Be More ‘Björn’ This National Swedish Day
Lifestyle experts at Contura share tips on how to adopt a more Swedish lifestyle for a healthier, happier and more balanced you this National Swedish Day (6 June).
As one of the happiest nations in the world, our Nordic neighbours would appear to have it sussed when it comes to taking a relaxed approach to life; spending plenty of time outdoors, embracing minimalist Scandi home interiors and being experts on ‘lagom’ – adopting a sense of balance and harmony across all areas of life.
In celebration of National Swedish Day (Thursday 6 June), Swedish wood burning stove company, Contura, has compiled a guide of simple tips and tricks aimed at bringing Brits closer to Swedish culture without the need to visit the country.
“We Swedes are proud of our heritage and frequently report above-average happiness levels in all areas of life,” says Catharina Björkman, lifestyle expert at Contura. “Whether we’re exploring the great outdoors, taking a fika break at work, or enjoying quality downtime at home after a busy week, there are a number of typically Swedish practices that can be attributed to a more positive mental outlook and overall wellbeing.”
- Gökotta – Rise at dawn to hear the birds
‘Gökotta’ is a Swedish word that can’t be translated into English, but which essentially means rather charmingly “to rise at dawn to listen to the birds sing.” We’re often at our most productive early in the morning and a good dose of morning air can refresh our minds and bodies in preparation for the day.
If the idea of a 6am start fills you with dread, we recommend taking a thermos of hot coffee or tea and some typically Swedish cinnamon buns to help give you the morning boost. When the weather’s good, you could take a book or do some yoga in the garden or park for half an hour before work.
Failing that, taking 15 minutes to sit and take in your surroundings (while listening to birdsong) will do wonders to help you to relax and de-stress and start the day on the right foot.
- Öka din energi – Boost your energy
We all need a little pick-me-up from time to time, so if you’re lacking ‘öka,’ fill up on healthy food, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, take a light exercise class or go for a jog, make sure to get at least eight hours sleep every night, and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.
Try to lighten your load at work where possible and take it easier at weekends. As your energy levels increase, you’ll begin to feel livelier and better equipped both physically and mentally to tackle each day.
3. Ta en kaffepaus – Take a coffee break
There’s a reason why Swedes often come top when scoring levels of satisfaction at work; a key factor being ‘fika’.
Workers in Sweden enjoy daily fika; taking a 15-minute break from work for a cup of tea or coffee, often with cake or a cinnamon bun, to catch up with colleagues or simply disconnect a little.
Sounds like slacking? To that, we would say burnt-out Brits should be aware that taking regular breaks leads to a longer attention span and increases workplace productivity. Win-win all round.
- Tillbaka till naturen – Get back to nature
Studies show that being in nature does wonders for our physical and mental health. It’s the reason why houseplants are so popular, as they bring a touch of nature indoors. Whenever possible, switch off your phone and get back to nature or ‘tillbaka till naturen’, as Swedes say.
Try to spend at least one weekend out of the month immersed in nature; parks, beaches, forests, gardens or nature reserves offer free outing opportunities and are also a great way to fit in a bit of light exercise.
5. På din cykel – On your bike
Sweden is a cycling-mad nation. With a population of 10 million, roughly 60 percent are cyclists and it is fourth in the world for the most bikes per capita.
Cycling lessens your carbon footprint and improves fitness, so try swapping the bus, car or train for a bike on the commute and during the weekends. You’ll also save money on public transport and petrol – another case of win-win!
- Lev lagom – Lagom living
Swedes are experts at ‘lagom’, the art of embracing a balanced life; never too little or too much and being content with what we have.
A lagom lifestyle can be as simple as joining the gym or a sports team to de-stress after work or make new friends, inviting neighbours round to enjoy dinner and drinks, or spending an evening relaxing at home with a bath and a good book.
Finding the right balance in all aspects of life – financially, aesthetically, work vs downtime, embracing sustainable practices or materials, dispensing of anything we don’t really need – Lagom inspires feelings of satisfaction and will help you feel both happier and more fulfilled (more Swedish!) as a result.
For more information on Contura, visit www.contura.eu
Notes to editors:
- Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood. The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
- Sources detailed in footnotes.
For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay/Jo Kendall/Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
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Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,295, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.
Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.
Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.
Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.
For more information please visit www.contura.eu
 Sweden is the seventh happiest nation in the world according to 2019 World Happiness Report https://countryeconomy.com/demography/world-happiness-index/sweden