Happy First Day of Spring!
Hygge. You’re probably hearing that term more and more lately. It refers to a Danish concept of embracing coziness and contentment and is becoming rather trendy. Personally, I think as we get more involved in technology and all that it brings with it, our North American interest in hygge is a response to wanting to hold onto some “anti-technology”.
And it might sound strange coming from someone who spends so much time online but I am all about the hygge. But while it seems like a perfect concept for fall and winter (sweaters, mugs of hot cocoa, cozy fire), you might be wondering how to hygge in spring.
To me, one of the keys to practicing hygge is to embrace the season. I know that most of us have our preferences for certain seasons and we may even really dislike others. But I think if we grab onto the parts that we do love or the parts that we can add in to love, that is a great way to bring that feeling of coziness and contentment into our lives.
1. Bring the outside in.
Late spring is a time of year that I love. Early spring and I have some issues – mostly because it makes me incredibly impatient. I’ve had enough of the snow and the rain and the brown grass and the empty gardens.
Even those few crocuses out there poking through here and there just seem to be mocking me. So, I “fake” spring inside. I buy myself spring flowers and place them around my house.
2. Pack away winter.
I know, I know. Depending on when you’re reading this, it might just be a little early for that. As I’m writing this, there are some flakes of snow falling outside my window. And yet, I’ve already packed away much of my winter items. I kept out a few sweaters but packed away the majority of them.
I packed away my winter boots – if it snows enough to need them, I’ll just stay inside! I kept out my lighter winter jacket but packed away the heavy coats. I packed away the heavy bulky wintery looking blankets and throws and brought out those that are lighter and brighter. Just having less winter staring me in the face lifts my mood in an instant.
3. Change your flames.
A lot of people have connected hygge with candles and fireplaces. And it’s for good reason. The sight and scent have proven calming effects. So, instead of lighting a fire in the fireplace, can you light one in the backyard fire pit instead?
Instead of burning candles with scents more associated with winter (cinnamon, evergreen, and so on), switch them out for those with more spring-like, floral scents. Try some lavender, rose, freesia, or even refreshing citrus scents.
4. Do some spring cleaning.
I know this isn’t a terribly original idea but actually, I tend to do some of this type of cleaning at the end of each season. It’s a good way to symbolically sweep away the previous season and welcome in the new one.
To take this a step further, I often pick up a few new seasonally-themed items – tea towels in spring colors or designs, maybe a new brightly colored broomstick (or the whole broom if it needs replacing), and perhaps a new cheery apron. Often I can find these items at the dollar store so it’s not a big investment!
5. Put spring-scented essential oils into your diffuser.
Lavender, rosemary, geranium, tea tree oil (melaleuca), and citrus scents are all good choices. I don’t know if essential oils really have any health benefits to them but I do find that diffusing them freshens up the air in my home.
6. Get outside or at the very least, get those windows open.
Fresh air can have such a revitalizing effect on your mood, especially if like me, you spent months mostly cooped up inside. My grandma always said that it was also a good way to rid the house of those leftover winter cold and flu germs. I don’t really know if that’s true but I figure it can’t hurt.
7. Start some seedlings or at the very least, get some herb plants going in your home.
This is another one of those great “bring the outside in” ideas that can make you start feeling that spring spirit even when the weather isn’t cooperating yet.
8. Put out some flip-flops for your guests.
In the winter, I have a basket of slippers that I put by the door for any friends who would like a pair to put on after removing their boots. Replacing this with a variety of colorful flip flops adds a great pop of color and helps remind you that the warm, sunny weather is right around the corner.
During the first few rainy weeks of the season though, you might want to put a collection of umbrellas and Wellies near the front door too.
9. Roll up the carpet.
Okay, that’s not practical, but if you have a few area rugs over your hardwood floor to add warmth in the winter, why not put them away for the spring and summer? Wooden floors can start to feel weighed down by rugs in warmer weather.
10. Start working on your spring menu plans.
You might have a few chilly evenings where you want a hearty casserole or stew, but this is the time to start making way for all of that fresh local produce. You might even want to subscribe to have a weekly farmer’s box delivered. Spring food on the table is definitely conducive to hygge.
