When you think about the “simple life”, do you think about wide open spaces, a small cottage and slow living?

Well, you may not be far off. Scandinavian countries are ahead of the curve when it comes to fostering a lifestyle that fully embraces taking it easy. Widely known as hygge (hoo-gah), this lifestyle and home decor trend prizes comfort, self-care and contentment by embracing your home as a cozy haven.

It may help that many Nordic areas are full of vast fields and fresh air, but the Danes believe that hygge can be made functional in any environment. Whether you’re just trying to get through the last few weeks of colder weather or recharging for spring, you can use these seven steps to enjoy a simpler life and living the Scandi way.

1. Create Some Atmosphere

Living the Scandi WayA little atmosphere can go a long way! Light your way with much more than table lamps and boring built-in lighting. Consider creating an aesthetic with candles or string lights. Then, add some decor with interesting candle holders to spread throughout each space.

Go one step further to add a little more hygge to your home. Hang beautiful tapestries, burn some incense or add houseplants to freshen and brighten up rooms at the same time.

2. Welcome the Weather

It’s tempting to hibernate when the weather doesn’t exactly agree with a deep desire for a beach chair in the hot sun. But when the weather starts to thaw, it’s important to get outside.

There are plenty of benefits to getting some fresh air. Take a walk, go for a jog or simply grab a seat on the front porch with a cup of coffee and a snug blanket. Soak up the available rays, and take a deep breath to truly relax the hygge way.

3. Get Comfortable

Getting comfortable is essential to adopting a hygge lifestyle. Comfy couches and beds make me feel relaxed at the end of a long day at work. If you’ve been waiting to invest in something new, now is the perfect time.

On average, most people spend about a third of their lives in bed. With a staggering statistic like that, make sure you’re not devoting too much of that time to anything less than perfect. Try a soft and cozy bed in a box delivered straight to your door for an option that is both affordable and convenient. Your sleep cycle (and back) will thank you!

4. Stay Motivated

Hygge is all about making the most of life by staying motivated through slow seasons. While it’s great to relax and refresh, it’s also key to be engaged in different activities. Pick up a new hobby or start participating in an exciting exercise class.

Another awesome approach for having motivation is to display necessary tasks. Hang white boards or calendars in plain sight to keep encouragement at the forefront and tick off every item on your to-do list.

5. Protect Your Mind

Sound body, sound mind, right?

For many, it’s easy to get wrapped up in social media that may elicit depression or loneliness. Resist the urge to respond to any news story you may disagree with by unplugging from electronics for a couple hours each day.

Instead, find a good book that can aid in personal development such as empowerment novels or mood tracking notebooks. To really take advantage of hygge, hit the bookstore to do some browsing and add to your physical collection, rather than relying on ebooks. If you don’t care for reading, podcasts and audio books are a great alternative, even though you aren’t as unplugged.

6. Meet Up

Living the Scandi Way

Hygge places a ton of emphasis on relationships. Show your friends and loved ones that you value them by hosting a small get together. Throw a dinner party at your home or meet up at your local bar or restaurant to catch up on life’s latest happenings.

If distance is preventing you from hanging out, another great practice that will help you appreciate your companions is to show them off in your home. Display pictures of your favorite memories with a gallery wall to accentuate your relationships and keep you connected to everyone you love.

7. Cherish Little Things

It’s the little things that really count in life. Hygge your way to contentment by taking advantage of simple pleasures. Set time aside to appreciate all that you have by acknowledging even the easiest tasks.

Be thankful for food on the table and a roof over your head by recording your thoughts in a gratitude journal. At the end of the day, a little old fashioned gratitude can go a very long way!

Now, following these steps isn’t hard, in fact it’s really simple! Living the Scandi way is trendy because not only is it easy, but it makes you feel good.

Living the Scandi Way