Cozy — enjoying or affording warmth and ease : snug.
Let’s be honest, being cozy is an utter delight. I’ve spent most of my life cultivating cozy moments. It’s not something I was really aware of until I was an adult, but looking back, I can see how this has always been my way of choice.
Being an introverted homebody surely influences my love of being snug, but there is more to it than that. When I think back to my childhood, I remember my mom setting the mood with lighting, adding twinkle lights for charm, making my room a place of creative, warm solitude. I see my dad taking me to artsy movies and to record stores, and handing me down his love of reading a good magazine. I remember him opting to not go skiing with us, but instead sip hot coffee with a book in the lodge. As a teenager, I loved rainy days (still do). I used to ask Mother Nature for rain on my birthday. I was intrigued with living in Seattle as an adult. My sweet parents even took me to Seattle after high school to experience it. Ironically, it was sunny our entire trip. All of these things shaped who I am today, which is someone who is borderline obsessed with creating cozy moments.
I’m not alone in my obsession. The Danish lifestyle, hygge, became a big trend a couple years ago. Also, “cosagach ” — an old Gaelic word for being snug and cozy. Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. There have been loads of articles and books about how to create a world of hygge in your home. I’ve actually never read any of them, but I’m pretty sure I do most of them already. Journalist Laura Weir just published, Cosy: The British Art of Comfort, which may explain my Anglophile tendencies.
Recently, the acronym JOMO (joy of missing out) has been circulating on the Internet. JOMO is the antithesis of FOMO (fear of missing out). It’s about taking control of your needs and being empowered by those choices. It’s about being OK with disconnecting and choosing to opt out of something. This is another way of being that I intrinsically connect with. However, in the past, I’ve felt like it was viewed in a negative way; choosing to miss out, to stay in and not engage wasn’t something I felt proud of. Yet, now people are seeing the real power in doing what is best for you. It’s not all or nothing either. You can live a life where you find a balance of saying ‘yes’ and saying ‘no.’
I pushed myself in 2018 to say YES a lot more. I went to events in the city. I traveled away from my family more. I spoke at conferences and on podcasts. These are things I tend to shy away from naturally, but I know that pushing myself to try new experiences and go past my comfort zone can be good for me. I just can’t do that all year long. After I wrapped up a lot of my big, busy projects last October, I decided it was time for me to go into full-blown hermit mode. The beauty was that I did it without shame or guilt but actual pride that I was listening to what my body and mind needed.
I’m now cultivating coziness for my family as well. I never have artificial lights on in the house unless desperately needed (twinkle lights are the exception, duh!). I often have a soothing soundtrack on in the background while my kids color or play with toys. I light candles on cold, overcast days. I have blankets and pillows in all rooms to cozy up with. I know the beauty of drinking a warm beverage by the fire. We play board games on a slow Saturday and make pancakes every Sunday. I sing lullabies to my kids as they drift off to sleep. This isn’t at all contrived, but how I organically create softness and warmth in our daily lives. I will sometimes ask my 5-year-old daughter what my favorite thing is and she will say, “Being cozy!” Except she’s wrong. It’s her and her brother—our family, but being cozy is a close second.
Here are some of my favorite things to bring on the cozy:
- Listening to music. I prefer it on our record player with our favorite Marshall speaker, but Spotify playlists are easy and convenient. Here are mine. You may enjoy my Slow Weekend Mixtape for ultimate chill vibes.
- Invest in the right kind of lighting. I like having a dimmer option, but don’t use super bright lightbulbs. Use twinkle lights.
- Invest in comfortable loungewear. My current favorites are: Sloan, Lake PJs, Aviator Nation, tees from Bliss and Mischief, anything by The Great, Jenni Kayne and Emily + Meritt. Also, buy a cozy bathrobe.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary. Having a comfy bed is a non-negotiable. Sheets from Dazed But Amazed, In Bed and Parachute Home are nice.
- Reading nooks. For you and your family. Carve out areas to chill and read a book.
- Take more baths. Or showers at night.
- Watch movies that make you feel good. My cozy movie list is coming soon.
- Have blankets everywhere. We are blanket hoarders in my family. There’s always one nearby for a good snuggle. I’m currently coveting a big quilt.
- Watch cooking shows. For some reason, a “Barefoot Contessa” marathon makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Images of Winona Ryder in Rolling Stone, 1994 (Which is an interesting read. I love her note about wishing she lived in an apartment in the Sunset District of San Francisco.)