If you want to thrive this winter, rather than just survive, taking notes from the Scandinavians and adding a little hygge into your life might be the key.
So, what is hygge? And how do you even say it?
Well, first off, it’s pronounced “who-guh”, and it’s that feeling you get when you and a friend cocoon yourselves in oversized fleece blankets on a frosty evening – with not a single toe, or inch of skin untucked – sharing laughter between sips of tea or red wine, That cozy, safe, nourished, contented and connected state – that’s hygge in spades.
The Danes and Norwegians have been using the term for many years. But, in their culture, the word is more profound than merely being a label for a good feeling. It’s more of a philosophy of living. Hygge champions the age-old wisdom that true happiness and wellbeing are stoked by savouring the simple things in life with people that make you feel loved and accepted.
With 24/7 social media immersion, unplugging from technology and making time with loved ones is more critical to our mental and emotional health than ever before. So, as the leaves are falling and winter is nipping at our heels, here are some affordable ideas to stoke those hygge vibes right here in Vancouver:
1. Pull Up A Seat At O5 Tea Bar
In the heart of Kitsilano’s shopping district on West 4th Ave, O5‘s team of passionate and ultra-friendly tea geeks will have you feeling warmly welcome in soft-lit dark wood decor. The visionaries behind O5 travel to remote villages around the world to source rare leaves and build relationships with the local farmers.
While doing a ceremonial preparation, they’ll teach you about the steeping process, the field where the tea was grown, how it was aged and the nuances of its flavour profile. They also brew great kombucha in-house!
It’s a healthy, cost-effective way to spend an evening connecting over cozy drinks with friends.
2. Blanket & Wine Social
To curate the social side of hygge, set up nights with some friends where everyone brings a kickass blanket (or onsie) to bundle up in while sharing a few bottles of wine, snacks and conversation. Games optional.
Check out Liberty Wine Merchants on Granville Island for a wide selection of unique labels.
Cost: As expensive as your taste in wine
3. Tuck into the Ultimate Canadian Comfort Food
While you’re Christmas shopping on Granville Island, swing by Edible Canada for the decadent roast duck poutine. We aren’t afraid to call it the best in town! And it’s the perfect size for two to share.
For next-level hygge, pair it with the new Camp Mugs & Plaid cocktail. Burnt orange, hickory roasted coffee infused Bison Grass Vodka, chocolate liqueur and marshmallow syrup, topped with gourmet mallows from Pink Spatula – all in a classic steel camping mug.
It’s a combination you’ll only find right here in beautiful B.C.
Cost: ~$20 (Depending on if you get the cocktail!)
4. Grab A Mat For Warm Yin at YYoga
My hygge heaven. These 75+ minute classes are mind/body-melting voyages set in a gently heated studio. It’s not warm enough to break a sweat, but just enough to feel cozy in a tank top.
Yin is gentler than most other forms of yoga. While you’re guided through releasing all mental and physical tension, it’s about letting gravity do the work while you relax into stretches and poses for several minutes at a time,
They also have free tea and an infrared sauna you can take advantage of before or after class. Check out their online schedule!
Cost: Drop in is $25, but they have deals if you buy a ten-class pass or an unlimited monthly pass!
5. Dissolve Into A Tank At Floathouse
Floatation therapy is a hot topic for a good reason. It turns out that laying back in the dark on ten inches of lukewarm water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts has remarkably profound effects on the human body, which can’t be achieved as potently any other way.
By generating alpha and theta brainwaves, radically reducing physiological stress and anxiety markers, as well as stimulating the release of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine, endorphins and synthesis of serotonin – it creates that “inner hug” for me every time.
You can’t share a room, but you can book a few next to each other and go with multiple people.
Tip: if you get chilly easily, request that the water be at least 95.0°F when you make your booking online or over the phone.
Cost: Prices range from $39 – $75/ float
6. Epic Homemade Hot Chocolates
There are plenty of places in Vancouver to grab a quality hot chocolate. But gathering supplies to assemble your own brings about a crafty satisfaction that only comes from time in the kitchen.
Melting real dark chocolate, shaking those final dustings of cinnamon and sinking into the couch beats a café any day of the week. We serve our favourite local mix from CocoaWest in our Bistro, and you can take it home with you from our retail store or online shop! It’s decadent and velvety smooth all at once.
You can find tons of unique, gourmet recipes online. My personal favourites involve salted caramel, maple syrup, bourbon, or some combination of the three.
Cost: $1-$10 (How fancy is your hot chocolate?! Are you adding single-malt whisky? Gold leaf? We didn’t want to make any assumptions!)
Let us know which of these hygge – inducing activities you love!