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This one thing will help you make it through the winter

POSTED: December 13, 2017 4:10 a.m.
Emily Hellewell/

If winter brings literal shivers up your spin, brace yourself because the worst time of year is upon us. Help is here.

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If the thought of winter brings literal shivers up your spine and a strong desire to hibernate, all inducing a general grumpiness, brace yourself because the worst time of year is practically upon us.

Sure, it’s OK right now. Christmas decorations are going up everywhere and you’re excited to wear the coats and sweaters that have been hanging in the back of the closest for the last three seasons. But just wait a few weeks when you haven’t seen the sun in days and the sidewalks are permanent sheet of ice — the doldrums of winter will return.

Perhaps this year there’s a way to embrace the icicles and enjoy winter rather than just enduring it.

Hygge (pronounced HOO-ga) is a Danish word that can mean being cozy, taking time for meaningful moments, creating intimacy, slowing down, not taking yourself or life to seriously, relaxing, connecting with others and having experiences that bring you joy.

Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

Here’s how you can incorporate a bit of hygge in your life and make the coldest, darkest months of winter more bearable — and even enjoyable.

Get outside and appreciate the beauty of winter

This year, put on your warmest layers then get outside as often as you can to appreciate the stark beauty of the winter months. Being outdoors and appreciating nature, and getting some exercise along the way, will lift your spirits.

Read a good book

Give yourself permission to get lost in a good story.

Make and eat your favorite comfort food

"...from bowls. Preferably in bed under the duvet. With the electric blanket on." Amen.

Take up a craft or hobby

Learn something new or return to a creative project you've been putting off for a while.

Drink warm beverages

The joy of winter is seeing how many cups of hot chocolate you can drink.

Get cozy and all wrapped up in blankets

Being warm and comfortable is what hygge is all about.

Take time for meditation and reflection

Pause and breathe deeply to clear your mind and open your heart.

Surround yourself with beauty

It doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive, but just making one corner of your surroundings a little prettier will lift your spirits.

Invite friends over for good food and connection

To really experience hygge, share the warmth with those who are closest to you.
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