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Hygge-Inspired Self Care: Embracing Coziness for Holistic Health

Posted by Kayla Bowen on
Hygge-Inspired Self Care: Embracing Coziness for Holistic Health

Summer is winding down, and cooler weather is around the corner 🍂❄️ Let's embrace hygge!

Hygge (pronounced "hoo-guh") is a Danish term that doesn't have a direct English translation, but its meaning encompasses a feeling of coziness, contentment, and wellbeing through enjoying the simple pleasures in life, especially during the colder months. It promotes finding joy in the present moment.

At NuSpecies, we believe that the key to living a better, longer, healthier life lies not only in:

but also in cultivating a contented, calm, reduced-stress mindset.

Stress hormones have a real negative impact on our physical health. Stress can heighten blood pressure, suppress the immune system, impact our digestive health, disrupt sleep, cause muscle tension, accelerate aging at the cellular level, and more.

It's crucial for all of us to make a real effort to reduce stress in our lives. I think embracing the concept of hygge as the cold months approach is the perfect opportunity to incorporate stress-reducing habits into our lifestyles!

 

Why incorporating hygge principles right now is a good idea

As colder months approach, our children go back to school, a lot of us return to work from vacations, and viruses like the flu and COVID-19 ramp up.

In the fall and winter, we get less sun exposure (less vitamin D), and studies have suggested that colder temperatures can suppress immune response to different viruses.

Many folks also experience heightened stress due to the holidays approaching, and increased feelings of loneliness or seasonal depression due to the colder weather holing us all up in our homes.

Embracing the concept of hygge can help us combat all of these things.

 

Key aspects of hygge

  1. Coziness: Hygge places a strong emphasis on creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere. This can involve soft ambient lighting (check out this list of non-toxic candles), warm textiles like blankets and cushions, and the use of natural materials in the home, such as cotton and wood.

  2. Simplicity: Hygge is about appreciating the simple things in life and finding joy in everyday moments. This might include enjoying a cup of tea, reading a book by the fireplace, or spending quality time with loved ones.

  3. Connection: Hygge often involves spending time with family and friends, fostering meaningful relationships, and engaging in activities that encourage genuine connections. When we're all holed up in our homes to escape the cold, it can be easy to lose touch with the people we love. Let's make an effort to make time for connection, even if it's a phone call.

  4. Mindfulness: Being present and fully engaged in the moment is a significant aspect of hygge. It encourages us to savor experiences and create a sense of mindfulness and awareness.

  5. Nourishing Hot Food: Ever take a sip of a hot cup of tea and experience a feeling of comfort rush through you? Boy, do I love that feeling. Nourishing, comforting foods play a role in hygge. Enjoying a warm bowl of soup or chili full of vegetables and protein (check out this Butternut Squash Chickpea Chili that I love!), or a hot beverage, contributes to the feeling of coziness and wellbeing.

  6. Nature: Incorporating elements of nature, such as natural materials (wood, cotton, etc) and bringing the outdoors inside, can enhance the hygge experience. Get yourself an indoor plant to nurture, or create a seasonal decorative garland out of dried orange slices.

  7. Balance: Hygge encourages finding balance between relaxation and activity, allowing for moments of quiet and reflection as well as engaging in enjoyable activities. Keeping active while it's cold outside can be a challenge. Making sure to find ways to keep your blood pumping and your body moving, such as morning yoga at home, keeps those endorphins flowing.

  8. Positive Atmosphere: Creating a positive and uplifting atmosphere, both physically and emotionally, is at the heart of hygge. This can be achieved through practicing positivity, gratitude, and cultivating a sense of contentment. Consider starting a daily or weekly ritual to write down five things you are grateful for, or five things you loved most about your day or week.

By incorporating these elements of hygge into our lifestyles, we can promote overall health and wellbeing ✨

As the holidays are fast approaching, check out our guide to enjoying the holidays AND improving your health, and our holiday gift guide.

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