mahabis guides // scandinavian inspiration for a more relaxed lifestyle
photo: jose murillo
The Scandinavian's seem to have it sorted when it comes to enjoying a relaxed, slow paced lifestyle. Their work-life balance is much more geared towards downtime than here in the UK, and they make time daily for getting together with friends and indulging in a little hygge. There is much that we can learn from our Nordic neighbours when it comes to relaxation, not least to always make time for yourself.
As relaxing as a trip to a Scandinavian destination might be, your visit only serves to remind you that you could be living a much slower pace of life. In reality, it may not all be cosy cafes, soft candlelight and strolling down picturesque streets, but there's still a lot that we can learn from the Nordic way of life. Read on to discover a little Scandinavian inspiration for living a more relaxed lifestyle.
Never miss your coffee break(s)
Fika is one of the most important parts of life in Sweden, and whilst we may not be able to halt our working day for regular coffee and cake catch-ups, it's still possible to fit in the odd coffee break.
Rather than sipping your beverage on your own at your desk, make an effort to leave the office, sit down with friends or colleagues and have a chat that is related to anything but work. Don't forget that the concept of fika is more than just enjoying coffee and cake, it's mainly about socialising and relaxing with friends.
Take some inspiration from our top five coffee break traditions around the world.
photo: pawel kadysz
Due in part to their long, dark and cold winters, it's common to maximise as much outdoors time as possible during the daylight hours. Resist getting cooped up indoors, especially in the evenings, and head out instead for a short walk, an al-fresco dinner, or even just a breath of fresh air. If there's a chill in the air, and you don't fancy going far, bundle up the layers, and don your mahabis classics.
Light some candles
Harsh artificial light instantly destroys a relaxing atmosphere, so stick to candlelight when unwinding. The Scandinavians know that a couple of candles dotted around the room create the perfect ambiance for downtime. Take a leaf out of their book and stay away from the light switch.
Invite friends over for dinner
Hygge is all about getting cosy and entertaining in your own home, so why play the host and invite a group of friends over for a relaxed, informal dinner. Don't stress about making the evening perfect; stick to a simple, rustic recipe and fill your home with laughter and conversation.
Don't rush to work with a takeaway coffee and cereal bar; make time to enjoy a slow and relaxing breakfast with the family. The Swedes and the Danes enjoy breakfast as one the highlights of their days, putting on a spread of healthy and nutritious sweet and savory delicacies such as porridge, muesli, crispbread and cheese.
photo: annie spratt
Hop into a sauna
All across the Scandinavian countries, sauna sessions are often used as a way to relax, detoxify and socialise. Spend your sauna time the Scandi way by building up a sweat before dowsing yourself in cold water then getting back inside to repeat the process.
Get away from it all
Take some inspiration from the Nordic folk and spend a long weekend away. It's common to drive to the local beach or archipelago, where they will spend time relaxing with friends by the water. If you're feeling stressed and need to unwind, why not book a cabin by the beach or on the shore of a lake to enjoy your downtime the Nordic way.
photo: via unsplash
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