Almost to the end of January already! After the end of a long, drawn out sinus infection, the weather and lack of sunshine in Chicago has been bringing on my winter blues.
Recently, my cousin and one of my best friends/twin just moved to Denmark. She mentioned that the winters in Denmark are long and cold, much similar to Chicago’s, so she introduced me to the Danish custom of Hygge (pronounced hy-ooguh… someone please correct me on that). Hygge is what gets the Danish through the cold nights and what keeps them such a happy country. Hygge is a state of warmth, comfort, and happiness. It is to appreciate the people and things in your life. You can experience it all year long, in the winter, and even in the summer. Really, it is a state of mind. Here are some things I’ve been trying each weekend to embrace the concept of Hygge and make it feel a bit warmer to lift my winter spirits.
1) Listen to warm weather music. For real, put on some reggae and island music and get yourself a young coconut. This can be fun and mentally relieving.
2) Get active! If it’s a sunny day, it’s not snowing and above 30 degrees, go for a brisk walk outside and get your vitamin D.
3) Make a warm drink like tea with lemon, or a hot cocoa to warm up your insides.
4) Take a bath with some essential oils. If you’re a renter and don’t feel like your bathtub is all that clean, take a nice steamy shower and put on that island music!
5) What is your favorite summer meal? If you have a grill at home, grill your favorite veggies or burgers to get some summer tasties. Fruit available? Make a quick summer fruit salad by chopping up some pineapple and strawberries. Yum.
6) Head to a place with lots of sunlight. It’s not always sunny in Chicago, but when it is, and it’s too cold to explore outside, go to a coffee shop, restaurant/bar, or library with lots of windows to let the sunlight in. Some of my favorite cozy, well lit indoor areas in Chicago include Summerhouse Santa Monica, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, or Next Door Cafe or the Starbucks on Rush street.
7) Sun setting soon? Light a few candles and relax! Do some light stretching or snuggle with a book or some board games with friends.
What ideas do you have to make your winter more bearable? Have you found hygge?
Hungry for more,
The Midwest Marmot