Hygge was the buzz word of 2016. Someone had finally provided us with a word which described the cosy, content, family feeling we have around Autumn. We fully embraced it, we no longer felt guilty for wanting to be at home in the warm eating our favourite foods. Arriving home to the slow cooker bubbling away and reaching for our favourite pair of pyjamas. We love the idea behind hygge because it not only combines all the small things we love about the season, Hygge can also contribute towards improving our mental wellbeing. Hygge is a Danish concept one which they credit as one of the most influential factors in why they were named the happiest nation. These are just five ways adopting the concept of hygge this Autumn and Winter will improve your mental wellbeing.
Inviting friends over
Nights at home with soft lighting, home cooked food and games are one of the most common types of ‘hygge’ nights. The Danish love casual nights in, catching up with family and friends. These nights can be the perfect opportunity to chat with the ones you love and talk about how you are feeling. Informing friends how you feel can be a useful way to voice troubles and gain insights from people you value opinions of.
Leaving work behind
The Danish value the importance of family, having dinner together and not spending time with loved ones only at the weekend. Meaning that the majority of employees will leave work early in the evening to spend time building and nurturing their relationships. Leaving work behind at a reasonable hour means you leave the stress and tension of your job behind too. This can help clear your mind to focus on the activities you enjoy outside of work. You spend the majority of your time at work so don’t feel guilty for switching off. This will help to reduce stress and anxieties. It will also give you time to nurture and build relationships. Along with freeing up time and mind space to put your full self into social occasions.
There is nothing better or more comforting than arriving home to some delicious smelling food bubbling away in the slow cooker. They are a great way of packing in vegetables and nutrients our body needs. Having a healthy balanced diet is not only good for your health it also improves your mental wellbeing. It can reduce stress, improve concentration, improve skin complexion, boost self-esteem and confidence.
Switching off on long walks
It’s very Hygge to include nature into your life. Long walks with a snuggly coat, big knitted scarf and gloves. An added hot chocolate whilst you walk through the orange leaves on a crisp bright morning. These long, crisp early morning walks can improve your mental wellbeing. They give you a chance to clear your head. You learn to appreciate your surroundings and worry less about what is going on in your life. You can find yourself more in the moment appreciating where you are and what is around you.
Play board games/book swaps
Hygge is all about being in the moment, this doesn’t mean a mass digital detox but the best way to be present, interacting and social is to play board games. I always look forward to evenings playing scrabble with my mum and sister. We laugh at each other and it really helps to ground me where I am. I enjoy sitting there feeling cosy and focused on beating them, or trying to cheat my way to a word I know is not allowed. I always associate board games with Christmas which is why they fit so well with Hygge. Bored games and reading are such an effective method of mindfulness and self-care. Laughter can boost your mood which instantly makes you feel happier. Laughing with family can make you feel more connected, united and valued. Taking this time out helps to stop comparison with others on social media or worrying about jobs that need doing. You focus on the game or the book and having fun.
How do you like to include self-care and hygge into your day?
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