I just recently landed back in Toronto for the holidays and – dayum, it’s cold.
Like -20 celsius COLD.
I haven’t been back in almost 2 years and I definitely haven’t spent a full winter here in 4.5 years. So yeah, you could say I’ve totally wimped out and my west coast body thinks 10 degrees celsius is like parka weather.
Ok, so how do we all stop ourselves from getting depressed this winter? I’m embracing hygge (pronounced hue-gah) and the Danish lifestyle of enjoying life’s simple pleasures when the weather is just miserable outside.
AND I can’t just sit at home eating chocolate biscuits and calling it hygge either.
I’m all about hacking happiness and if I have to hygge the sh*t out of my life to stay happy this winter – then so be it.
Now let’s begin…
1) You’re Gonna Need A LOT of Tea
Since leaving the Pacific Northwest and driving from Portland, Oregon to Toronto, Canada – I have become obsessed with a hot cup of tea. It’s to the point where I travel with three different flavours of tea bags.
My absolute favourite is this Meadow Tea by Smith Teamaker that’s also made in Oregon. It’s this super mellow and clean tasting chamomile blend with rose petals. Yeah, it’s a bit more expensive but brew a pot and it’s still cheaper then buying it at a cafe.
Do also hit up your local tea shop, grab a sampler of loose leaf tea, tea filters and a nice electric kettle (which boils water in 5 mins or less) start making yourself a cup after dinner every evening. It’s a cozy, zero-calorie ritual I’ve really started to look forward to.
While you’re at, treat yourself to a big fancy tea mug that bring you joy every time you see it and use it. It doesn’t have to be expensive – just fancy-feeling to you.
2) New Books + Magazines
I love going to Costco (magazines are 30% off!) or to the bookstore and picking out 2-3 new magazines or books to read and get excited about. You’re going to need something to do when you’re sipping on all that tea. I’m guilty of always being on my phone, so having a new book to look forward to is key.
I’m currently reading The Four Tendencies, Kayla Itsines 28-Day Healthy Eating Guide and the lastest issue of The Magnolia Journal. On a budget? Hit up your local library and put a few books on hold and see how many new books you can read in 2018.
3) Let There Be Light!
It’s amazing what a couple candles will do in making your space feel that little bit more cozy. I always go for a few soy candles scented with essential oils. I also really like these candles – but they are a total splurge.
If candles are not your thing or you don’t like all the scent and smoke, get a set of these inexpensive copper twinkle lights and wrap them around something in your room.
While you’re at, look around your living space and see if you could add a floor, table or reading lamp to make your space brighter and more inviting. On a budget? Could you switch out your bright white CFL or LED light bulbs to a soft white instead?
4) Diffuse, Diffuse, Diffuse
I resisted the essential oil diffuser for a long time and I’m not even sure why. What I can tell is once I finally got one – I couldn’t get enough of it!
I would diffuse once I woke up with some eucalyptus essential oil to get me all energized. At night, I would diffuse a lavender essential oil before bed. The gentle mist was super relaxing and helpful against the dry air that forced air heating brings in the winter.
5) Grab A Blanket + Up Your Pajama Game
If you have a favourite cozy and soft throw blanket, this is the time to pull it out. Have a look through your pajama drawer and throw on anything flannel to get your hygge game on. Bonus points if you have flannel sheets to roll into every night.
Don’t forget about a pair of cozy socks or slippers for your feet!
6) Cook Comfort Food + Host A Casual Dinner Party With Friends
This is the time to bust out the crock pot, Dutch oven, or instant pot and cook a comfort meal that will fill your home with savory goodness. Make it better by inviting a few friends, popping open a bottle or two of wine and enjoy a slow, cozy and casual dinner together.
7) A Hygge Playlist
If you’re looking for a chillout mix that suits the winter – I really like Of Monsters and Men (they’re from Iceland) and any of their albums would be perfect. Beck’s Morning Phase album is also a good one too! But really anything slow and relaxing would work well. Just check out spotify for a Nordic-inspired playlist.