+
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.

popular

10 anti-holiday recipes that prove the season can be tasty and healthy

Balance out heavy holiday eating with some lighter—but still delicious—fare.

Albertson's

Lighten your calorie load with some delicious, nutritious food between big holiday meals.

True

The holiday season has arrived with its cozy vibe, joyous celebrations and inevitable indulgences. From Thanksgiving feasts to Christmas cookie exchanges to Aunt Eva’s irresistible jelly donuts—not to mention leftover Halloween candy still lingering—fall and winter can feel like a non-stop gorge fest.

Total resistance is fairly futile—let’s be real—so it’s helpful to arm yourself with ways to mitigate the effects of eating-all-the-things around the holidays. Serving smaller amounts of rich, celebratory foods and focusing on slowly savoring the taste is one way. Another is to counteract those holiday calorie-bomb meals with some lighter fare in between.

Contrary to popular belief, eating “light” doesn’t have to be tasteless, boring or unsatisfying. And contrary to common practice, meals don’t have to fill an entire plate—especially when we’re trying to balance out heavy holiday eating.

It is possible to enjoy the bounties of the season while maintaining a healthy balance. Whether you prefer to eat low-carb or plant-based or gluten-free or everything under the sun, we’ve got you covered with these 10 easy, low-calorie meals from across the dietary spectrum.

Each of these recipes has less than 600 calories (most a lot less) per serving and can be made in less than 30 minutes. And Albertsons has made it easy to find O Organics® ingredients you can put right in your shopping cart to make prepping these meals even simpler.

Enjoy!

eggs and green veggies in a skillet, plate of baconNot quite green eggs and ham, but closeAlbertsons

Breakfast Skillet of Greens, Eggs & Ham

273 calories | 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 (5 oz) pkg baby spinach

2 eggs

1 clove garlic

4 slices prosciutto

1/2 medium yellow onion

1 medium zucchini squash

1/8 cup butter, unsalted

1 pinch crushed red pepper

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bow of cauliflower ham saladGet your cauliflower power on.Albertsons

Creamy Cauliflower Salad with Ham, Celery & Dill

345 calories | 20 minutes

1/2 medium head cauliflower

1 stick celery

1/4 small bunch fresh dill

8 oz. ham steak, boneless

1/2 shallot

1/4 tspblack pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/8 tsp paprika

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

tofu on skewers on a plate with coleslawPlant-based food fan? This combo looks yums. Albertsons

Grilled Chili Tofu Skewers with Ranch Cabbage, Apple & Cucumber Slaw

568 calories | 20 minutes

1 avocado

1/2 English cucumber

1 (12 oz.) package extra firm tofu

1 Granny Smith apple

3 Tbsp (45 ml) Ranch dressing

1/2 (14 oz bag) shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)

2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

frittata in a cast iron skilletSometimes you just gotta frittata.Albertsons

Bell Pepper, Olive & Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata with Parmesan

513 calories | 25 minutes

6 eggs

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

2 oz Parmesan cheese

1 red bell pepper

1/2 medium red onion

8 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with slices of grilled chicken and a caprese saladCaprese, if you please.Albertsons

Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Classic Caprese Salad

509 calories | 25 minutes

3/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

1/2 small pkg fresh basil

1/2 (8 oz pkg) fresh mozzarella cheese

1 clove garlic

3 tomatoes

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 3/4 pinches black pepper

1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

four stuffed mushrooms on a plateThese mushrooms look positively poppable.Albertsons

Warm Goat Cheese, Parmesan & Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Mushrooms

187 calories | 35 minutes

1/2 lb cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 sundried tomatoes, oil-packed

1 1/4 pinches crushed red pepper

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp Italian seasoning

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with open English muffin with goat cheese and sliced baby tomatoes on topMove over, avocado toast. English muffin pizzas have arrived.Albertsons

English Muffin Pizzas with Basil Pesto, Goat Cheese & Tomatoes

327 calories | 10 minutes

3 Tbsp (45 ml) basil pesto

2 English muffins

1/2 (4 oz) log goat cheese

1/2 pint grape tomatoes

3/4 pinch black pepper

2 pinches salt

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

pita pocket on a plate filled with veggies, meat and cheeseThis pita pocket packs a colorful punch.Albertsons

Warm Pita Pocket with Turkey, Cheddar, Roasted Red Peppers & Parsley

313 calories | 20 minutes

1/4 (8 oz) block cheddar cheese

1/2 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

4 oz oven roasted turkey breast, sliced

1/2 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers

1 whole grain pita

3/4 pinch black pepper

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp mayonnaise

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

plate with toast smeared with avocado and topped with prosciuttoDid we say, "Move over, avocado toast?" What we meant was "Throw some prosciutto on it!" Albertsons

