A Cozy Lifestyle

January 15, 2019

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. I wasn’t aware of this 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 record stores and handing down his love of reading a good magazine. Every winter, my dad would choose not to ski with us but instead sip hot coffee with a book in the lodge. It used to puzzle me why he would choose to sit alone in the cabin. Now, I totally get it. As a teenager, I loved rainy days (I still do). I used to wish for rain on my birthday (I still do). As a teenager, I was desperate to move to the wet and rainy, Grunge Capital of the World: Seattle. My parents took me to Seattle for my high school graduation, and ironically, it was sunny our entire trip. These things shaped who I am today, which is someone borderline obsessed with creating cozy moments.

I’m not alone in my obsession. The Danish lifestyle, hygge, became a big trend a couple of 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 — feeling well and content. There have been loads of articles and books about how to create a world of hygge in your home. I’ve 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, I’ve felt like it was viewed negatively; choosing to miss out, stay in, and not engage wasn’t something I felt proud of. Yet, now people see 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. I tend to shy away from these things, but I know that pushing myself past my comfort zone can be good for me. But I can’t do that all year long. After I wrapped up my busy projects last October, I decided it was time to go into hermit mode. The beauty was that I did it without shame or guilt. I listened 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!). 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 enjoy 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 contrived, but how I organically create warmth in our daily lives. I sometimes ask my 5-year-old daughter what my favorite thing is, and she will say, “Being cozy!” This makes me smile — except she’s wrong — it’s our family, but being cozy is a close second.

Here are some of my favorite things to bring on the cozy: 

 

 

 

  • Invest in the right kind of lighting. I like having a dimmer option, but don’t use super bright lightbulbs. Use twinkle lights.

 

 

 

  • Reading nooks. For you and your family. Carve out areas to chill and read a book.

 

  • Take more baths. Or showers at night (my favorite).

 

  • 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 just asking for a good snuggle. I’m currently coveting a big quilt.

 

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.)