Hygge: that warm, fuzzy, cosy feeling you get from simple pleasures, being present, relaxing, and spending fun time with others. Sounds like the perfect addition to your weekend. Here’s how to make it happen.
Adding Hygge To Your Weekend
A few years ago, when hygge first became known outside Denmark and burst onto the international buzzword scene, so many people (including me) embraced it with open arms. The concept was nothing new, but having an actual word that encapsulates it was refreshing and exciting.
Since then, hygge has spawned a gazillion fluffy-socks-and-candles Pinterest images, been the gateway for introducing a whole slew of other, similar lifestyle words, and has inspired interest worldwide in all things Scandinavian. Whether you’re feeling koselig like the Norwegians, or mys like the Swedes, the concept of cosy is here to stay.
For me, hygge fits perfectly into my life. I live in Edinburgh, which is on the same latitude as Denmark and has very similar weather. The idea of being able to make the most of that instead of complaining about it spoke to me very clearly, lol. Plus, I have small kids and so my life is so much more home-based than it used to be, and I’m a classic introvert so staying in and cosying up is my idea of heaven.
How to Have a Hygge Weekend
Weekends (or your days off) have a fundamentally hygge feeling about them. Your time’s your own, you can spend it with friends and family, mealtimes are slower and more convivial, and you can get as cosy as you like.
But weekends often tend to get eaten up by chores, errands, social commitments, catching up from crazy weeks, and all the other things life throws at us. Once in a while, plan a weekend where you shut out those little annoyances and have a weekend that’s slower, more relaxing, more enjoyable, and completely hygge.
15 Ideas for Having a Hygge Weekend
Hygge is fundamentally a feeling, so what feels hygge won’t be the same for everyone. The below list is just a list of ideas – a “could-do list” of things you might want to incorporate into your hygge weekend.
1. Start with “Fredagsmys” – or Cosy Friday
Once upon a lifetime ago, when I was a twenty-something Londoner, Friday night meant hitting the pub at 5.01pm and settling in for the evening. Eating dinner and getting any sleep were optional Friday night activities. Fast forward to my cosy middle-aged family life, and the idea of a big Friday night out seems fairly exhausting, to be honest. These days, Friday nights are for relaxing.
If you’re planning a hygge weekend, start as you mean to go on and make your Friday evening a calming way to decompress from the week. Light a candle, open a bottle of wine, have an easy dinner or order takeaway, snuggle up, and enjoy not having to be anywhere.
In Sweden, they have the endearing tradition of fredagsmys, or cosy Fridays. Apparently starting as a marketing campaign for a crisp brand, fredagsmys has been popular since the noughties, and apparently involves putting on your fluffiest clothes, relaxing on the sofa with loved ones, playing board games, and munching on snacks.
Fredagsmys sounds like an easy tradition to get on board with. Cosy Fridays are the perfect start to your hygge weekend.
2. Have a Hygge Weekend Breakfast
Slow weekend mornings and leisurely breakfasts are unarguably hygge. Start the day the laid-back way with a breakfast that’s a little more special than your normal mid-week rushed (or skipped) breakfast. That doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen. Simple but delicious is the aim here. Buying something in for a breakfast treat can be doubly hygge. My own favourite indulgence is a fresh almond croissant with fruit and hot chocolate.
Bonus: if you have small children at home and your mealtimes are often less-than-relaxing affairs, breakfast is your friend. Kids love breakfast. Make the most of it as a family time: it might be your most relaxing family meal of the week. Try having a big breakfast and then make the day’s other meals more snacky affairs: more fun for the kids and less stressful on you.
3. Level Up Your Hot Drinks
You’ve no doubt seen the hygge-style images of steaming hot coffees and creamy hot chocolates – and no doubt that’s because hot drinks are the soothing epitome of cosiness. It’s even been scientifically proven that hot drinks really do make us feel better.
With that in mind, factor in your favourite hot drinks as an essential part of your hygge weekend. Or better, drink the ones you don’t have time to make during the week. Try a new tea, a different coffee, or a flavoured hot chocolate. And for maximum effect, try to drink it outside – either with the sun warming your face, or bundled up against the cold. The combination of fresh air, daylight and a comforting mug of something hot is bound to make you feel good.
4. Visit a Cosy Café
Even better than making your own coffee is going out for coffee – especially if you can find a cosy café for it. Cafes and coffee shops are one of the main things I’ve missed during the pandemic. In normal times I don’t go out to bars and restaurants nearly as often, but I’m to be found in a coffee shop fairly regularly.
Small, independently-run coffee shops that sell quality drinks and homemade cakes are incredibly hygge little places. I can’t wait to be able to pop into them again once life goes back to normal.
5. Go Somewhere New
Try doing a little gentle exploring. Whether it’s a new place to walk, somewhere new to eat, a museum or shop you’ve been wanting to visit for a while, going somewhere new is just the sort of laid-back excitement a hygge weekend needs.
