sit in front of the fire sipping on hot pumpkin spice lattes while snuggling under a warm blanket.
These quotes explain the meaning of Hygge perfectly:
“In a nutshell, it is a Danish word for finding happiness in the little things in life”― Marie Tourell Søderberg, Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness
“Hygge is all about appreciating the little things in life and being thankful for them.” – Sofie Pedersen
“Hygge was never meant to be translated—it was meant to be felt”― Pia Edberg, The Cozy Life: Rediscover the Joy of the Simple Things Through the Danish Concept of Hygge
“Hygge is like a good hug — but without the physical contact”― Iben Dissing Sandahl, The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids
If you haven’t incorporated the concept of hygge into your life yet, fall is the perfect time to start.
Here are some a few ways to practice hygge and bring on that cozy feeling this fall.
1. Fill Your Home with Fall Aromas
Filling your home with the scents of fall is one of the best ways to create that warm and cozy feeling indoors.
As the weather turns cooler, it’s time to ditch those light and refreshing citrus and floral aromas that are great for summer. Fall calls for warmer, spicier scents that remind you of home-baked treats, vanilla chai latte, pumpkin spice, and that distinctive fall forest aroma.
There are several ways you can enjoy fall scents in your home to practice hygge during this season.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Light Fall-Scented Candles – Candles are integral to creating a hygge atmosphere at home. They create a wonderfully cozy ambiance too. For this season, choose fall-scented candles scents that light up the room with a soft glow while also filling it with the warm and inviting aromas of autumn. These Fabulous Fall-Scented Candles are perfect for the purpose.
Diffuse Fall Essential Oils & Blends – Adding a few drops of these Fabulous Fall Essential Oils and Blends is another easy way to fill your home with the scents of the season. While lighting candles all day long may be impractical, there are no such restrictions with using a diffuser. Besides creating your own blend, you’ll find some great seasonal diffuser blends in this ‘All The Fall’ Collection from Plant Therapy.
Schedule a Spa Day – A spa day can be as simple or as luxurious as you want. Some ideas you can run with – have a bath with essential oils (don’t forget to light candles), give yourself a foot massage, show your skin some TLC with these fall-scented body butters and skin crèmes. Don’t forget to pamper your lips too. This all-natural, deliciously flavored Maple Bar Natural Lip Balm is perfect for fall.
Make a Fall Simmer Pot – Making a fall simmer pot is surprisingly simple. Add these ingredients into a pot of water – orange rinds, cinnamon sticks, clove buds, grated nutmeg, crushed ginger, apple slices, rosemary, and any other fall spices you happen to have on hand. Put the pot of water on the stove and let it simmer on low heat. The aroma it gives out as it simmers will depend on the ingredients you’ve added in the water. Let it simmer over the stove for a while, then turn the heat off and leave the pot open to let those wonderful warm spicy aromas waft off gently.
Bake with Fall Spices – If you want to do actual baking instead of making a simmer pot, you can do that as well! Bake your favorite pumpkin pie, gingerbread cookies, or apple crumb to get those smells wafting throughout your home.
Put Out Fall-Scented Potpourri – Big bowls with fall-scented potpourri adds a touch of fall décor while also giving off cozy fall aromas.
2. Bring Cozy into Your Home
Hygge is all about being cozy and comfortable in your environment. A really easy way to do that during the fall is to bring the cozy and simplicity into your home.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
Add Lots of Blankets and Pillows – This is definitely a must-have for hygge – especially in the fall. Blankets and pillows create a warm and cozy look in any room, and they also make it easier for you to snuggle in, any time you feel like it. Adding throw pillows of different sizes and shapes helps create a more casual and homely environment rather than looking contrived.
Decorate for the Season – Switching out those light summer décor pieces with warmer colors is the easiest way to decorate for the season. And what a difference it makes! Add pops of orange, yellow, brown, and red for pillow covers, table coverings, and throws. Decorate with pumpkins, gourds, squash, and baskets of apples to add that distinctive autumnal touch.
