Hygge

10 Simple Hygge Tips

Looking for ideas to add some hygge into your life? Hygge isn’t a fancy ritual, or overly complicated planned event. It can be as simple as taking a moment for yourself to be present. Here are 10 simple ways you can start feeling the benefit of hygge today.

1. Take a nap

Naps are a great way to feel refreshed. You could take as little as 30 minutes, or go all out and take a few hours.

2. Listen to music

Turn on the radio, stream your favorite streaming service, or listen to an album. Music has a profound effect on our mood and can help us relax, unwind, or feel more energized.

3. Meditate

Meditation may not be for everyone, and it can take practice to perfect. But even if you just sit for a moment and breathe, and try to channel out the day’s worries, it can help your mood immensely.

4. Drink a warm drink

There’s nothing like a warm drink on a cold day. It warms your hands, and create a warm glow from the inside out. Whether it’s a caffeinated coffee or tea, or a sweet hot chocolate, whatever your drink of choice, be sure to be present in the moment and enjoy every sip.

5. Turn your cell phone off

This might be difficult for many of us to do in the eternally connected world in which we live today. But just try switching off your cell phone for an hour. If you really can’t bring yourself to do that, then at least leave it in another room on silent.

6. Take a bubble bath

If you have a bathtub in your home, fill it up with warm water and some bubbles, turn off your phone, light some candles and turn on some relaxing music, and just enjoy a few moments of peaceful relaxation.

7. FaceTime / video call a friend

Talking to a friend can really brighten up your day. If they live far away, a video call is a great way to keep in touch.

8. Watch a movie

With so many options for great movies, snuggle into the sofa, grab a blanket and some popcorn and start watching something for a couple of hours of escapism.

9. Spend time with your pets

It’s well known that animals can help heal us and boost our mood. Instead of rushing around to feed them, walk them etc, slow down and just simply spend some quality time with them.

10. Read a book

One of the easiest ways to get some time for yourself and unplug, is to read a book. Whether it’s fiction or factual, a good book can help us loose ourselves and unwind from the day.

If you’ve enjoyed these #hyggetips follow our Instagram channel for weekly tips to add some hygge into your life.

I’m off to have a relaxing bubble bath now with a good book…

Hygge

What is Hygge?

Hygge is hard to explain, but you know it when you see it. It’s different for everyone, and personal to what you love and value. But what all hygge moments have in common is that they’re about being present in the moment and appreciating life.

Hygge is about taking time away from the daily rush to be together with people you care about – or even by yourself – to relax and enjoy life’s quieter pleasures.”

Denmark.dk

Hygge is a Danish phenomenon about enjoying the small moments in life with the ones you love. It’s no surprise then that Denmark is often cited as one of the happiest countries in the world.

A hygge moment - picnic with friends. Photo by Askar Abayev on Pexels.com

But what does it look like? It could be a picnic in the park with your friends. It could be cozying up reading a book in front of the fire. It could be enjoying a home cooked meal with your family.

But why should Americans care?

The U.S. is well known for being a hard working culture. Americans every year put in long hours, have fewer vacation days, and are more stressed as a result.

“Some 94% of [American] workers report feeling stress at work.”

wrike.com

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) OECD stats, U.S. workers work “442 more hours per year than German workers, 294 more hours per year than United Kingdom (UK) workers, 301 more hours per year than French workers, and 184 more hours per year than Japanese workers.”

The U.S. remains the only industrialized country in the world that has no legally mandated annual leave. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), “Close to 1 in 4 U.S. workers do not receive paid vacation or paid holidays.”

CEPR

What does this mean for American workers?

  • Around 1 million Americans miss work each day because of stress
  • 62% of workers end the day with work-related neck pain
  • 34% report having trouble sleeping due to work-related stress
  • 76% of workers in the U.S. report that stress from work affects their personal relationships negatively

If this isn’t reason enough to slow down and take a break, then keep reading.

Why did we choose the name ‘Hygge’?

Speaking from personal experience, after my husband and I moved from the UK, we quickly started to notice a difference in the work culture. After working in the US for a few years, we noticed ourselves getting more stressed, and not feeling as fresh and as ready for the day as we used to. We hadn’t taken a two week summer vacation for years, due to the reduced amount of vacation time we now got. It was taking a toll on us.