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6. Get Outside into Nature
It’s well-known that green spaces are good for us with all sorts of physical and mental health benefits. Try heading to a green space for a natural wellbeing boost on your hygge weekend. Try forest bathing, the Japanese art of surrounding yourself by trees, or if possible head to the coast, where those negative ions will make you feel so good. After that it’s time to head home and get your comfiest, fluffiest hygge outfit on and settle down to relax.
7. Prioritise Some Relaxation
Getting time to relax at weekends can be challenging, especially when you have family commitments and errands to run. But on a hygge weekend, some relaxing time should be top priority. Schedule in non-negotiable time for relaxing – however that looks for you – and doing whatever you want.
Again, this won’t be the same for everyone. For you it might be reading, gardening, playing sport, watching sport, hiking, doing something creative, watching TV, listening to podcasts, taking a nap, doing a puzzle, drinking tea in silence, or literally anything else where you can switch off your brain and focus on the relaxing task at hand.
8. Indulge in Some Hygge Weekend Baking
There are few activities more hygge than baking. The slow pace, the warm kitchen, the amazing smells, and of course the end result all make for a deliciously cosy time. Most of us don’t have much time during the week, so a weekend afternoon is the perfect time to bake some treats.
For inspiration on what to make, head over to my Weekend Baking Pinterest Board and follow for regular updates.
9. Have Your Own Cocktail Hour
For a hygge Saturday evening, try having a cosy cocktail hour with your favourite drinks and a few salty snacks. It helps to bring a sense of occasion to the weekend without the need to get dressed up. If you have kids, bribe them treat them with pizza in front of a movie, then settle down to enjoy your cocktails.
10. Catch Up With People Who Make You Feel Happy
An important part of hygge is cosy togetherness. Arrange to catch up with people who make you feel relaxed and happy, and indulge in some relaxed socialising. Have an informal dinner, visit a coffee shop, catch up for brunch (probably the most hygge meal). As long as it’s a laid-back cosy setting, it’ll fit right in to your hygge weekend.
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11. Unplug a Little
Give yourself a proper chance to wind down by switching off your phone for a bit. You don’t have to go completely off-grid to enjoy some hygge time, but unplugging a little bit will let you relax and enjoy what you’re doing more. Schedule in some periods over the weekend where you switch off and focus on what’s around you.
12. Do Some Slow Hygge Cooking
Weekend food is the best. Weekend meals are slower, less rushed, and ideally involve some time with family and friends round the table, just enjoying being together. That fits in perfectly with a hygge weekend.
Spend some time pottering in the kitchen and enjoy some slow, unfussy cooking. The easiest way to achieve this is with recipes that can be prepared earlier in the day and left to cook slowly. Having a pan of something gently bubbling on the stove is one of the cosiest feelings.
When you sit down to eat, do as the Danish do and eat by candlelight, for a calm, hygge experience. Even little kids feel there’s more of a sense of occasion when you light candles for dinner.
13. Treat Yourself to an At-Home Spa
While you’re relaxing at home, setting up a home spa experience is an ideal way to unwind. I’ve been doing a lot of this during the pandemic as spas and salons have been closed. Your goal here is to make it feel like the complete opposite to your hurried weekday morning shower.
Take your time to set up and make things as spa-like as possible: dim the lights, turn up the heat, play some spa music, light a scented candle or use an essential oil diffuser, and change into a bathrobe.
Then treat yourself to a face mask, some foot peel socks, moisturising hand gloves, and anything else you fancy. Relax and listen to music or a podcast while the treatments do their magic. Have a hot bath or shower with your nicest-smelling products, moisturise top to toe, drink a lot of water, and marvel at just how relaxed you feel.
14. Do Some Pottering
Spending some time pottering about has got to be good for the soul. The Oxford Dictionary defines the verb to potter as “occupy oneself in a desultory but pleasant way.” Sounds pretty perfect: no goal, no time limit, just doing a few gentle things you enjoy.
So give it a go. Rearrange a shelf or some items in your home, do a spot of seasonal decorating, write someone a card (just because), write some lists of things you want to do/read/buy (want to do, not need to do!) Perfect for a hygge weekend.
15. Watch an Old Movie
Old movies: they can be genuinely old, or they can be a lot more recent but you view them as old because you watched them when you were young. Whichever kind you pick, it’s the ideal activity for hygge weekend. You want something nostalgic that gives you all the warm fuzzy feels. But don’t just plop down and turn it on. Prepare your hygge space first with plenty of cushions and blankets, and something to rest your feet on. Add your favourite drinks and snacks, settle in and enjoy.
I hope this post has given you some ideas for having a hygge weekend. There are sooo many more in the downloadable PDF below!
Let me know in the comments if you have any more recommendations!
Cover photo by Stella Rose on Unsplash