+
upworthy
Health

7 practical tips for creating more hygge in your home

Embrace the winter season with cozy comfort and connection, Denmark-style.

warm lights and candles on a window sill

Hygge is an aesthetic, an atmosphere and an experience all at once.

Some people love everything about winter—the brisk air, the frosty trees, the long evenings. Others loathe the frigid winter months and have to be dragged through them, kicking their fur-lined snow boots all the way.

If you’re one of the latter, I’ve got bad news. Winter happens whether we like it or not—always has and always will. So rather than fight it, perhaps a better approach is to embrace it—or at least the good parts about it. Leaning into indoor warmth and playing up cozy comfort and connection make the dark, cold months much more bearable.

That’s the idea behind the Danish concept of hygge, which encourages slowing down, appreciating the simple things, and creating a warm, inviting haven of comfort in your home. Many of us have become familiar with hygge in recent years, but we may not know how to actually make it happen. There's no one right or wrong way to create hygge, but here are seven practical tips for bringing more of it into your home.


1. Maximize natural light—but also add string lights

string lights in front of a window

When in doubt, add more string lights.

Photo by Shashi Chaturvedula on Unsplash

We get less sunlight in the winter, so during the day, we need to maximize whatever natural light we have. Keep curtains open and keep your windows unobstructed during the day.

Then add more light! Fairy lights/string lights/twinkle lights—whatever you prefer to call them—aren’t just for Christmas and they add so much warmth to a space, even during the day. Drape them around the windows, across the mantle, along the wall or wherever it makes sense to put them. Also, once night hits, opt for lamps instead of overhead lights, which can feel cold and harsh.

2. Introduce soft, plush textures

woman reading under a fluffy blanket

The fluffier and softer the better

Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

Plush blankets, fur pillows, throws made from sheepskin or cotton—all the things you’d want to cuddle up with add to hygge. Decor elements made out of natural materials like woven baskets, wooden accents, and textured rugs also enhance the warm hygge aesthetic.

3. Bring the outdoors indoors

\u200bPine and pinecone sitting on a table

Bringing in plants doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.

Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

We bring fresh flowers indoors in spring and summer, but often neglect to think of plants as decor in winter. But bringing the outdoors in with potted plants and boughs of greenery promotes a sense of calm and well-being. Even just some simple pinecones or sprigs of pine can add a lot to the atmosphere.

4. Embrace candles and soothing scents

candles on a table

Candles warm up any space immediately.

Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

Candles are a hygge essential, adding a warm glow and tranquility to any space. Even battery-operated flameless candles help with hygge if you aren’t able to use real candles in your space. Naturally scented candles or essential oil diffusers in soothing scents like lavender, vanilla or cinnamon can make the hygge experience multi-sensory, enhancing the calming effect.

5. Invite people over for a cozy, casual hangout

four friends laughing and hanging out

Keep company casual.

Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

Warmth and coziness isn’t just about decor, it’s about well-being, and a hygge atmosphere really shines when you’re connecting with people. So have a get together, but keep it simple. Invite a few friends or family members over for a cup of cocoa. Maybe play a classic board game. Bake cookies together and enjoy them. Or just sit by the fire or the candles and chat. Invite them to come in their jammies if you want. Keep it casual and cozy.

6. Create a hygge corner for yourself

pillows, books and candle on a window seat

Make yourself a cozy personal space all your own.

Photo by allison christine on Unsplash

“Connection” also means connecting with yourself. Designate a specific area of your home as your personal hygge haven. Maybe you create a cozy reading nook, a quiet meditation spot, or a comfy armchair by a window. Fill it with books, artwork or cherished mementos that bring you joy.

7. Indulge in self-care with simple rituals

woman in sweater holding a mug

Cozy up with your favorite cup.

Photo by allison christine on Unsplash

Again, hygge isn’t just an aesthetic; it’s an attitude of embracing simple pleasures. What basic self-care rituals can you add to your daily routine? Maybe a warm cup of tea? Reading by a fireplace? A candlelight bath? Writing in a journal? Focus on self-care activities that promote peace and well-being.

