One of the best holiday gifts I received last year was The Little Book of Hygge by Mike Wieking. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, hygge is a Danish word that can be hard to translate into English, but basically it’s a sense of happiness and coziness that one gets in happy, warm, environments. Picture yourself curled up in blankets next to a fire, playing board games with family or maybe reading a book. In front of you is a warm beverage and maybe a few cookies. If this picture stirs up anything within you, that is hygge. Staying cozy and indulging is a great way to survive, and even thrive, in the frigid Rochester winter.
I think hygge is best enjoyed/experienced both outside and inside. It’s important for mental and physical health to get outside, even when it’s absolutely freezing. I like to cross-country ski in the winter, which I think is a great way to connect with nature. There are a lot of other ways to get outside in the winter, including snowshoeing, downhill skiing, or even just taking a walk, so find what works for you. The beauty of nature should be enjoyed all year long.
The winter can be a depressing time, so find a way to cope with it-whether that means cozying up with a good book inside or enjoying the snowy beauty outside, or even better, some combination of the two. Once I learned to appreciate it, it became a lot more manageable. Even though shoveling snow and early sunsets still sometimes suck the life out of me, winter is a (mostly) beautiful time of year.
Written by Isabel Lieberman, Class of 2021.