Can going 'Hygge' like the Danish boost your winter wellness?

Let's face it, summer is now a distant memory. The new chillier and bleaker season is upon us. You've packed away your sandals and pulled out your jumpers and boots to take on the dark mornings and dropping temperatures. If you've just given a little shudder at the mere thought of more winter weeks ahead, you're not the only one.

When Spring seems ages away - and right now, it really does - the endless nights and dank weather can get a bit much can't they? SAD - a seasonal form of depression in which people who have normal mental health during most the year but suffer depressive symptoms during certain seasons (usually between September and April), is thought to affect one in 15 of us in the UK.

Lack of both daylight and sunlight disrupt the body's hormone production and can leave us feeling tired and depressed.

Yet Denmark, where the sun can set before 4pm in deepest winter, is home to the world's happiest people, according to the World Happiness Report 2016. (1) It has also topped the European Commission's wellbeing and happiness index for 40 years in a row.

So what's their secret - and is it time for us Brits to adopt a Scandinavian attitude at this time of year too?

You may have heard of Hygge (pronounced 'hyoo-guh') - the current buzzword for the Danish art of embracing simple, cosy living with family and friends.

First used in the 18th century, the word has evolved into a cultural remedy for tackling long winters. It has no direct equivalent in the English language. But it's about positive attitude, nurturing your own wellbeing - and appreciating the little things in life, such as new pair of fluffy slippers, a piping bowl of soup or the warm glow that you get from catching up with friends...

Read on to find out how simple pleasures can moost your mood and to get Scandi-style wellbeing tips. 

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