New England can offer beauty in all four seasons. From crisp springs and summers by the lakes to the fall foliage and endless winter recreation in the mountains, the old adage “if you don’t like the weather, just wait 5 minutes” rings just as true in New England as anywhere else. However, there are some days in the height of the winter season where the frigid temperatures and relentless wind offers sub-zero wind chill temps that don’t inspire outdoor fun. We compiled a few ways to up your hygge this winter when the view outside your window is a little cold and grim.
1. Turn up the hygge with dorm room decor
While candles might be on the banned list for the dorms, a few fairy twinkle lights in a mason jar is an inexpensive way to cozy up your living space. Also, because hygge is all about nature, bring the outside in by introducing some plants that don’t require a ton of light but will add a little life to your space.
2. Practice some yoga/meditation
Now that you have a relaxing place to get your zen on, open your favorite meditation app or launch your go-to yoga video and follow along to get your morning off right. Mrs. Tyson has a short routine available for you on IGTV!
3. Grab a book
When the cold weather has you craving some cozy time, what better than to grab a book at the recently renovated Gordon-Nash Library and curl up in your favorite chair. A cup of hot chocolate can really up the hygge here as well, so go for it!
4. Get baking
Hot chocolate isn’t the only beverage that is hygge-approved. A hot cappuccino, cinnamon tea, or any other warm drink are perfect ways to warm you up while baking some delicious treats. Turn up the tunes and grab your besties and bake this New Hampton campus favorite:
- 1 Box – Betty Crocker Brownie Mix with semi-sweet chocolate chips added in mixed according to package instructions
- Double stuffed Oreos
- 1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups chopped walnuts
- 1-1/4 pounds semisweet chocolate chunks
Make the Cookie Dough: Cream the butter and two sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the butter with the mixer on low speed, mixing only until combined. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chunks.
Put the chocolate chip cookie dough in somewhat shallow casserole dish, smoothing it to the corners. Then lay the Oreos on top. Once the Oreos are placed on top, spoon the brownie batter on top.
Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes.
5. Get with friends for some games and laughter
Now that you have drinks and snacks, dust off the board games for some good old fashion fun. While Pictionary and Charades might be oldies but they are definitely goodies and they will surely have you laughing for hours. A game night in with friends while snuggled under a blanket is just about as hygge as it gets.
6 . Go “out” and play!
If the outdoors is too cold for you to enjoy, a temperature-controlled ice skating rink like Jacobson Arena right here on campus is a great way to get “out” while staying in. Race across the rink, make up a figure skating routine, or play a game of broomball with friends to take advantage of this fun winter sport—all while staying cozy!
7. Warm up the winter
Ok, we know it’s cold out. However, there still might be a way to enjoy this day outdoors. Bundle up in your warmest gear—sweater, heavy coat, hats, mittens, and scarf—then light up the fire pit on campus, eat some marshmallows, and try to warm up this frigid day!