Student Insights: Kathryn Sokolowski, University of New Mexico ’21

9 Ways to Add Hygge to Your Space

By Kathryn Sokolowski

Kathryn Sokolowski lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a freshman at the University of New Mexico. Her passion for understanding people and their culture led her to double major in Anthropology and Communications with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. Through high school, Kathryn participated in many extracurricular, including band, newspaper, theater and speech and debate. When she’s not exploring her passion for creating Kathryn can be found hiking trails near her home or lounging with her fat cat.

Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is a Danish word which describes a state of togetherness, comfort, and happiness. Hygge focuses on being present in the moment and creating a welcoming environment. Here are nine tips for adding a bit more Hygge to your study space:

1. Get into something more comfortable
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Before you begin studying, find something more comfortable to wear. Sweaters and fuzzy socks are excellent choices during the winter. If it’s too hot outside, loose t-shirts and pants work well too.

2. Brew up a warm beverage
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One of the main principles of Hygge is warmth, so an adorable mug and your choice of hot beverage should do the trick. While coffee may be tempting, keep in mind the time of day. It may be more beneficial to opt for green or herbal tea to keep you calm instead of buzzing on caffeine all night long.

3. Add photos of things you love
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Decorate your space with photos of people or events that create a sense of happiness and fulfillment in your life. Some photos of a furry friend or a collage of beautiful pictures will personalize your space and make your desk feel more welcoming.

4. Create a calming playlist
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If music aids in concentration, use it to create a calming playlist of your favorite music to add to the atmosphere of your study space. For many people, vocals can be too distracting and opt to listen to classical music or piano pieces.

5. Add warmth with candles
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Danish people live in a part of the world which is dark throughout the winter. To combat this, they light candles to add warmth and delicious smells in their home. Add candles or incense to your room to improve your mood and add warmth. Live in a dorm? Purchase an essential oil diffuser, which does not use an open flame.

6. Put technology away
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Technology is distracting and doesn’t allow you to be in the moment when studying. Put your phone out of sight and out of reach for your study session. Instead, be more focused on what you’re learning instead of the latest twitter gossip.

7. Add some greenery

Potted plants are known to clean the air and improve studying, based on a University of Michigan study, which found studying with plants improved productivity and memory. Plus, bringing some of the great outdoors in can add a positive vibe to any space.

8. Embrace natural lighting
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Harsh artificial light is a no-go for smart studying as it can add to your stress and mess up your natural sleep cycle. Instead, opt to open your curtains or find a space with natural lighting to study. This will keep your circadian rhythm undisrupted and help you sleep peacefully.

9. When you’re done, leave it there.
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As the saying goes “Don’t take work home with you”, don’t take your study stress with you. Nothing is less like hygge than stressing by staying up late, cramming for an exam. Instead, leave it as it is and take a walk, pet a dog, or call a friend to clear your head.

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