11. Bake something.
I know, we generally think of baking as something you do in the fall and winter. And even if you have air conditioning, there’s just something about the thought of heating up the oven on a steamy summer day that seems counter-intuitive. But a spring morning is simply ideal for baking!
Think fresh light flavors – lemon poppy seed muffins, zucchini bread, strawberry-rhubarb pie.
12. Go to a yard sale or two.
Hygge is often talked about in reference to the things you do in your home but really, it’s an attitude you can take with you everywhere you go. Yard sales are a lovely way to get outside on a beautiful spring day and a delightful, economical way to add to your spring finds on display around your home.
Grab some mismatched teacups, old teapots, jars, and vases to plant or display flowers in. If you find some pretty, but chipped china you can always smash it and use it as mosaics on a garden wall or some clay pots for your porch.
13. Make fairy gardens.
This is a fun family activity that can bring charm to your yard but don’t let a lack of children stop you. Even adults can create whimsical homes for the elves and fairies to reside in. An indoor fairy garden is a charming addition to your kitchen windowsill!
14. Try some embroidery.
Winter is the time for knitting and crocheting but I find spring too warm for working in these forms. This is when I like to keep things very light and light-hearted with some embroidery. A new tablecloth is a perfect project to begin with.
I love the look of my old wooden table in the colder months but I find it a bit dark for spring and summer. A new tablecloth with some delicate embroidered flowers and a mason jar full of daisies or tulips is simply perfect for this time of year.
15. Host a spring tea party.
There’s just something so endearing about a tea party. Petit fours, tiny little finger sandwiches, fancy teacups. It feels so airy and festive and happy. If you can’t or don’t want to host your own party, head out to a local tearoom to partake of a high tea.
16. Welcome the birds back after a winter away.
The sound of birds chirping in the backyard can be such a hopeful sign that spring weather is right around the corner. Put out a lovely dish of water for them as a birdbath (once the risk of frost is gone), make some bird feeders for them, and put out some scraps of yarn, twine, and other bits that could be used in the building of their nests.
17. Add something white or cream-colored into every room in your home.
If it goes with your decor, a few touches of yellow can also really perk things up and bring the spirit of spring alive in your house.
18. Put out a bowl of fresh fruit.
Lemons (there’s that touch of yellow!) are especially good for this time of year.
19. Go on a picnic.
Even if only in your backyard, there’s just something so special about taking food outside to eat it. I think it even tastes better!
20. Go for a walk and look for signs of spring.
I’m not much for winter walking. It doesn’t matter how great the tread is on my boots. With my health conditions (which are worsened by cold), I am very prone to falling in the winter. In spring though, I can often get out for a little bit and soak up some sunshine.
I enjoy seeing the newly planted gardens, the birds and other wildlife scampering about, and even all the sweet little babies out for walks in their strollers. Just seeing life again around my neighborhood makes me feel a little more lively myself.
21. Write a letter or two.
Yes, as in snail mail. I don’t know about you but I think receiving a handwritten letter brings joy to any day. So, why not send out a few this spring just to say hello and chat a little bit with someone far away? The act of writing is a good way to bring those feelings of hygge into your day.
22. Add some spring vignettes to your home.
Brighten up the mantel with some lovely spring flowers, maybe a bird’s nest with a few speckled eggs in it, a couple of seasonal candles, and even a framed spring quote. No mantel? That’s okay. These are lovely in many places throughout your home – a corner of your desk, as a centerpiece on your dining table, mixed amongst your books on your bookshelves, and so on.
23. Establish a new evening routine.
In winter this might have been a cup of hot tea while sitting by the fire wrapped in a warm cozy woolen shawl. In spring, for me, this becomes a glass of sweet tea while sitting on the back porch, lightweight Pashmina wrapped around my shoulders.
24. Try something new.
Spring is the time of new beginnings and growth. Take up watercolor painting, learn a new craft, try some new recipes. Give yourself a challenge to reach for and embrace the season of fresh starts.
25. Slow down.
Hygge at all times of the year means slowing down and pushing away the stresses of the outside world. Set aside “tech-free” times in your daily schedule.