When it comes to the best time of the year for hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), a Danish concept made popular by Meik Wiking and his best-selling novel, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well, spring gets a bad rap.
That’s because winter is known for all things comforting. Think cozying up next to a fireplace with a warm blanket, freshly baked cookies and a cup of hot chocolate as you watch white snow blanket the streets outside. Luckily, though, when it comes to optimal hygge time, spring seems to be next in line.
Now before you scrunch your face and utter the words, “wait, what?” hear us out. Spring may also be known as the season of pesky allergies and the mad dash to lose weight and perfect our summer bodies, but it’s also a time of cleansing and renewal.
The days are longer, the weather is warmer, and nature is in full bloom with fresh flowers, green grass and plants sprouting up. Dare we say, in the world of hygge, spring is the new winter.
So make yourself a cup of tea and cozy up as we share 7 ways to do like the Danes do and make this spring your happiest one yet.
This annual seasonal chore may be the only time that people are actually excited about spending a day inside, tidying up and throwing away old clothes and possessions. But there’s just something so liberating about cleansing ourselves of material things that we don’t need. After all, the Danes are notoriously known for being minimalistic folk.
Whether you choose to go all Marie Kondo on your possessions or not, the basics of spring cleaning are simple: Start with one room at a time, open your windows throughout the process to air your space out and get rid of things that no longer spark joy in your life.
Just remember, it’s out with the old and in with the new as you can put away your winter wear and replace them with spring dresses, floral prints and cute wedges. Very hygge.
Revisit your New Year’s goals
Let’s be real: if you made New Year’s resolutions, like most of us do year after year, then you’re probably also in the group of us who, year after year, have ditched our goals after a month or two. Motivation fades fast, but luckily for us, the springtime is an amazing time to reset and revisit your goals with a sense of renewed dedication.
Planners are an amazing way to do this and act as a hygge afternoon well spent. Set yourself up in a coffee shop or favorite nook in your house, grab some calming tea and go to town on scheduling upcoming events, vacations, birthdays, appointments and personal and fitness/health goals.
Quick tip: stickers and other fun planner accessories make the whole event more fun and can be purchased for relatively low prices at your nearest arts and crafts supply store.
Let light in
The winter is a great time to spend the cold, dark days hibernating inside (read: not shaving your legs). Now that the dark days are behind us, though, and the sun is showing its pretty face more, it’s time to embrace that light by ditching the heavy, black-out curtains in your home for lighter fabrics and giving your home a light makeover. Start by replacing heavier blankets with cozy knits and dark couch pillows with fun prints.
If you’re someone who struggles with waking up early, try leaving your curtains open a bit at night so that you wake up with the sun. You will wake up easier, feel more rested and even feel happier too. Sunshine streaming through your windows first thing in the morning is a great start to your day!
Add flowers or plants to your space
Nothing says springtime like a fresh vase of flowers. It’s a great way to bring nature inside and treat yourself to something pretty because #selfcare. Plants are another great option. They bring nature to you, make your space feel more zen and also help purify the air.
As a bonus effect, they have a much longer lifespan, which is perfect for people like me who seem to excel at accidentally killing plants. Sigh.
Have a picnic
The weather is warmer, so why not go outside and enjoy it with a picnic? It can be a great date-day idea or a solo option if you just want some time alone. Find a cozy spot, one with less traffic and noise so you can hear the sounds of nature, and pack a lunch of comforting foods.
In his book, Wiking recommends a fresh baguette, meats (or something vegetarian/vegan), something to drink such as lemonade (he has an awesome recipe in his book) and cake, duh, since it’s known as one of the go-to ways to spark hygge. Besides candles of course.
Speaking of candles—which, how could we not since it’s voted by the Danes as the number one easiest and most-used ways to achieve hygge—you can still use them in the springtime. Your gingerbread and pumpkin spice flavours are probably all used up anyway, so why not invest in some lighter fragrances?
Anything lavender is good for wellness and bringing about a sense of calm; comforting fragrances of the home include the smell of fresh linens while fragrant florals liven up a space. Try white blossoms or fresh lilies, or something zen-like such as green tea or peppermint and eucalyptus.
Upgrade your patio space
Cozy patio spaces in the spring are the equivalent to cozying up by a warm fire in the winter. Take advantage of the chance to spend time outside by revamping your patio or balcony space as an area where you can relax alone with a good book or spend time with friends and family and accomplish the popular hygge principle of ‘togetherness.’
Soft lighting for these areas is key as it can add a cozy element to those late nights on the patio making memories with good friends, good food and what seems like an endless supply of wine. You can hang fairy lights or recycle those Christmas lights as a way to decorate your space.