How To Incorporate Hygge into Finals Week

By now, I’m sure everyone is at least familiar with the concept of hygge, but here is a quick refresher: Pronounced "hoo-ga,” this Danish concept refers to a sense of coziness, contentment, and well-being felt through the enjoyment of life’s simple things. In short, hygge seems to be the antithesis of everything related to finals week in college; however, there are ways to incorporate it into your finals week, and benefits to doing so. Prioritizing hygge in stressful periods of life is a form of self care, and one that is much more productive than allowing yourself to zone out on your phone for a few hours in the library. By deliberately taking the time to rest, relax, and recharge, in a way that calms instead of numbs your mind, your well-being, and your capacity for learning, will benefit. Below, find just a few suggestions on how to implement hygge easily into your college life.

1. Stay cozy while you work

This is one of the basic foundations of hygge. Being physically comfortable is of the utmost importance, especially while you study. If you’re going to the library, dress with layers so you can be comfortable no matter the temperature. If you’re sick, come stocked with cough drops, a water bottle, and tissues. Settle into the comfiest chair you can find, preferably in a room without fluorescent lighting (lamplight or natural light, always). If you’re studying in your room, turn on your lamp or string lights, wear the softest clothes you own, and light some candles or run a diffuser. Just because you’re suffering doesn’t mean you can’t make your environment a little more conducive to happiness; you can grind without grinding yourself into an all-night fluorescent hole of misery.

2. Eat and drink well

Hygge is about enjoyment, when it comes to both decor and food. While it is important to eat well during finals, it is also important to treat yourself. Soups and stews, comfort foods, hot chocolate, tea, or a warm coffee drink are all perfect hygge foods. Don’t deprive yourself: there is always time to eat, snack, and enjoy even on the busiest of days. And keeping yourself warm, full, and satisfied will only put you in a better position as you tackle your studies.

3. Keep your brain active, in a non-academic way

Taking study breaks is important—this is undisputed. However, what you do in these breaks can have a great effect on your mood, productivity, and overall well-being. Hygge is an inherently low-technology practice, so try to spend your breaks reading, doing a crossword puzzle, or talking to a friend, rather than mindlessly watching Netflix. If you do want to watch something, make it a movie and maybe invite someone over to watch it with you. After your break, you’re sure to feel pampered, renewed, and stimulated.

4. Don’t be a hermit

Making time for others is always important, but is absolutely crucial during finals. While the idea of group study just isn’t my thing (I always get far too distracted), taking breaks to see friends is so important. Ask a friend for coffee, watch a movie with someone, or just quietly coexist in the same room for a while. The human contact will leave you feeling rejuvenated (humans are, after all, social creatures, don’t deny this just because it’s finals).

5. Get outside

Hygge, for all its emphasis on coziness and warmth, is not just about being inside. Getting a change of scenery (and I’m not talking about just switching seats in the library) is crucial, so make sure you get off campus for a little bit on days of particularly intense studying. Put on your warmest coat and go for a walk. Just allow yourself to be in silence with yourself. The benefits of getting a little exercise, a change of pace, and an hour or so away from your books cannot be overstated.