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Study ‘’hygge’’: Getting cosy & creating calm

News story

Winter has arrived early in Perth this year. The end of semester work is ramping up with final assignments due and exams in sight. With the chilly wet weather, it is the perfect time to take some inspiration from the Scandinavians and get some winter study “hygge’’ on.

A woman sitting on a couch playing with a puppy surrounded by cosy blankets and candle light.

The Danes call it hygge, the Norwegians say “koselig’’ and it is “mys’’ to the Swedes, whatever you call it, it is easy to imagine that people of far northern Europe with the cold, the rain and the arctic circle’s impact on light and darkness – these are the people with knowledge about how to get things done no matter the weather!

Hygge and its counterparts are all about slowing down and being mindful; joyfully choosing cosy over things that may be considered more exciting. Here in Australia, the end of semester one coincides with winter and it is a perfect time to add hygge to your study rituals.

5 study hygge tips for outer calm

  1. Cosy up your study spot: Why not add a winter throw blanket, get a huge mug just for winter study drinks, and add a candle or two to create some cosy winter ambiance. (Warning: Be careful with candles and study notes, remember fake candles that flicker are a good solution if you have restrictions in your accommodation!)
  2. Coffee, tea and broth: Always have access to hot drinks and don’t forget broths can be a great way to energise and tide you over till your next meal.
  3. Create a winter study uniform: Comfortable, warm but not your pjs! Otherwise your study session might turn into a nap.
  4. Call a friend and have a break together: You need to take regular breaks to focus and while you may be trying to focus by studying alone there is no reason not to step away from your desk and share a digital coffee break with a friend.
  5. Get outside every day: No matter the weather the Scandis know the value of getting any amount of natural light they can on their skin for health and wellness reasons in the winter months. In Australia, it can be easier to hold out for nicer weather but if you get yourself outside each day, even if it is for 5 minutes while you have a hot cup of tea on your balcony and give your eyes a break from screens, you will feel more grounded.

Creating inner calm

It is possible to take it up a step further and actually learn techniques that turn off the stress response your body goes into in the sympathetic nervous system. Here rather than creating calm around us we can actually access the calm within. If you are struggling with stressful feelings and need some guided time out to recentre, refocus, and find some inner balance, we can help. Curtin has a free one-hour webinar to help you visualise what is happening in your body when you are stressed and gives you strategies for developing and nurturing your relaxation response.

Register to attend the Creating calm webinar, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Wednesday 25 May.

If you think you are experiencing symptoms of stress that are affecting your life or studies but aren’t sure what to do about it, get in touch with our Student Wellbeing Advisory Service, see one of our bulk-billed GPs or book an appointment with one of our Curtin psychologists.

If you found this article helpful, share it with a fellow Curtin student. Good luck with your studies and we hope you look forward to winter with these ‘’hygge’’ tips.