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How Hygge can up your game in activities planning

As an ‘Activity Coordinator’, we are constantly being asked by managers to deliver ‘results’, but what are they really asking for?

The Danes are often praised for their care of the elderly, they also boast a place in the top of the worlds’ happiness polls. Much of this is because of their love for Hygge (pronounced Hyu-guh). Hygge doesn’t have a direct translation into English, but it sounds a little like ‘hug’ and it has many similarities.

Anything that is described as Hygge or Hyggeligt (hug-like) is simply the acknowledgement of a good moment, recognising that something makes us feel cosy or special.

We can embrace Hygge in our work, for ourselves and for our service users, by being more mindful of what we are doing and supporting others to do the same. Take a moment to enjoy that first sip in the morning, a bubble-bath with candles (use battery operated ones for safety), a discussion about the latest book you read, hot chocolate and marshmallows, an evening meal with friends, a pub quiz or a dance party – whatever brings you joy. Being mindful about joy-filled moments makes you feel better about yourself and the life you are living, put into clinical terms it promotes ‘psychological wellbeing’.

Guess what! - ‘psychological wellbeing’ is high on the list of those ‘results’.

This week grab some small squares of coloured paper, some pens and a large jar. Ask residents to write down their favourite moment(s) whilst waiting for lunch. Write a note on behalf of someone that was engaged during a 1-1 or group activity, if they are unable to do so themselves. Put each of the notes into the jar and save for an activity later in the month/year to look through and discuss the wonderful moments each person has enjoyed.

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