fika: the art of slowing down

May 7, 2017


It's no secret that we're all about slowing down and savoring life around here. In fact, one of my goals for 2017 is to be more present and just enjoy life a little bit more. One of the ways I've learned to do that is via a morning coffee or tea. 


I've never been one to need coffee for its energy-inducing effects - I could go months without having a cup sans withdrawal, and even when I do indulge, it's decaf. For me, the caffeine from a cup o' joe has more negative effects, like increased anxiety, moodiness and general asshole-ness, than I prefer to deal with.


So, why not give it up completely? ...because the RITUAL is what keeps me coming back for more. Tea can have the same outcome, but less so. There's something about a piping hot mug of coffee that brings about the same warmth as a bite of your favorite comfort food or a hug from your mom after a long time away from home. And that's why I love the concept of fika.  


When I was in my early 20s I lived in a small Swedish city adjacent to the sea for a year. It was an incredible time in my life and there was an immense feeling of freedom to explore this foreign country, build new friendships and create exciting + fresh rituals.


Fika, a cultural Swedish expression for a coffee or tea break, was practiced often while I lived in Sweden and a ritual I continue to this day. It is commonly applied twice during a day - midmorning and mid afternoon - as a time to gather with coworkers, friends and family to indulge in a little Swedish cake or other sweet with coffee in hand. While living there, fika was on the agenda as an excuse to get out and meet new friends over a steamy mug and spend some time chit-chatting and catching up about life. 


However, as much as Swedes love their coffee, this tradition isn't all about the java. In fact, its truly more about the simple art of slowing down. In their book appropriately named Fika, given to me by my sweet Swedish friend Lina, Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall write the most perfect description of fika:

"To truly fika requires a commitment to making time for a break in your day, the creation of a magical moment in the midst of the routine and the mundane. Fika is the time when everything else is put on hold."


I encourage you to practice fika in your own way! Maybe you're not a coffee fan, but a walk in nature truly lifts your spirit, or a mid-day call to a friend lights you up. What about spending 15 minutes journaling in the morning and afternoon are what you need, or planning your lunchtime outside with a new friend every day? Whatever it is that helps you find your glow + truly slow down, do it!


Life's too short not to fika. 


Oh, and don't forget to fit in a good laugh: FIKA by Gevalia Coffee



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