It's happening... Summer has slowly melted into Fall and sweater weather is officially here. The time change is just around the corner, which means shorter days and longer nights as time marches closer to Winter.
This changing of the seasons usually means fewer outdoor activities, less socializing, and more time spent cooped up at home by yourself, with your partner, or with your family. If you're a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), the increased time at home might be both good and bad. A lot of HSPs are introverts and this season offers a natural time of rest and rejuvenation. And, as an HSP you're also likely highly sensitive to your environment.
This sensitivity to environment means that things like dreary weather, less sunlight, and more time indoors can impact your mental health. You might struggle with the winter blues or fight Seasonal Affective Disorder during the next few months.
If that's the case, then I have a secret to share. Hygge can be an HSP's best friend when it comes to surviving the colder seasons.
Hygge? What's that?
Hygge is a Danish word that literally means, "a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being." Dictionary.com's super descriptive definition clearly illustrates how the concept of hygge can be an HSP's best friend. Hygge is all about creating an intentional environment specifically designed for contentment. When you practice hygge, you mindfully allow yourself to indulge on the very things that bring a sense of coziness to your world... things that will help you embrace the darkness and savor the solitude of the colder seasons.
What could be better to helping you fight the winter blues than indulging on coziness into your daily life?
Simple "Hygge" Things to Help HSPs
Creating a hygge-focused sanctuary isn't hard, though it does require you to be mindful, intentional, and attuned with what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. Here are some of my favorite super simple things you can do to bring some hygge into your home and help stave off a seasonal dip in your mental well-being.
Seduce Your Senses
HSPs can nurture their nervous system by catering to their senses. Grounding scents, calming sounds, and cozy textures are just a few ways you can incorporate some of your senses into your hygge practice...
Play calming music
Wear fuzzy socks
Curl up in a cozy blanket
Burn scented candles
Make yourself some tea
Set Your Surroundings
HSPs can take in the energy of their surroundings. Take a few minutes to settle any chaos that might be lingering in your main living areas...
Tidy up or declutter
Put your work away
Make your bed
Clear off the table
HSPs can take a cue from the animal kingdom during the winter. In our own version of hibernating, creating hygge in your life can encourage you to step back from the hustle and bustle of life and embrace the cozy art of slowing down...
Sit and savor your coffee in the morning
Spend a day reading in bed
Leave one day free without any plans
Take a tea break in the afternoons
HSPs thrive when they are tuned in to their needs and desires. Use this hygge time to reconnect with the things that brought you joy...
Watch your favorite movie
Re-read your favorite book
Bake your favorite dessert (bonus points for the sweet smell it will bring to your home)
Play to your favorite Spotify playlist on repeat
Settle Into Your Sensitivity
I like to say that your sensitivity is a superpower, not a defect. During this hygge season, use some of these tactics to practice embracing your sensitive nature. And if you're looking for some support to nurture your HSP qualities, please reach out. We’ll be happy to answer your questions or schedule your first session.
About the Author
Christine Tomasello is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Founder of Beachside Counseling in San Diego, CA, where she helps clients work through grief and loss, major life changes, and challenging relationship patterns. Christine identifies as a helper, healer, and highly sensitive person (HSP), and specializes in working with other therapists, helpers, healers, and HSPs.