What Swedish Fika taught me during a time of social distancing

As I was organizing my photo drive due to pure boredom, I started thinking back to my time in Sweden and quickly began to crave cinnamon buns. Why? Because the staple of my Swedish summer was spending Fika with my colleagues, having a kanelbullar (swedish cinnamon roll) and espresso, sitting outside by the water. 

Being in Stockholm for three months taught me many things. Not only was it my first time travelling alone and my first time in Europe, but it was also my first real chance to witness life outside of North American norms. I quickly understood that Fika was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to the Swedish way of life. At work I found myself enjoying full, one hour lunch breaks where my colleagues and I shared food and enjoyed each other’s company. Summer evenings were filled with never setting suns and afterworks (swedish happy hour) with friends. This is how I discovered to appreciate life in new ways.

Stadhus (City Hall) – Stockholm, Sweden

You might be wondering what Fika is. To me, it was the ultimate coffee break and a time to ground myself before continuing the second half of my day. It is a time where Swedish people gather to enjoy the best sweets (I’m referring to kanelbullar of course), coffee and teas and the company of friends and strangers alike. It is rare that you will find people with their phones out on the table as they settle into a cafĂ© for Fika in the afternoon.

Circling back to right now where many of us feel disconnected from what keeps us motivated and passionate as we self quarantine, here are things for the mind, body and soul that Fika has taught me:

Making genuine connections with the people in your life will fulfill you more than you think. Spending time with yourself right now may be the best way to reflect upon that.

Never underestimate the power of good, wholesome food. A warm drink of your linking and your favourite homemade pastry can be the pick me upper you need to get your afternoon moving. This also means don’t be afraid too enjoy something sweet and decadent, it’s all good in moderation.

Fika out on a patio was always the way to go during the warmer summer months. Take advantage of days with nice weather and soak up the vitamin D your body has been craving. Not all of us are fortunate enough to have backyards front porches so this could even mean a short walk around the block just to get some air.

Schedule your Fika. Plan a time in your day that is meant to inspire you, make you happy and help promote good energy. This time can be used to sit down and catch up with friends and family, have a virtual date with your S.O or even an online get together with your colleagues.

Keep it simple and focus on what your mind, body and soul needs.

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