Hygge? Fika? Let’s Chill!

Taking it easy seems close to impossible during the week, especially when your practical survival depends on making that money! How often do you find yourself staring off into the void of your office, laptop or notes and thinking “how the hell am I going to make it”? How many times have you done that today alone? If the answer is “once” or “I’ve lost count” , then listen up! It’s time to reclaim your peace of mind.

We don’t all have the luxury of a stress-free life, especially in the places with crazy long work days. In the United States the average is 1783 hours per year at our jobs, but in places  like Mexico and Costa Rica the hours are well over 2000 per year. Add on the cost of trying to survive emotionally, then you’ve got a global society of people with white hair, nails chewed down to nubs, and serious indigestion.

There’s no solution to our work-life struggles that doesn’t involve some legislation (vote!), but until then I’ve got some tips for you to survive it all one day at a time.

I just learned about hygge (pronounced HEW- guh) ,  the Danish word that encompasses the art of “cozy” living to promote wellness. Below is a video by Signe Hansen breaking down the delightful lifestyle.

What I love about hygge is how user-friendly the mindset is: you love that thing? Do it! Do the things you love! You’re probably thinking “But LaKaaaaaase. I don’t have time!” To that I merely say, yes you do. You absolutely do have time for you, you just might not feel comfortable taking that time for you. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my 30s is that I have to treat myself the way I would a brand new car, cleaning, tuning up, and monitoring the oil. The catch is, I’m worth more than any car, because I’m irreplaceable. So, I’m begging you to say no here and there for your own mental health. Go on a walk, call your bestie, watch a movie under the covers, wear a sleep mask to bed, put on a face mask, make your kids cook dinner or ask your partner to rub your feet in exchange for a back rub. Whatever it takes, chill those nerves!

Once you’ve mastered the hygge, you’re ready for the fika. Fika is the act of taking a proper coffee break, and it’s a big part of Swedish culture. You’re not just throwing back any brand on the fly, you’re committing to sitting down with your friends, coworkers or family to talk and luxuriate like the royalty you are. Listen to Jenny Mustard (love her name) below for the more detailed breakdown.


Isn’t that fabulous? I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but I think you can bring the spirit of fika to just about any drink or meal with others. Give it a whirl with your fellow overworked comrades in the office – you might be surprised how much smoother the rest of the day goes.

I’m sorely behind on these beautiful pieces of culture from our Nordic neighbors, but I’m so happy to have stumbled into them. I love that Swedish and Danish folks are pushing themselves – and the rest of us by proxy – to take good care of our hearts and minds. As I move forward, I plan to adapt hygge and fika to build the beautiful life I envision for myself.

What do you think? Will you be diving into these Scandinavian trends with me? Let me know in  the comments what you’re doing for yourself today!


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