Danes were voted the happiest people on earth last year. One of the reasons is a way of life the Danes call Hygga (pronounced hooga). It was originally a Norwegian word for well-being, but it is now the word Danes use for how they combat the effects of their long, dark winters. Hygga is all things cosy, candle light, fur, throws and fires for warmth, friends over for conversation and dinners –  with great food and drink etc. You get the picture.


Today is the Autumn Equinox, days are getting shorter, we are also adjusting to our new normal – life with a child who has gone to uni. So why not adopt hygga for the heart this season. Reduce our expectations of ourselves whilst we adjust to the change in family life. Be a little bit more indulgent, use the extra time to please yourself more.  A friend told me that by Christmas you have got used to your child’s absence. Then Christmas rolls round remarkably quickly and they come back – with washing!

So make the most of the coming weeks to do what you want –  whether that be putting your feet up or organising a get together with friends in the same boat.  And if anyone has the temerity to question this new attitude or demand more than you are capable of giving at this time you could always use the advice in this recent quote from Helen Mirren, “At 70 years old, if I could give my younger self one piece of advice, it would be to use the words “f*** off” much more frequently” Not very hygga I’m sure you’ll agree, but effective!