In 2020 the global pandemic hit, and in a weird sort of way it reset our life and reminded us of how important it is to slow down. I was furloughed 100%, and my husband was furloughed 20% from our corporate jobs, and suddenly we time on our hands.

We decided to take the plunge and open our first vacation rental at Giants Ridge, MN, and spent many long weekends during the summer and fall of 2020 renovating our new property. Spending so much time in Northern Minnesota was a breathe of fresh air, literally. The pace of life was so much slower, the surroundings were so quiet and peaceful, it really was a little slice of heaven.

Wynne Lake at The Hygge Suite – Giants Ridge

Given the strong Scandinavian heritage of the area, ‘hygge’ seemed like the perfect word to use in the name of our new brand of vacation rentals. We wanted people to get away from their busy lives in the cities and head to our vacation rental to enjoy nature, peace and quiet and quality time with their loved ones. And so The Hygge Suite brand was created.

Our mission was and still is:

“To provide memorable time away with loved ones to relax, unwind and enjoy the hygge moments.”

The Hygge Suite

Since 2020 we’ve opened another two vacation rentals in Lutsen, MN near the beautiful North Shore of Lake Superior. We’re very deliberate about where we choose to locate our properties. You’ll always find them in or close to areas of natural beauty, so you have the opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the hygge moments.

Travel Guides

Winter Travel Guide – Giants Ridge

With so many options for winter sports at Giants Ridge, and only three hours drive from the Twin Cities, Giants Ridge is the perfect local winter getaway for Minnesotans. There are miles upon miles of quiet unspoiled nordic trails, gravity-fed fat bike trials, downhill ski and snowboard runs. You’ll never be stuck for ways to get outside and get some fresh air.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Probably one of the best known winter sports at Giants Ridge is the downhill skiing and snowboarding mountain. With 35 runs, 5 lifts and 2 terrain parks, Giants Ridge Ski Resort is a great place to visit for downhill skiing and snowboarding.

Cross Country Skiing

Giants Ridge is home to more than 60km of world-class nordic ski trails. From beginner trails to more advanced, the expansive trail system has something to offer people of all skill levels.

You can even ski at night on a magical 3km lighted two-way loop designed for beginners. The perfect way to get away from it all and explore the natural surrounding of Northern Minnesota.

Snow Tubing

One of the lesser-known winter sports at Giants Ridge is snow tubing. There are three snow tubing lanes and a tow lift to operate them. Not just for kids, snow tubing can be fun for all the family!

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

There are approximately 4.8 km of snowshoe trails at Giants Ridge that meander through the beautiful Northwoods scenery and Wynne Lake.

This winter there is a Ladies Snowshoe Series that offers guided beginner and intermediate hikes on select days and evenings during the months of February and March. The tickets include a guide, equipment rental, headlamp and dinner voucher with glass of wine.

Fat Tire Biking

With so many winter sports at Giants Ridge to choose from, it can be hard to decide. One winter sport we recommend to try is fat tire biking. There’s everything you need at Giants Ridge for a great fat tire biking experience. With over 60 km of nordic trail system on the edge of the Superior National Forest, there’s plenty of room to explore.

For the adrenalin junkies, winter 2020 saw the opening of a brand new downhill fat biking experience. A high-speed chair lift serves gravity-fed trails from the top of the mountain.

Dog Sledding

Dog sledding

You’ll have to go further afield for this winter sport, but it’s totally worth it. Dog sledding is a perfect way to create lasting memories on your trip to Giants Ridge. Traverse through the magical winter wonderland as your team of huskies pull you along.

Chilly Dogs in Ely (50 minutes from Giants Ridge) offers a half day excursion for $190 per adult. You get to meet the Alaskan huskies, learn about the breed, have a full orientation before heading out on an expedition. When you return, there’s hot chocolate, a brief educational program and a trip to the gift shop before heading home. Trips vary by length and are suitable for beginners.

Cozy Up in The Hygge Suite

After a long day on the slopes or trails, head back to the condo and cozy up under a blanket in front of the fire. There are games and books provided to allow for some quality hygge time with your loved one. Cook a homemade meal, shake up a cocktail and kick back.

There are tons of extra ideas in the activities bowl. Close your eyes, pick a coin, and see what fun activities you can explore!

