Nordic Lifestyle Trends Every American Should Adopt… Like Today

nordic lifestyle

The 2017 World Happiness Report named Norway the happiest country, with Denmark, Iceland, and Finland not far behind.

Why?

They rank the highest in the main factors that support a blissful country: freedom, generosity, honesty, good health, income, good governance, and an overall caring for others, according to the report.

Perhaps this is why the Scandinavian lifestyle has been on Americans’ minds lately as we search for well-being, camaraderie, equality, and an absence of corruption.

While we live on very different political spectrums, it’s still possible get into a Nordic lifestlye with the following small adjustments that will put yourself into a more natural, mindful equilibrium.

Connect with nature.

The Scandis have a lust for the outdoor life. They spend weekends camping and foraging for mushrooms with friends and family; they bike to work and school; and they go cross-country skiing in the worst of weather conditions.

Having a deep connection with nature is a year-round way of life that promotes mindfulness and an active lifestyle.

Have a diet high in fresh fish.

Not only is a Nordic diet rich in fatty fish like salmon, rainbow trout, and Baltic herring, but it’s rich in whole grains, root veggies, wild berries, cheese, nuts, seeds, and white meats.

Studies have shown that this type of diet can help lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease and support weight loss.

The Nordic lifestyle is about clean eating and simple food.

Stay away from fast food, and eat together as a family —  two essential aspects of their food culture.

Embrace the skål.

My dad is from Oslo, Norway. I learned from a very young age how to properly ‘cheers’ someone.

The Scandinavian skål (cheers) is not just about clinking someone’s glass and having a drink. It’s an experience that two, or a table of, people share together.

When was the last time you locked eyes during a cheers? Try this:

When someone at the table says skål, everyone raises their glasses and makes eye contact with everyone else at the table.

Once eye contact has been made, you drink, then make eye contact again and nod before you lay your glass down.

Teach your family; teach your friends… it’s the ultimate formal toast that will add a twinkle to your eye and a smile to your face.

Live the hygge life.

One of the most recent revelations for those outside of Scandinavia is the practice of hygge, pronounced “hue-gah,” the Danish lifestyle trend that brings warmth, relaxation, coziness, and mindfulness.

Some of the ways to live the hygge lifestyle include: bring nature indoors, light candles, cook comfort food, take a wellness walk, cuddle with a good book, hang out with your kids, snuggle, and simply slow down the pace of your hectic life.

Everything in moderation.

‘Lagom’ is a Swedish way of living that embraces moderation — not too much, not too little. It’s a focus on leading a life of balance.

While hygge captures a moment, lagom is a way of life. It’s a work/life balance; a way of making life easier, more sustainable, and less expensive.

To embrace this Nordic lifestyle trend, focus on your budget, don’t overindulge, be more eco-conscious, support local businesses, drink (but not too much), eat well, but eat clean.

Embrace the sauna.

A Finnish sauna circuit has people baking in a hot sauna, then freezing in an ice-cold plunge pool as they work to increase blood circulation and relieve stress.

Finland has five million people and three million saunas. Think about that.

If you’re searching for the ultimate cleanse, take a weekend retreat and head to the spa, or hit the gym and finish in the sauna to sweat it all out.

Which of these Nordic lifestyle trends could you get into?

Anne-Marie Pritchett is a freelance writer for The Local Lifestyle who enjoys exploring the outdoors, visiting different cultures, digging into new music, and cuddling her new baby. When she gets some free time, she likes to check out local gastropubs and attempt to speak in her British accent.

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