Avocado Toast with Crispy Prosciutto

283 calories | 10 minutes

1 avocado

2 slices prosciutto

2 slices whole grain bread

1 5/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

bowl of chili with cheese and green onions on topVegetarian chili with a fall twistAlbertsons

Black Bean & Pumpkin Chili with Cheddar

444 calories | 30 minutes

2 (15 oz can) black beans

1/2 (8 oz ) block cheddar cheese

2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

2 green bell peppers

1 small bunch green onions (scallions)

1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin purée

1 medium yellow onion

1/2 tsp black pepper

5 7/8 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp cumin, ground

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil

Find full instructions and shopping list here.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, visit albertsons.com/recipes.

Family

'Broke mom' gives the 'holiday gift guide' that everyone struggling needs to hear

"Maybe we should all be a little bit more honest this holiday season because you don't know who you'd be helping."

@shawtgal49/TikTok

A broke mom" explains her personal "holiday gift guide."

Almost everyone, at least once in their lives, enters a holiday season with very little money to spend on gifts. Unexpected medical expenses, job loss, everything breaking down all at once—we’ve all been there to some extent.

And yet, when December 25th makes its way into the periphery, many put themselves further into the red by buying items that no way match their budget. Or, there’s a sense of shame when telling family and friends that it simply can’t be done this year.

But one mom is perfectly unfazed about owning up to whatever financial realities exist for her and her family, and she is encouraging others to have the same mindset.

Keep ReadingShow less

Rsearcher and author Dr. Brené Brown

Dr. Brené Brown gave a talk to the Royal Society for Arts in 2013 called “The Power of Vulnerability,” where she explained that only by embracing vulnerability and imperfection can we live life with courage and authenticity.

Brown is a research professor known for her studies on courage, vulnerability and empathy. She is the author of several books including, "The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" and "Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts."

One of the most powerful moments in Brown’s talk was when she described the difference between empathy and sympathy. To a lot of people, those concepts seem to be synonymous. However, in this video, Brown explains why “empathy fuels connection while sympathy drives disconnection.”

Keep ReadingShow less
@brett.gaffney/TikTok

Brett Gaffney recalls how his grandma's Christmas gift nearly got him arrested at the airport.

Look, when grandma hands you a special mystery gift, and tells you not to open it until you get home, you do what grandma says. Consequences be damned.

That was certainly the case for Los Angeles-based actor Brett Gaffney. Only his obedience made for some awkward moments at airport security.

In a viral TikTok video, Gaffney is seen at the airport, a large briefcase nestled beside him, as he explains how his Grandma had accidentally been trying to get him “arrested” with her surprise gift. Turns out, this gift had more than one surprise to bestow.
Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Kids in 1966 shared their predictions for the year 2000 and it's fascinating to see now

In many ways, the future turned out much brighter than these youngsters expected it to.

Thankfully, this girl's prediction was way off.

The idea of predicting the future has been the subject of countless books, movies and televisions shows (and is basically the basis of all gambling). Outside of a few uncanny instances, no one can tell exactly what the future holds, especially for the world at large. But people sure love to predict it anyway.

The BBC shared a video compilation of kids in 1966 sharing what they imagine the year 2000 would be like, and their predictions are fascinating. After five or six kids share, it becomes clear what some of the most pressing concerns of the 1960s were. Some kids thought we'd have bombed ourselves into oblivion. Others believed we'd be so overpopulated we would be packed like sardines and wouldn't be able to build houses anymore.

Not all of the predictions were so dark. Some kids had some hilarious predictions about cabbage pills and robots. Others thought we'd have better cures for diseases and less segregation among the races, which we have.

Keep ReadingShow less
via @behindyourback / Twitter

Maura Quint shares about men responding appropriately.


For anyone who thinks stories of sexual harassment and assault are complicated, writer Maura Quint has a story for you. Actually, she has quite a few.

Quint posted a thread on her Twitter account that quickly went viral in which she talked about a number of real-life encounters with men that started out sexual, involved her expressing disinterest, and the men responding appropriately.

Keep ReadingShow less
Image from YouTube video.

An emotional and strong Matt Diaz.


Matt Diaz has worked extremely hard to lose 270 pounds over the past six years.

But his proudest moment came in March 2015 when he decided to film himself with his shirt off to prove an important point about body positivity and self-love.

Keep ReadingShow less