As the cold dark evenings and mornings start to draw in this month, it’s no wonder some of us might be feeling a bit down in the dumps. We are not a happy nation, in fact a recent world happiness report actually ranked the UK as the 21st happiest country in the world, much lower than some of our Nordic neighbours. Denmark has been ranked the happiest country in the world for several years, but with long cold winters and an average of 17 hours of darkness per day, how can the Danes be so happy? In aid of World Mental Health Day taking place on 10th of October, we explore why the Danes are so happy and give you some tips on how to pick up your mood throughout the winter months.
The Danish concept of ‘Hygge’ pronounced ‘’hoo-ga’’ is thought to be what makes Danes so happy in the winter months. Hygge which translates to mean cosiness is all about being kind to yourself, indulging in good food, lighting candles and spending time with your loved ones. Hygge can even be as simple as wearing your favourite woolly jumper watching movies by a log fire. Here are some top tips on how to create feelings of wellness in your home this winter with hygge:
- Make your home feel cosy: Create a warm feeling in your living space. Candles are an inexpensive and easy way to instantly create a more positive mood in your home. If you have a fire, make use of this in the winter. You could invest in some warmer lighting and accessories such as rugs, cushions and blankets for cold feeling rooms.
- Create a good social atmosphere: Invite friends and family over for dinner, there’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table engaging in good conversation and enjoying delicious home cooked food with your loved ones.
- Take some time out of your busy schedule: Give yourself some quality personal time every so often. This could be something as simple as reading a book or watching a movie wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa or doing whatever else you love doing.
- Get some exercise: What better way to create the feeling of hygge than to wrap up warm and take a walk in the countryside and reward yourself with a hot drink in a cosy setting when returning. Frequent exercise has also been proven to help boost the mood, so be prepared to brave the cold in the winter months.
For more information on World Mental Health Day visit the World Health Organisation’s website: http://bit.ly/1otLQ67