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      Lots of Christmas parties? You’ll need that ‘hygge’ feeling

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      The average Brit can make it through five nights out in a row – before they need a cosy night in to recover.

      A study of 2,000 adults found that a tenth feel they need a night in after just one night out over the winter.

      And a third would happily spend every night at home during the winter months, with 66 per cent saying nights in are one of their favourite things about the season.

      It also emerged six in 10 of those polled, by wood burning stove manufacturer Contura, ‘need’ a certain amount of cosiness in their lives to feel great, with two thirds believing relaxing nights in are good for their wellbeing.

      Swedish lifestyle expert at Contura, Catharina Björkman, said: “For the majority of us, modern living is pretty relentless.

      “While we all enjoy the revelries that come with the busy social season in the run up to Christmas, we can inevitably end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

      “It’s important to find the right balance to avoid burnout and stress.”

      The survey also found seven in 10 prefer a night in to a going out during the colder season.

      More than three in 10 believe this downtime at home is vital to achieve a good work-life balance, while half go so far as to claim it’s important their overall health.

      On their nights in, one in five have disconnected from social media, 45 per cent take time out by enjoying a soak in the bath, and 31 per cent slip into comfy PJs.

      Four in 10 also get their snug on through the winter by lying on the sofa, having hot drinks and wrapping up in a blanket.

      A quarter of those surveyed, via OnePoll, also love having a log fire burning, and one in five said having music on or the smell of candles makes them feel cosy.

      However, settling down to watch TV or popping the kettle on are the nation’s go-to ways to feel snug, at 47 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.

      Psychologist Dr Becky Spelman said: “As a species we are fundamentally territorial, which means for most people home is very important on an emotional, as well as a practical level.

      “During the winter months, with the long hours of darkness, it makes sense for us to want to hunker down in our ‘den’, taking care of ourselves and the people and things we hold dear.

      “Scandinavians have a word – ‘hygge’ in Denmark or ‘mysig’ in Sweden – that encompasses the concept of ‘snug’.

      “This is the feeling that we all aspire to when we plan a cosy night in – on our own, or with our loved ones.”

      “The chemical serotonin has an effect on how relaxed and happy one feels and tends to be more associated with summer months.

      “When the levels dip in winter, this can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder.

      “Finding pleasure and sources of happiness at home, by focusing on our own comfort and wellbeing, is an adaptive way of responding to challenging environmental conditions.

      “Dedicating some time in our lives to enjoying being snug, cosy and happy in the comfort of our own home is not just lovely, it’s also part of a balanced, healthy approach to self-care.”

      THE TOP 20 THINGS THAT MAKE US FEEL ‘SNUG’

      1. Watching a film/TV
      2. Having a hot drink
      3. Lying on the sofa
      4. Being wrapped in a blanket
      5. Getting into bed
      6. Closing the curtain/shutters/blinds
      7. Eating warming home-cooked food
      8. Hearing or watching the weather outside (rain, wind, storm)
      9. Wearing slippers or fluffy socks
      10. Wearing pyjamas
      11. Dimming the lights
      12. Cuddling a loved one
      13. Having a bath
      14. Having candles lit
      15. Having a log fire burning
      16. The smell of a scented candle
      17. Snuggling with a pet
      18. Having music on
      19. Having snacks, e.g. popcorn, chocolate, cake
      20. Ordering a takeaway

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      AUTHOR

      Stuart O'Brien

      All stories by: Stuart O'Brien