With travel plans postponed and the cold weather putting a damper on outdoor socializing, winter has certainly come. This year, instead of giving in to the winter blues, why not take a leaf from the Scandinavian book? Although they spent half the year in varying degrees of freezing cold and darkness, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, along with their northern neighbors Iceland and Finland, consistently feature in the top ten of the happiest countries in the world. So what are they doing right?
Here are ten Swedish hacks to get you through the winter months:
A recent New York Times article titled “Danish hygge is so last year. Say hello to Swedish mys ”introduced readers to the uniquely Swedish concept of“my(Pronounced mees). Although it is similar to Danish hygge design movement, the article states that, “Swedish my more clearly refers to an ultra-cozy atmosphere ”. Winter Fridays are dedicated my in Swedish homes, thanks to the modern custom of Cozy Friday, or fredagsmys. which involves relaxing on the couch with your loved ones, a good movie, and lots of comfort food and snacks to celebrate the end of the work week.
Nothing says Swedish my like a living room lit by the warm candlelight. Add a woolen blanket, a tall mug of hot tea or cocoa and a bowl of candy, and you are ready for a night out. my. Swedish furniture giant IKEA has teamed up with Ben Gorham of luxury fashion house Byredo to create the OSYNLIG line of scented candles, designed “primarily to enhance the experience of being at home”.
The weather outside is terrible, but the sauna is so delicious! Yes, you read correctly. In Sweden, where warming up is a must, many homes have private saunas. And where there is a sauna, there is the possibility to go swimming in winter, or more precisely, to get out of the sauna burning in the snow and go for a glacial dive in a frozen lake or the sea. biting cold. This invigorating and health-promoting activity can also be experienced in some Swedish spas and hotels.
Saturday candy, or lördagsgodis, is a tradition that dates back to the 1950s, when the Swedish government sought to protect children from cavities by encouraging parents to only allow them to eat candy once a week. It is not known if the campaign achieved its prevention goal: a 2016 study Jordbruksverket, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, has found that Swedes consume more candy per capita than any other nation – over 30 pounds per person per year. However, Swedish children and adults still use lördagsgodis as an excuse for a weekly throat.
Take off your shoes
Wearing outdoor shoes indoors in a Swedish home is a big no-no. This rule may seem odd at first, but it makes perfect sense in a country where shoes are most likely wet after being in rain and snow. This winter, instead of stomping home in your dirty boots, my factor by investing in a pair of super cozy Swedish slippers, like these Shepherd of Sweden sheepskins from Westerlind.
In Sweden, fika – also known as the informal break for coffee and snacks – is an essential part of the day. So much so that the right to take a fika the break is even integrated into many employee contracts. At work, this is where ideas are born, alliances are formed and tea is spread. At home, it’s a sacred time for families to take a break from everything they are doing and rejuvenate over a steaming cup of tea or coffee and a freshly baked pastry.
Make your own cinnamon buns
Ah, the cinnamon roll… The ultimate symbol of Swedish home cooking, the cinnamon roll or Kanelbulle features prominently in fika breaks and cozy Fridays across the country. Ask any Swede what their favorite flavor is and they’ll tell you without a doubt that the smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns is the best smell in the world. Turn your home into a Swedish baking lover’s dream with this easy-to-follow Swedish cinnamon buns recipe.
Go out whatever the weather
In Sweden, the saying goes, “there is no bad weather, only bad clothes”. And while we may ask to differ, there is no doubt that getting out and enjoying the outdoors is extremely beneficial for our mental and physical health. Outdoor life, or friluftsliv, is a crucial feature of life in Sweden all year round. So why not indulge your indoor outdoor enthusiast with weather-resistant gear from Swedish outdoor equipment and clothing company Fjällräven, who loves nature?
Or go out virtually
If the thought of an exhilarating ride in the freezing cold doesn’t make your boat float, Sweden’s official travel and tourist information website has created the next best thing to do. Its library of virtual reality resources brings all of Sweden’s natural beauty right to your couch. All you need is a set of virtual reality glasses and a headset to go for an evening swim in a lake, pitch your tent in the mountains, or meet the king of the forest, the Swedish moose.
Immerse yourself in Swedish culture
Traveling to Sweden might not be considered – yet – but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of this time to explore this fascinating country from the comfort of your own home. While Sweden is best known for its Nordic Noir suspense and crime thrillers, it also produces the occasional irreverent comedy. So grab your new slippers, bowl of candy, and homemade cinnamon buns and check out Netflix’s catalog of Swedish movies and series here.