Monday 4th January 2021

Happy New Year
So we have entered into a new national lockdown. As I walked Hiro, shortly after hearing the news, it ‘felt’ quiet. There was an absence of people and a feeling of desolation which reminded me of the original lockdown.
It is a bittersweet feeling to hear that we have needed to go back into lockdown with fears of a new strain, and on the same day as the new Oxford vaccine has been rolled out. This last part of the news does fill me with hope that this will keep us going in the right direction, and such a great testament to human ingenuity, to develop not one, but two vaccines in under a year is remarkable.
I imagine this news has filled people with sadness and despair and a fear that we will never get past this. It seems so long since I have sat down with a friend or given them a hug, for me, human touch and kindness is incredibly important, however, as with many things, we don’t understand the importance significance of something until it’s gone.
Now more than ever, we need to return to thoughts of well-being, and taking care of our mental health. The scientific evidence of the benefits of talking to people in order to improve our mental health is there for us to see. However we can also maintain our own well-being by making a few changes to our life. Reaching out to a friend with a friendly text or phone call, or sitting down and writing someone a letter. Of course exercise is essential, however you manage to fit it into your day, walking the dog or following a routine on a YouTube video. I have recently started trying to fit Tai Chi into my life as a way of helping me still my head and focus.
This brings me onto the subject of Hygge,
noun
  1. a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture).
    “why not follow the Danish example and bring more hygge into your daily life?”
Hygge is a Danish word for which there is no real translation, I have been listening to a BBC Sounds podcast by Sandi Toksvig (She’s a hero of mine) and she has been talking to celebrities about what their version of Hygge is, what gives them a feeling of contentment. For me, I suppose the time I most experience ‘hygge’ is when I am out fishing on my own on a calm day with my Kelly kettle boiling away nicely ready to make me a up of tea or coffee. This idea of ‘hygge’ I think is really important for people to think about now.
As we go into this lockdown, I hope people can start to reflect and practice whatever their sense of contentment, of ‘hygge’ is. This attitude will help people through this next difficult time as we move forward through the start of this new year.
So until next time, Take Care of yourselves and each other.
Sincerely Yours, Paul