Every trend promises the best lifestyle: improve your health, tighten your skin or slim down your waistline. How about something that will make life actually easier?
Luckily, some other lifestyles aim to do just that. Introducing hygge—the Scandinavian region’s gift to the world. Some may have already heard of hygge, as it was one of the Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 Word of the Year finalists while others may be tripping over how to even pronounce it.
Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah), is a Danish lifestyle that prizes comfort, self-care and contentment. It is most often used to get through the dredges of frigid winter months, however, those are essentials we can get behind at any time of the year. This trend’s most valued principles include coziness, contentment, relaxation and relationships so keep that in mind.
As parents, we commit so much time and energy to our kids despite how exhausted or stress-ridden we may be, it’s easy for us to put ourselves on the back burner. Finally, there’s a lifestyle that allows us to dedicate small moments to our own personal identities while also recharging our spirits so we can give back to our children ten-fold.
Take a stab at it by learning more about the five hygge parenting tips you will actually use!
1. Get Organized
Don’t take our word for it—just ask tidying sensation Marie Kondo how organizing will make your life easier. Take some notes from her KonMari Method.
If you’re having trouble on where to begin, start small. Utilize your inner sprucing instincts on your smallest rooms first. Bathrooms, closets and mudrooms tend to fill with needless belongings.
When it comes to these areas, work smarter—not harder. Find pieces that will help you with most of the heavy lifting like built-in shelving or drawer/closet organizers. When everything has a place to live, it’s a lot harder for them to get lost.
For larger areas, remember that hygge values minimalism. Keep things simple when it comes to accent furniture to leave your home feeling so much more immaculate. Look for pieces that add storage such as wire shelving, wicker baskets, upholstered ottomans or coffee tables with secret compartments to hide blankets and clutter (or crap) alike.
2. Set Time Aside for Yourself
Easier said than done, right? Whether you have one kid or five, there never seems to be enough hours in the day for yourself.
Challenge this notion with a little “me” time. Hygge values relaxation so mark it in your calendar if you have to! Don’t ever forget that you deserve this time and that everything you do in helping yourself will translate to a better family life overall.
Spa treatments are amazing when enjoying “me time” and there are a bunch of fun projects to get the whole family involved in your quest for a little R & R. Try homemade bath bomb recipes or DIY facial scrubs for affordable yet rejuvenating remedies. Add a glass (or bottle) of your favorite wine, a good book or some light music to fully take advantage of the tranquil setting.
If you’re more inclined to stay productive, picking up a new hobby is also a great way to invest in yourself. Gardening is a fantastic form of exercise and a suitable use of time that may even save money on groceries. If you’re just starting out, choose plants that are easy to grow like herb or vegetable gardens. Acquiring a green thumb usually happens over time, so don’t get discouraged if your garden does not flourish right away!
3. Catch Better Zzzs
Believe it or not, getting a good night’s sleep is not the equivalent to seeing a unicorn in the park. It’s possible! Get cozy with hygge to rejuvenate and prepare for the next day’s activities.
To start, you may want to replace your mattress and go for options that fit your unique sleep style. If you lie on your back during sleep, medium-firm mattresses are helpful in spinal alignment. Side snoozers should look for softer mattresses that allow more flexibility. Stomach sleepers face more serious problems due to spinal strain and therefore should consider firmer styles that provide better support.
Unplugging from technology is also another choice when it comes to getting a better night’s sleep. Try removing all electronics from the bedroom except those necessary for daily function such as alarm clocks. Additionally, put restrictions on phone/tablet use that may encourage social media use and in turn cause stress or frustration.
Instead, promote other enriching ventures the whole family can participate in. Rather than consuming copious amounts of television before bed, invest in a book nook full of positive lessons or affirmations. Write in a gratitude journal or track your mood to notice patterns that may even improve your daily routines altogether.
4. Make Family Time More Thoughtful
Family time is the most important time and hygge is amazing at making moments more thoughtful. Everyday frustrations can take hold of our emotions and exacerbate our relationships with those most close to us. Set aside time in everyday life to truly reconnect with your family.
Dinner is an awesome opportunity to make family time more meaningful. Turn off the TV and keep handheld devices away from the table to fully engage in conversation. Let kids help with weekly menus, meal prep and cooking. You never know when you’re going to inspire the next Bobby Flay or Rachael Ray!
Weekly movie nights are another excellent way to bring the family together. Dust off the classics or screen the newest animated sensation for a fun, family-friendly get together. Alternate between parents’ choice and kids’ pick to keep things exciting for both parties.
Family holidays provide the chance to come up with something completely and totally special. Whether it’s a vacation or someone’s birthday, having an individual form of celebration is sure to create plenty of memories. Start a countdown to get kids excited and then when the day finally comes, party like there’s no tomorrow!
5. Indulge in Little Things
Before you know it, the kids will be moving on to their next chapter or packing up for their biggest life adventure. Small sentiments really go a long way and finding contentment is a hygge principle you won’t want to skip.
While everything is digital nowadays, creating a photo book with life’s precious memories may create more value and significance. You can even go online to create your own photo albums for more convenient and affordable services.
Remember, the little things may not always be physical. Kids often imitate their parents so take advantage of time when they are around by teaching them life lessons. Helping others, spending more time in nature and even smiling or laughing more are small steps toward a more positive, content life that will hopefully stick with them through adulthood.
No matter your approach,, taking care of yourself or home and spending more time with family are just a few examples of how to get through the hectic phase of parenting. At its core, a hygge lifestyle is essentially enjoying activities and interests that mean the most to you. Hold hygge close to your heart when parenting for days that are are a little more worthwhile and life that is much more fulfilled.