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Hygge v. Fika: Scandinavian Self-Care Showdown

Scandinavian culture focuses on so much more than a high-quality pair of wooden clogs.

In fact, once you kick off your clogs at the days’ end, the culture empathizes the art of self-care and indulgent comfort. Two traditions seemingly at the forefront are known as Hygge and Fika. Though both focus on slowing down, timing is everything.

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Fika, pronounced FEE-ka, loosely translates to ‘take a break’

While Americans typically grab a cup of coffee and keep moving to fight the afternoon slump, the Swedish insist on sitting down with their hot beverage. A sweet baked good is often paired with it, and magically, the electronics are turned off.

It is so much more than a welcomed break – it is a tradition. Whether you take Fika alone or with friends, the intention is to make time to decompress.

The reported benefits are vast because it allows for a moment’s pause, and it helps to prioritize self-care and mindfulness. It is an ideal tradition to try to adopt during the work day, as it could enhance your energy level and overall well-being.

To some, Fika may feel more scheduled than they’d like. If you’re already relaxing at home, the Danish have championed a way of life known as hygge and it’s aimed at enhancing your self-care techniques. Imagine relaxing on your couch cuddled in a warm blanket while a fire roars in front of you. You’re surrounded by a string of twinkling lights and flickering candles as you blow the steam off your drink.

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Hygge, pronounced HOO-gah, celebrates coziness, shared meals and companionship

Anytime you catch yourself thinking “this is the life,” as you relish the moment, is hygge. It may be more of an asset during the winter months when the days are short and the sun is rarely seen in the sky.

While both Scandinavian traditions focus on the little things in life and the surrounding world, how you adopt them into your lifestyle is up to you. Perhaps a combination of the two is most ideal?

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