• mindthehygge

Why the winter solstice is the most hyggelig time of year

The most hyggelig day of the year is upon us. It's actually tomorrow December 21st! The winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. It's a time to celebrate all things hygge and the start of the most hyggelig season of all, winter. I used to dread this time of year and now I look forward to it and am eager to embrace all it has to offer. But for some, this season is a struggle. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD - more on this in another post soon) has its flare ups, the lack of sun and cool temps can contribute to depression, and triggers for anxiety can become unmanageable. But the more we understand the hygge way of life and embrace the present moment, the more we can flip our perspective on just what could be the most amazing time of year. Below are some reasons we hope you might be on-board we celebrating the solstice and welcoming winter.

1. If anything, the solstice is actually super fascinating. On this day, the sun is furthest away from the North Pole, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn (if in the Northern Hemisphere), and its angle gives it the longest lasting sunset all year. What's not to love?

2. Each subsequent day will be longer! We are on the up and up until the summer solstice in June, where we then start the countdown to this special day. Know that every morning you get an extra minute of sunshine and think of all the wonderful things you could do with that extra minute or two. It's a perfect time of year to start fresh, to establish goals, and to get motivated. Its even better than the "new calendar year", it gives you a head start.

3. You get to whip out every piece of hyggelig gear you own. Once the holiday festive decor goes back in the boxes to be put away for next year, we are often left feeling somber and empty. But this is the perfect time to set up the twinkle lights, candles, blankets, bulky sweaters, slippers, fancy mugs, mittens, hats, and more! If I need it in a blizzard, I'm digging it right about now. All these tangible hygge items can transport us into a state of coziness and tranquility. 

4. We get to slow down. What better way to savor the moments than by slowing down and allowing for more hyggelig opportunities. The long dark nights are a great reminder to go slow, go inward, and be gentle on yourself. These are not the months for cramming millions of things into our day, but rather permission to pause and reflect on the day and all the little moments. There is never a better time for bath time than these months ahead.

5. Which leads us to being more present. As we slow down, we create more opportunities to hygge and enjoy the present. Things to try out this season should include baking (I'm talking bread from scratch), knitting, journalling, puzzling (is that a word?), or taking up a project that will take some time and require some concentration. Being present means you can enjoy these moments without distraction and with complete awareness.

6. We get to connect with nature's rebirth. This time of year marks nature's dormant phase and the beginning of its rebirth. Additionally, the cold crisp air actually creates more vibrant and beautiful sunsets. The clearer the air, the more the eye can see unfiltered colors (think less muggy/humid air from the summer). You feel your breath as it enters and see it as you exhale. Getting outdoors this time of year is so essential to how you feel and the cold temps really make you feel that you're alive. Get outside, go for a walk, connect with nature and I promise you'll feel better.

7. More opportunities for togetherness and creating memories. Because you're not all busy running around like during the spring and fall, you have so many chances to get together with friends. From hosting a dinner to having your best friend over for a sleepover, we get to create moments of togetherness. Ain't nothing more hyggelig than a candlelit dinner, some mulled wine, and great company.

So think of fun festive ways to mark this day as it should be the start to something great! Cheers to looking forward to the winter months ahead and to this hyggelig time!

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