The Healing Power of Coziness

May 26, 2020




I have sought out and created coziness from as far back as I can remember–spending hours tucked inside my carefully crafted blanket & stuffed animal forts with a Little House on the Prairie book as a child, covering my box-size college dorm rooms floor to ceiling with peaceful posters and gauzy fabrics, filling the roach infested apartments of my youth with fluffy pillows and jasmine candles. Whatever space I inhabited, it had to be cozified. 

Now this may sound like a personality quirk–that’s how I always saw it–but I’ve come to see that my quest for cozy is not an indulgence but rather an act of self-care. That sense of being welcomed by a space when I walk through the door, almost like getting a warm hug from the air itself, it just puts me at ease like nothing else. 

Now while everyone’s mental health is affected differently by their physical environment, for the highly-sensitive like myself (those of us acutely affected by sensory stimuli), comforting, safe-feeling spaces can do a lot to promote a sense of well-being. But cozy is not only for sensitive amongst us. Surveys conducted by the United Nations have Denmark topping the list of the happiest countries in the world, attributable in no small part to their relative obsession with “Hygge”, the Danish word for cozy. Hygge in practice is something like the constant pursuit of “homespun pleasures involving candlelight, fires, fuzzy knitted socks, porridge, coffee, cake” and people around whom we feel at ease.

And of course, during this oh-so-uncomfortable time, we can all use a dose of cozy. Try some (or all!) of these:

  • Decluttering (check out this great article on Thrive Global for some ideas on how to do this)
  • Reorganizing your space (we certainly do have time for this now!)
  • Adding decorative elements like pillows or blankets (I’m guilty of a little Etsy-indulgence myself)
  • Lighting scented candles
  • Playing soothing music
  • Put up photo or paintings that give you a sense of warmth
  • Bring into the space positive-feeling objects
  • Add an indoor chair-swing or rocking chair
  • Use a weighted blanket (this is great for sleeping but also feels good when you're sitting and working, reading or meditating)
  • Bring in some inspirational books

And if you have children, identifying a spot that is just "theirs" can offer real comfort. A place they can go when they're feeling upset or just need some alone-time (think cozy-corner). They can make it their own using many of the same elements that work for us big people, adding in toys, stuffed animals, and books they love.

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