Hygge isn't about accumulating specific possessions or achieving a certain style; it's about purposefully creating an atmosphere that nurtures comfort, contentment and well-being. Winter really is easier to get through when you lean into the season, which means slowing down, comforting all of your senses and giving yourself the gift of cozy, tranquil connection with yourself or with others.

Sponsored

From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

True

Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.


Time travel back to 1905.

Back in 1905, a book called "The Apples of New York" was published by the New York State Department of Agriculture. It featured hundreds of apple varieties of all shapes, colors, and sizes, including Thomas Jefferson's personal favorite, the Esopus Spitzenburg.






Keep ReadingShow less
Canva

Unsolicited opinions aren't just annoying. They can be hurtful.

Sure, parents sometimes make some…interesting choices when it comes to naming their child. But the key word there is choice. It probably should go without saying that it’s not the best move to insert an opinion on something rather personal and vulnerable, especially when that opinion is not requested.

But nonetheless, people do cross this boundary, expressing their disapproval and giving new moms and dads yet another reason to second guess themselves.

As one frustrated mom shared on Reddit, her own in-laws gave what she described as the “most unhinged” reaction to her newborn’s name, leaving her and her husband completely “crushed.”
Keep ReadingShow less
Health

Interesting video explains why people looked a lot older in the past than they do today

Were people unhealthy? Did they spend too much time in the sun?

Norm was only in his 30s?

Ever look at your parents' high school yearbooks and think people looked so much older back then? All of the teenagers look like they’re in their mid-30s and the teachers who are 50 look like they’re 80.

When we watch older movies, even those from the 1980s, the teenagers appear to be a lot older as well.

Why is it that they looked so much older? Was life harder? Did people act more mature? Did they spend more time outdoors and less time playing video games? Is it their sense of fashion? Were they all smokers?

Keep ReadingShow less

Elizabeth wants to know if she's "terrible" or a "genius."

While it is lovely to have friends and family members give your children toys for holidays and birthdays, they can pile up and take over entire rooms of the house. Plus, many parents are mindful of their kids having too many playthings because they don’t want them to be spoiled.

Elizabeth, an actress and popular TikTokker, accidentally came across a Christmas regifting hack that prevents toy pile-up and she’s not sure whether it makes her the hero or the villain in her story.

“I'm doing something super controversial for my kids’ birthday and Christmas presents this year,” she said in a post with over 1.5 million views. “Half of me is like, 'You're a terrible person, you're crossing the line,' and the other half is like, 'You are a literal genius.'"

Keep ReadingShow less

Teresa Kaye Newman thinks that Boomer parents were right about a few things.

Teresa Kaye Newman, a teacher about to have a son, knows a lot about how to deal with children. So she created a list of 11 things she agrees with Boomers on when it comes to raising kids.

Newman believes she has credibility on the issue because she has 13 years of experience dealing with “hundreds and hundreds” of other people’s kids and has seen what happens when her so-called “Boomer” parenting principles aren’t implemented.

Of course, Newman is using some broad stereotypes in calling for a return to Boomer parenting ideas when many Gen X, Millennial and Gen Z parents share the same values. But, as someone who deals with children every day, she has the right to point out that today’s kids are entitled and spend too much time staring at screens.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Over-the-top school dress-up weeks have parents feeling grinchy

The holidays are busy enough without throwing "dress as your favorite Christmas song" into the mix.

Time to rein in the school dress-up days, folks.

Hey, kids! Happy December! We know that school can feel like drudgery, and it's been a few months since school started, and we want you to not hate coming here, so we decided to do something fun and festive that we think will create a sense of school pride and spirit! It's school dress-up week!

What this means is that during the busiest time of the year, when your parents are already up to their ears in holiday prep, shopping for and wrapping gifts, planning and attending work parties and end-of-year recitals and concerts, trying to navigate the emotional complexities of holiday family drama, trying to make your Christmas magical by moving that frickin' Elf on the Shelf every night, etc., we're going to add to the to-do list by pressuring them to help you come up with specific outfits to wear to school for an entire week. Doesn't that sound neat?

Dress-up weeks are fun on paper, and they can be fun when they're kept super simple. "Wear red or green!" is easy enough. "Dress as your favorite Christmas character!" though? Not so much.

Keep ReadingShow less