Travel Guides

Winter Travel Guide – Lutsen

Ski and Snowboard

Standing at 1088 feet with 1000 acres of ski area, 95 runs and 8 lifts, Lutsen Mountains is Mid-America’s largest and tallest ski area. You can downhill ski, snowboard or cross-country ski at Lutsen Mountains. The area is best known for its wide-open, groomed cruisers, and family-friendly activities. It offers a diverse variety of terrain spread over 4 mountains, and is expanding. And one little known secret for the more adventurous among you, Lutsen offers 60 acres of tree skiing runs.

For more information on lift passes, conditions, rentals and trail maps visit Lutsen Mountains website.

Snowmobiling

Why not explore the area’s breathtaking scenery by snowmobile on its 450 miles of trails. Zip through miles of trails taking in the Lake Superior vistas, and wildlife such as moose, foxes, coyotes and wolves. Then stop off at one of the cozy small town cafes to refuel and warm up.

For rentals and more information visit Lutsen Mountains website.

Dog Sledding

Experience the stunning scenery in arguably one of the most unique and memorable ways – dog sledding. There a number of dog sled rentals nearby that offer from two hours to full day trips. There are also some races where you can watch the professionals in January.

For more details visit the Cook County website.

Snowshoeing

Try snowshoeing on the Superior Hiking Trail or the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The most leisurely way to explore the scenery and get a great workout at the same time.

For more information, visit the Cook County website.

Hygge Fireplace Tour

As you know, we’re all about hygge – enjoying a calm and comfortable time with friends and family in an atmosphere of warmth. So why not warm up the hygge vibes and visit the Hygge Fireplace Tour of Cook County throughout the month of February?

Hygge Festival

Check out the Hygge Festival happening from February 4th to February 14th in and around the Lutsen area. From guided winter treks, to live music and sleigh rides. There’s a little bit of hygge for everyone to enjoy.

Cozy Up in The Hygge Suite

After a long day on the slopes, ski / board back to the condo, take a dip in the hot tub then head back to the condo and cozy up under a blanket in front of the real log fire. There are games, DVDs and books provided to allow for some quality hygge time with your loved ones. Cook a homemade meal, shake up a cocktail and kick back.

There are tons of extra ideas in the activities bowl in each condo. Close your eyes, pick a coin, and see what fun activities you can explore!

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3 Weeks In

We’re now three weeks in to our renovation of The Hygge Suite. Although in some ways it doesn’t feel like we’ve completed much, when we look at how the bedroom looked before compared to how it looks now there’s a massive difference, even in its unfinished state.

Bedroom before
Bedroom during renovation

The room is much brighter, fresher and with that blue/grey shiplap wall, cozier. I’m loving how the floor turned out. We chose a waterproof laminate so it’s hard-wearing and will resist all the water and mud that’ll undoubtedly come into the suite from the lake and ski slopes. And the mirrored sliding doors reflect so much light into the room, they’re great! Plus you get to check out how you look before hitting the slopes, always important.

This week demo begins on the main living area – the floors and kitchen cabinets. One thing we never really thought about when diving into this renovation, was that being a one bed, one bath condo, living in the midst of renovations is not entirely that fun. And this week will definitely top that with no kitchen to cook any food. It’ll be microwave food and dry cereal for us this weekend. Wish us luck!

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The Journey Begins

We closed on The Hygge Suite at the end of July 2020, and so the journey begins…

The Hygge Suite – BEFORE renovation, that view…

Currently The Hygge Suite, isn’t feeling very “hygge”. We inherited the old “North Woods” cabin style furnishings with the suite, complete with moose decor and canoe shelves. The suite hadn’t been updated since it was built in the 90’s, except for the new wood flooring you see in the photo above. We had some work to do!

Living three hours away from the suite, and it being in a fairly remote location, and not to forget the fact that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, the renovation plan is a little bit of a challenge logistically. So far we’ve moved a few pieces of furniture in and rearranged the furniture.

Not a complete make-over, but a definite improvement – new nightstands, lamp and pillows

Our plan is to fully renovate the suite to bring in that “hygge” feel to it. It will have a Scandinavian modern design to reflect the hygge origins, but also the origins of the Minnesota heritage. We’ll bring warm and cozy elements to the suite so our guests can truly feel at home.

Being that we’re first time hosts, this is definitely going to be a journey for us, not just on the renovation side, but also as a business. We love honest feedback, and so you’ll see plenty of questions and polls out there on our social channels to help us put together a design that you’ll love. Follow our journey @thehyggesuite and help us create something amazing.

From your hosts – Jo & Harvey