Have a little Hygge in your life
Hi, I’m Jas Sohal, Acting Chief People Officer for Solent NHS Trust.
There’s no denying that Covid-19 has heightened feelings of anxiety and worry because of the uncertainty out there.
And it’s important to acknowledge that those feelings aren’t going away any time soon, and they can have negative effects on our mental health.
Published in The Lancet Psychiatry in July 2020, a new study from the University of Manchester and others, suggests a decline in population mental health from before the pandemic into the lockdown period in April 2020.
- Some mental health inequalities that were present before the pandemic have widened. The increase in mental distress was greater among women than men; and in younger age groups than older people.
- New mental health inequalities after one month of lockdown, with people living with young children showing greater increases in mental distress than people from child-free homes.
Autumn officially started on 22 September, with the clocks going back on 25 October a clear marker of those changes. With shorter days ahead, I’d like to share some tips to boost our mental health and wellbeing, based on the idea of Hygge – the Danish word, pronounced "hoo-ga", and usually translated into English as "cosiness".
Take time to relax
Hygge is about being comfortable and looking after yourself at home. That may be enjoying a hot drink and a warm blanket, or diving into a TV show or book. However you choose to unwind, enjoy that quality time indoors.
Connect with your community
It’s a good time to make sure that the time we spend online is meaningful. Many of us are calling our friends and family through video apps – let’s continue that to stay connected. Perhaps even reach out to those you’ve not spoken to in a while. You might even feel ready to see what volunteering opportunities there are in your neighbourhood.
Ready, steady, cook
Nutrition is key to how well we feel and how we go about our daily lives – physically, mentally and emotionally. Autumn is the ideal time to try out some heartwarming and healthy dishes such as soups, stews and casseroles packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Explore the great outdoors
We’re really lucky to have amazing coastal, city and rural spots on our doorstep. Being able to explore the great outdoors and take in the fresh air and scenery can help improve our mental health and wellbeing, and boost our physical activity. Our partners at Solent Mind have explored this important connection further.
Start some Hygge ways today
Hopefully you’re able to take a few of these tips into your daily life, and they will be a help in strengthening your overall health and wellbeing. Let’s all have a little Hygge in our lives.
We are planning some interactive hygge related sessions for everyone to enjoy and participate in. Details to follow shortly.