Winter Preparation Lessons from Hygge, The Cozy Danish Lifestyle : Lesson 48

Today’s episode is one I recorded before the 2020 Election results were announced, and is focused on just that… how might we create more space for joy in our lives as winter knocks at the door. We explore the Danish concept of Hygge, and I share how I am hunkering down and preparing for the best winter I’ve ever experienced… I believe it’s possible, and these are the steps I’m taking to make it happen.


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A note on the 2020 Election

“I am neither pessimistic or optimistic, I am determined.” - Stacey Abrams

We must continue the commitment to progress in our little pockets of the world, to our activism, our advocacy, and continue to push for more anti-racist policies, more dismantling of police and police states, and more looking at how can support our communities meaningful ways. 

We must ask ourselves: How do we continue to uphold democracy in more inclusive ways?

While I am extremely joyful about the Biden-Harris win and the change it will bring about, I emphasize the importance of holding to account Biden and Harris to ensure that they listen to the progressives in the Democratic Party who really brought this election home. It is important that we don't stay complacent just because the leadership is what we want it to be. It doesn't mean that we don't continue to lobby and push for progress and change because so much needs to be continued to be changed.

Introduction [7:45]

This week’s topic for the show is the Danish concept of “Hygge” from Meik Wiking, who looks at the art of being ‘consciously cozy’ and the pursuit of everyday happiness.  In this episode I really asked myself: How can we really enjoy this winter? What can we do to best support ourselves to make sure our mental health is well during these winter months ahead with the pandemic as well? How am I wanting to remember these winter months? 

And I realized that I will have wanted to have enjoyed as much as possible from them. I want to have learned how to enjoy winter, how to really figure out Hygge and be cozy and have had a lot of joy. So let's do that together. And I have some ideas for how we can do that together.

Click below to download our free Winter Preparation worksheet that you can use as you listen to the episode and open up to the possibility that winter could be enjoyable. 

Here are my 9 lessons from Hygge that you can incorporate into your life in preparation for the winter...

Lesson One: Finding Appropriate Winter Clothing [15:28]

Reassess. Do you have appropriate clothing to go outdoors?

Outdoor Clothing

  • Clothes that I need if I want to go for a walk each day
  • Do I have snow pants? 
  • Do I have a jacket that fits me well, that I can move well in and that keeps me warm?
  • Do I have my gloves in the pocket of my everyday jacket? 
  • Do I have a headband or a tuque in the other pocket so that every time I go out, I know I have what I need if it's a little bit colder than I think it is?

Indoor Clothing

  • Sweatsuits 
  • Lounge clothing

Lesson Two: Organizing and Purging in Preparation for Winter [20:31]

We hear about spring cleaning, but I am a big proponent this year of winter cleaning. What do you physically actually want and need in your space and what has to go what can be better organized?

Lesson Three: - Assessing what you need and desire in your physical space and make it cozy and warm [24:53]

How can you make your space warm? Think, what have I been putting off that I can get that can make the space feel like a warm hug to me and do that and do it unabashedly. Some ideas… 

  • Warm lighting: Salt lamps, SAD lamps
  • Warm blankets, throw blankets, pillows.
  • Finding a hobby that you adore to do. 
  • Bring coziness to your space with things like puzzles board games, good lighting.

Lesson Four: Indulging but being mindful of spiraling [28:27]

According to Meik Wiking, in Hygge you indulge and you do it unabashedly. Alcohol cake, sweets. You do what you need to to enjoy the fact that you're indoors with your people, drink beer, have your wine, etc. And I'm sharing this because it's part of Hygge. I'm not necessarily endorsing it or not.

But I just wanted to share it to say if you are indulging, indulge just as long as you are aware that you're not spiraling using it as a coping mechanism. Or if you are using it as a coping mechanism, knowing and having awareness that you are so that it doesn't spiral out and lead you into a shame spiral.

Lesson Five: Choosing and planning to make movement easy for you. [31:22]

Make it easy and accessible so that you're more likely to do it. When it comes to outdoor activities, what we did was we put our skis and snowshoes in a little bin by the front door, so all of our outdoor activity stuff is available and right there. So once we get enough snow, we are just going to be equipped to be able to go outside and enjoy winter. Do the same for you!

What do you need by your front door when you walk outside to enjoy your walk or enjoy whatever it is that you're going to embark on and do in the outdoors?

Lesson Six -  Focusing on love, fun, joy and connection [35:25]

Schedule Zoom time with your family. Schedule those dinner dates with your friends on Zoom and with people in your bubble. Something that we're going to see in the future is people are going to have to relearn how to be around each other, how to feel compelled to go out because it's easy to stay home right now. It's about continuing to maintain your social schedule, taking the time to really connect with your friends and family.
Check out “We're Not Really Strangers” the game, and maybe have a game night with your family where you're asking each other these really important, meaningful questions.

Lesson Seven - Scheduling Your Mental Health Support [36:36]

I know for me, I'm going to need more consistent therapy and mental health support. I'm on a schedule just to prevent, especially in the dark months, a spiraling happening. So I suggest the same to you. If you don't have a therapist yet. Check out Brown Girl therapy and other therapy accounts online. They have suggestions and highlights and resources for you to find a therapist and just get in place what you need to stay well.

Lesson Eight - Making a media list [38:52]

List your favorite movies, shows, podcasts, books, make your media list of all the things you want to consume this winter and then consume it unabashedly.

Lesson Nine - Picking goals that make you come alive. [40:55]

I'm focusing on writing my book over the next six months because there's no better time than now. And this is a goal that's going to help motivate me. Pull me forward through these hard months, through these winter months, and I believe it's going to make my winter so enjoyable. It's going to be an excavation of myself, my soul, my stories, my life, and putting it into words and having the support system.

Picking goals that make you come alive helps with Hygge because it helps you enjoy coziness and it gives purpose to all the things that you're creating in and around your space for yourself. And your goal might be to have the most enjoyable winter, and that might be enough of a goal. But we're going to figure this out and take time to journal on this. But this is also something we're going to dove into in your best year.

That’s it! Thank you so much for tuning in,  I can’t wait to plan with you at “Your Best Year”! If you haven’t yet, sign up for our newsletter under our “Contact” tab in order to join the waitlist!

To read more about Meik Wiking and the Danish concept of “Hygge” check out this article. 

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Lessons Learned is produced and hosted by Komal Minhas. Artwork, Brand & Social by Renira Naidu. Content by Daniela Ochoa. Video Production and Audio  Editing by Madison Foran.