The art of creating coziness for yourself.

Sunday night Hummusapien texted me and said, “Have you heard of the word “hygge?” You would love it.”

So I googled “hygge” (pronounced “hue-gah”) and found it was a Danish word that doesn’t have a direct translation, but Wikipedia describes the noun “hygge” as a state where all psychological needs are in balance.  Then I came across this blog that explained hygge as “the art of creating intimacy either with yourself, friends or your home.” OMGSH.  The art of creating intimacy with yourself…that is what I’m all about…getting to know and then taking excellent care of yourself.  Hello, self care web.  

When you’re in your eating disorder, you squander all your energy dissociating from the world while trying to become smaller and smaller.  Going through college with an ED meant I dissociated from all my emotions (and all of life) and didn’t nurture my psychological needs because I was too busy feeling numb from controlling my food/feeling crazy about my weight/overexercising/bingeing/etc.  College is the time you’re supposed to be connecting to your values/creativity/spirit, but those 3 factors couldn’t develop in me until I chose to move away from my ED.  And to move away from my ED I had to accept the fact that there was some uncertainty in the body size I would end up at and I was just going to have to accept that or spend my life miserable.

In my ED, I wasn’t creating an atmosphere in myself where my values/creativity/spirit could grow.  I feel like my values/creativity/spirit were planted deep inside me, but they weren’t being watered.  They weren’t in an environment where they could flourish.  They just stayed silent and buried inside of me waiting to be nourished (literally and figuratively). 

Now, being on the recovered end of the ED recovery spectrum, it feels good to be in a relationship where I take care of myself.  I’ve built a relationship with myself where I allow myself to do the things I like and not do the things I hate.  I’ve “dated myself” and as a result have fostered a coziness in my body and environments I’m in that promotes psychological wellbeing where my
values/creativity/spirit CAN bloom.  That last past “a cozy atmosphere that promotes psychological wellbeing” is another definition of “hygge” that I came across.  Doesn’t that sound so lovely? 

I don’t think it’s worth spending your life trapped in your disordered eating and/or unhealthy relationship with exercise…never getting to meet the full and complete version of yourself.  In your eating disorder/disordered eating you aren’t creating a cozy atmosphere for yourself that promotes psychological wellbeing.  When you are choosing your ED/disordered eating, you are creating “uhyggeliga” (the antonym of hygge), which translates to “scary.” So in your ED you are creating a scary atmosphere for yourself that does not promote psychological wellbeing.  Hmm.  I choose a cozy place for myself and I hope you do to.

What are the tips you have for creating a sense of coziness with yourself, your friends, your family, your work environment, or your home?

For me, my sense of coziness with myself comes from having good self-care habits.


  1. You know, in my recovery I was never told I had to accept the uncertainty of what my body would be. I felt like I could control it even out of recovery. I wish I had heard those words.
    I create coziness with myself by building kind, safe relationships around me and by reminding myself daily that I can depend on God to meet all my needs.

  2. What a fantastic word! I love how you said you “never get to meet the full and complete version of yourself” when you are stuck in an ED. So true and so tragic. Always always thankful for your posts, Kylie!

  3. This is a lovely post and perfect for Valentine’s Day! It’s so often touted as the most important holiday to have someone but regardless if you do or not, you can still choose to love and treat yourself. I love the self-care movement and that young RD’s are moving away from diet culture, body dissatisfaction, etc. :)

  4. Isn’t it strange how loving one’s self is the hardest kind of love to accept and believe?

  5. What a lovely idea! I like how this idea of hygge is a little bit different from related concepts like “balance” and “mental health.” It seems almost a little more personal and subjective.

  6. This is all so dreamy :) Happy heart day to a lady I admire with all my heart!

  7. Hi Kylie! I just want to let you know how much your posts have helped me within the past year! In the past I would often exercise and then put off lunch as long as possible and never focused on actually satisfying my cravings. Today I made a burger for lunch, something I thought of only as a “dinner food” last year and never would have done! Having your voice in my head telling me to satisfy and care for myself has helped so much that I think I’m on the way to having my own voice tell me the same things! 

    • You are welcome to use my voice as long as you need<3 So glad you are making so much progress. If it's what you're craving, a burger for lunch is the healthiest choice you could make:)

    • Can’t agree with this comment enough – your posts help me stay committed to recovery 🙌🏼

  8. Really needed to read this today, Kylie. I feel like in this past year – through my continued journey in recovery – I really have learned how to create compassion and coziness for myself. The word compassion wouldn’t even pass my lips a few years ago, and now I find myself frequently craving it. When I am feeling down, I crave those things that I know give me comfort – going to a coffee shop, writing, big bakery treats etc. I have definitely learned to date myself – and I love my inner child dates. However, I feel like I’m in this hard phase of recovery where I give myself these things, but those nasty bullies in my brain still come back at me and make me feel so guilty for it after the fact. It feels like I’m stuck in between a rock and a hard place. I now crave comfort.  I give myself comfort. But the I still often feel so wrong for it. Anyways – thank you for reminding me that giving coziness to ourselves is okay. <3

  9. Wow this post is so wonderful. Thank you so, so much. Your blog is so helpful and uplifting to so many of us recovering or struggling with disordered eating. I LOVE the word cozy. The idea of creating a coziness for myself within myself is beautiful. I create coziness by eating what I am craving, working on being in tune with myself and speaking up for myself, finding my inner voice and listening to it…. taking time to relax, especially in the morning which is my favorite time of the day . Also, creating relax time with my husband and taking time to talk about our days.

  10. What a wonderful! I think cozy for me is getting in a pair of PJs after a good workout, yoga session or long walk and cuddling up with someone I love…and doing nothing but enjoying the moment.

  11. Pingback: Things You Should... - The Real Life RD|NYC Dietitian Nutritionist

  12. Pingback: The Weekender 2/18 - Oats & Rows

  13. Exactly what I’m doing at this moment. Spending time with not by myself in a local coffee shop while listening to the Waitress soundtrack. Oh so cozy indeed.

    Over the past couple of years, I’ve really been trying to figure myself out, which is something I’m striving for especially as I am battling my eating disorder and perfectionism. A big part of that is taking steps every day to take care of myself. I have been learning to give myself the time and space I need even to explore who I am if I am going to disappoint people along the way. Sounding like a broken record here but thank you so much for more inspirational words, Kylie.

  14. Pingback: Not every meal has to be a gourmet experience: A conversation on (sometimes) eating boring and unexciting food. – Yeah…Immaeatthat

  15. Pingback: 5 thoughts – Yeah…Immaeatthat

Leave a Reply to Kaylee Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *