Some of the “happiest” countries are the coldest in the winter. Aside from universal healthcare, vacation days, and parental leave, these countries also have a mindset to help keep spirits up. Although there is nothing wrong with acknowledging that we feel down during the cold and dark months, it can be helpful to adopt some principles to curb the winter blues. 

Pronounced “Hoo-guh,” Hygge is a Danish mindset that is a “quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” In other words, embracing fuzzy blankets or relishing in a hot cider can help you relax. This also means that you surround yourself with the atmosphere of healing and seasonality. Another practice that can help is spending time with other people. The cold weather drives people inside and we recognize that we need each others support. Sharing in community with others strengthens our relationships. 

Lastly, there are plenty of fun activities that the winter brings, skiing, winter solstice festivities, and playing in the snow. Appreciating what the season does bring can lead to overall more contentment. Regardless of weather, you could bake, watch movies (bonus if they are winter themed), play board games, and partake in any hobby that gives you a sense a purpose. Plus, in the winter we don’t have to feel guilty about spending time outside because the sun isn’t out! 

Learn more:

How people living in cold countries survive long winters

How to make this winter not totally suck