When did life become so stressful and what can you do about it?

In many businesses, particularly in the City, it is often about how many hours you work and, of course, being available on your mobile, 24 hours a day. What is this all about?

We have just returned from holiday in America where the culture seems to be about NOT taking holidays– as they often only get 15 days a year!

Not that I am religious, but I think the start of this was decades ago when shops started opening on Sundays. Now, there seems to be only one day a year (Christmas Day) when we are totally available to the family and don’t have any work distractions. Years ago, it was one day a week!

Through volunteering, I know there are greater pressures than ever before, and a great deal more mental illnesses. So what can we do about it? Let’s have a look at Denmark, one of the happiest nations in the world and try and adopt our version of HYGGE.

Jeppe Linnet, an anthropologist, who researches HYGGE, says it is characterised by safety, familiarity and comfort. It is being totally at ease in your surroundings and the company you work for. It’s feeling you can be yourself and that you don’t have to be strategic in the way that you present yourself or focus on accomplishments. It’s slowing down, being in the present, and celebrating the little things. Now I realise it is easy for me to put forward these ideas when I am effectively semi-retired and I am not in the main stream of things but there are still little things we can all do to take some of the stress away. What can you do?

Meik Wiking, author of the little book of HYGGE says with increasing societal pressures and the growing importance of wellbeing, HYGGE’S emphasis on togetherness and equality can have real and tangible benefits. When I was dashing around the UK I made little plans to keep in touch with my extended family in different ways. Improved technology can be a benefit here rather than a major problem. What can you do to keep in touch better?

Helen Russell who left London for Denmark stated that HYGGE

1 Isn’t about the problems of the world; it’s about looking after yourself, so that you have the strength to take those problems on

2 Is about being kind to yourself, indulging, having a nice time, not punishing or pointlessly denying yourself

3 Is about being present and celebrating the simple things and practicing gratitude

4 Is about Trust – 79% of Danes trust their neighbours and are less anxious about life and have head space to be happy

5 Is about putting family first, with regular contact and reaching out to relatives and having regular rituals

Denmark’s work-Life balance and short working week means Danes can have fulfilling careers and time for their families

Would you prefer the American or the Danish way?

Taking into account you are working in Britain, what can you do to try and balance things more?

As part of my coaching, my coachees complete a life balance and a work wheel. By the end of the coaching, the majority of people are still successful at work and have a better family life too. Not quite HYGGE but …………………..

Hopefully you know how to contact me if you want to make any adjustments.

Information in italics is taken from the Sunday Telegraph 27th May 2018, mainly written by Clare Thorp

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