January is the perfect time to consider a fresh start or embrace a new approach to life and one concept that could help you is Hygge. Pronounced ‘hoo-ga’, this Nordic term describes a feeling of cosiness, contentment and enjoying life's simple pleasures with the people around you.
Adopting the principles of Hygge could make you fitter, happier and healthier – that’s THREE New Year’s resolutions in ONE new regime! So, what’s it all about?
Exercise – The Team Effect
The Hygge philosophy is that exercise should not be a chore but rather something you can enjoy as part of a group, so joining that weekly aerobics class or taking up running with a friend will not only make you fitter and healthier, but also bring you closer to the people around you!
Dining Together ...
Enjoying good food in good company is the way to dine Hygge-style, as you re-connect and bond with friends and family – there’s no TV dinners on planet Hygge!
... And Eating For Pleasure
We have long heralded the principle of everything in moderation and Hygge’s a great example of enjoying life’s culinary pleasures without feeling guilty. Whether it’s a glass of red wine or a few luxury chocolates, the Hygge principle is to enjoy them without the guilt trip, so long as you maintain a healthy balance.
De-stress Your Life!
Italians are the world’s greatest coffee drinkers, right? Wrong! Scandinavians top the charts both for highest coffee consumption and lowest stress levels. So, follow the Hygge philosophy and take a five-minute break to enjoy a coffee with your colleagues away from the computer screen. You may be surprised to see your stress melting away … And if you’re cutting down on caffeine, a bedtime hot chocolate drink is another example of the Hygge lifestyle, giving you a warm and cosy feeling that will help you sleep like a baby!
Still need convincing that Hygge’s the key to wellbeing? According to the latest OECD World Happiness Report Denmark, Norway and Finland are amongst the top 10 happiest countries in the world, with the UK in 23rd place, so it seems we have a lot to learn from our Nordic neighbours …