Defrost turkey: check.
Candy the yams: check.
Set the table: check.
Take a deep breath before the doorbell rings: check.
Achieve hygge? To be determined…
You know that feeling you get when you smell a bonfire on a crisp autumn day? Or when you curl up with a book and cup of tea while a wintry mix whirls outside? That’s hygge (pronounced hoo-ga), a Danish word that roughly translates to “coziness” in English.
The Scandinavian culture highly values hygge, particularly in intimate social settings with friends and family, and considers the holiday season an ideal time to harvest it. The key to capturing hygge is an attitude that invites a warm and kind togetherness and discourages judgement and contention. The Danes go to great lengths to achieve such a pleasant atmosphere- from lighting lots of candles to taking college-courses on the concept.
In an ideal world, the holidays would inherently bring hygge with them. Jack frost would nip at your nose as you smell the sweet scent of chestnuts roasting on an open fire, surrounded by your smiling family. But in reality, your mother-in-law is upset that you aren’t spending Christmas Eve with her, you’re dreading the immigration argument bound to be battled out by your son and father at the dinner table, traffic is terrible, and the to-do list is ever-growing. In a world of negative news and Black Friday door buster deals, it’s important to remember that we have to make hygge happen.
So how can you pour yourself a cup of hygge cheer? In this Psych Central Article, I offer strategies on how you and your partner can cope with common holiday challenges that may otherwise overshadow your holiday spirit. By nipping sources of conflict in the bud, you make room for the positive mindset and upbeat emotional energy that fosters that warm fuzzy feeling we all cherish this time of the year.