Bring Nature Indoors – Spending time outdoors is incredibly calming, refreshing, and re-energizing. It helps you de-stress and kindles sparks of creativity. Bringing nature indoors will help you get all of those benefits all day long. Some ideas to get you started – fill a vase with wildflowers or create a scented wreath with leaves, twigs, and pinecones you’ve gathered on your walks.
Lay Out Some Great Books – Since you are looking to relax and live a simplistic life in the fall with hygge, consider reading more, and watching less TV. Pick some good books in whatever genre you enjoy most. Lay them around on tables and chairs to encourage you to read them more often.
3. Indulge in Fall Treats
There are so many wonderful things about cooking and baking during the fall season, from the smell of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to baking cookies with your kids and cooking your favorite comfort foods.
To practice hygge in the fall, don’t underestimate the power of food, family, and being together during this time of year. Enjoy quiet evenings at home by baking gingerbread cookies, apple muffins, or pumpkin pie with your kids, or inviting friends over for a dinner party with all your favorite comfort foods of the season.
You can even keep it healthy by going for more fresh produce of the season and focusing on fall superfoods.
4. Get That Fireplace Started
Staring up the fireplace beats using a heater any time! It heats up your home while also create a more hygge atmosphere. Even if you don’t have a traditional fireplace, you can always put in an electric one. While you won’t get the same smells and warmth from it, it still provides that atmosphere and ambiance you are going for. A small portable fireplace will work just fine too!
A fireplace also encourages more family time. Have you noticed that when the fireplace is going, people tend to gravitate toward it? It creates this wonderful ambiance in the family room where everyone wants to gather in the same room to sit quietly and watch a movie or just do their own thing, while still being together. That is the beauty of having a fireplace.
Hygge is all about comfort and simplifying things. If you want to go for soft lighting, you don’t always have to replace all your lamps for the fall season. An easier option is to turn off most of the lights in the room, then start up your fireplace. This is going to offer enough light to see, without taking away from your relaxing and happy atmosphere.
5. Experience Fall Outdoors
Yes, hygge can definitely be taken outdoors! It’s not restricted to staying indoors while cuddling under a blanket in front of the fire. Hygge is the practice of unwinding and finding a calm and positive mindset, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
During the fall, you can also practice hygge by going outside and enjoying seasonal activities with friends and family. The important thing is that you are happy and enjoying life with the people you love. Always focus on the positive and continue expressing your gratitude.
Some fun fall outdoor activities that will help you practice hygge:
Go apple picking
Spend a day at a pumpkin patch
Plan fall hikes and bike rides
Organize a picnic at the park
6. Enjoy Warm Drinks
This is a very simple activity you can incorporate into your daily routine in the fall season. Nothing feels as good as a cup of coffee or homemade cocoa when you are trying to get cozy and relax indoors, especially on a cold rainy day.
7. Schedule Down Time Into Your Day
Sometimes you have to make time for relaxation. It may seem crazy but practicing hygge doesn’t always happen organically. People live busy lives and rarely leave time for themselves.
If you need to, schedule downtime into your day, if not every day at least once a week. Tell everyone that this is your time and you do not want to be disturbed. Do your part by switching off your phone and computer and indulge in a favorite hobby or just sit back and listen to some of your favorite music.
8. Start Journaling
Fall is the season to be thankful for all the abundance in our lives. Instead of just thinking about what we are grateful for, how about writing it all down in a journal? You can read more about using gratitude to change your life by reading 21 Gratitude Quotes to Unlock Your Blessings.
9. Create Family Memories
Lastly, remember to make family memories during the fall season if you want to practice more hygge. This is a wonderful season for spending more time with family and friends. From celebrating holidays that take place in the fall, to cozy family game nights or backyard rambles, there’s a lot you can do.