Regular readers of this blog will know how much I love my at-home spa routines; partly to save money but also because I love my home space. Now it’s getting colder, I plan to crank up the self-care with a liberal sprinkling of hygge.
The dictionary definition of hygge, a Danish word, is a quality of cosiness (feeling warm, comfortable and safe) from doing simple things, whether it’s lighting candles, cooking a lovely meal or hanging out with friends and family. The feeling is easy to create and needn’t cost much at all.
One of the ways I create that hygge feeling is by turning my bath routine into a spa-like ritual. Rather than just running the bath, pouring in a few bubbles and lying back, I try to make it special, as though I am booked into a cosy twilight spa for the evening. Here’s how:
First – get into the right headspace
Right after work, before I even think about dinner, I like to do my yoga practise. I turn on my golden salt lamp, add an essential oil (usually grapefruit which is uplifting) in my oil diffuser and replicate the feeling of a cosy yoga studio. This usually consists of a deep, full body stretch and a vinyasa flow. It usually only lasts 30 minutes, but it helps me to unwind and let go of the day. I’ve recently started some work-outs which involve toning my body and getting my heart pumping (as my Ayurvedic practitioner suggested), allowing me to shake out any stress.
Now set your intention: what is it that you want to gain from this ritual? I see it as a meditative practise; focusing on the present and forgetting everything else around me. At this point, I may allow myself a little scroll to seek inspiration from Instagram posts. Other than that, my phone is for music only…
Next – create the space
Nearly every illustration of hygge involves candles, and with good reason. I usually light one large scented candle: I love leaving a dark ambience in my bathroom and just watching the single flicker. It’s hypnotically calming and makes a change from staring at my phone. I know fairy lights are a bit cliché, but they work for me. Since candlelight is not exactly conducive to reading, I tend to bring a speaker into the bathroom (away from the water, of course) and play my favourite songs or podcast loud and clear, blocking out all other sounds.
Then – get the products
If you are going to spend, do it on the best bath products. Don’t scrimp as most cheap things come at a cost to the planet, or your skin.
I like to start off by body brushing. It helps to get rid of dead skin cells and to boost circulation. I use the Skin Brush by Organic Pharmacy as it has a detachable long handle, so it’s great for hard to reach areas. I mostly like to do it on the back of my legs as I have some cellulite there, so it really helps to diminish its appearance (not that there’s anything wrong with a lil’ bit of cellulite!).
If I did work up a sweat during my workout, my go-to bath salt is the Organic Pharmacy Seaweed Detoxifying Bath Soak. It has a strong but very pleasant peppermint and eucalyptus scent which would also be perfect for the winter, especially if you are feeling a bit bunged up. I feel revitalised even just after smelling it.
I also like to add a bath oil to leave my skin super soft. Another favourite of mine is the Organic Pharmacy Jasmine Bath Oil. Jasmine is said to enhance your mood and help you feel uplifted. The combination of the two are so relaxing on the skin.
Finally – relax
Now comes the reward: I lie back, soak in all the goodies, inhale the scents and listen to the music. That’s when I start to feel hygge…
What’s your home-hygge routine?
Favourite book: I’m actually reading The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking at the moment. It really helps me to get into that snug and homey feeling. You could even do some colouring or sketching in the bath if you have a board (not so easy with candlelight, however. I have tried...). Otherwise, I would do this after cooling down.