How to Live Like a Scandinavian

By Sophie Mash

Scandinavians are known to be some of the happiest, most stylish and relaxed people in the world; with Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland being the World Happiness Report’s Top 4 Happiest Countries in 2018. So… why are Scandinavians so happy and how can you live like a Scandinavian?

Hygge (Hoo-guh) is a huge new Danish trend which has found itself in the UK in recent years. The word itself means something along the lines of ‘cosiness’ in English and represents that fuzzy feeling you get when you’re all snuggled up, warm and well-fed. It is the self-proclaimed art of being comfortable and cosy, especially during the winter where you are free to indulge in rich food, warm socks, open fires and stargazing.

Hyggelig food is at the heart of the hygge lifestyle and mainly consists of sweet treats like cinnamon buns (Kanelsnurrer) and rich main courses such as stews infused with wine (Danes on average eat 8.2kg of sweets – that’s double the European average!). Coffee is another huge part of this food culture, and full fat lattes with extra syrup while treating yourself to the last chocolate chip cookie at the café are the norm when wanting to feel all hyggelig. Swedes even have the word ‘fika’, which is where friends, or even work colleagues, meet up for coffee and cake over a bit of a chit-chat.

While the Danes have the indulgent ‘art’ of hygge, Swedes have lagom. Unlike the decadence of hygge, lagom is the Swedish art of balance or ‘not too much, not too little’.  Although it incorporates the comfort of hygge, it is much more about living with fewer possessions and enjoying the little things in life, all in moderation.

Being out in nature is a much-loved past time of Norwegians and Swedes alike. Hiking is something that has recently become ‘trendy’ here, but Scandinavians have been embracing this way of life for years! Not only is it great for your health and of stamina but you’ll be able to take lots of cheeky aesthetic Instagram snaps. Hiking not your style? Norwegians are also known to be the kings and queens of the Winter Olympics, so why not take a trip to the nearest slopes or ice rink?

Nordic noir series have made a big appearance on our TV screens in recent years with shows such as ‘Jordskott’ and ‘The Bridge’ reeling us in. This genre focuses on quite gritty detective mysteries which will have you glued to your screens! Some of the best series in the genre are ‘Norskov’ (Denmark) and Acquitted (Norway) which you can watch for free on Walter Presents, Channel 4oD.

Scandinavians are well known for having quite a minimalistic style in general with dull colours and monochrome schemes which you’ll see often just by walking through the streets of Copenhagen or Stockholm. Dressing like a Scandinavian means using neutral, block colours without patterns and layering up for the cold. As for makeup, less is more and just wearing concealer and filling in your eyebrows adds to the minimalistic Scandi look.

Sleek designs are also a big part of the Scandinavian interior design aesthetic, with clean shapes and sharp edges but still looking very inviting and luxurious. Whether it be clothes or apartments, the Nordic look never goes out of style! So, what are you waiting for? Make the most out of these tips while the winter is still here and live like a true Scandi!

Photo Credit: Instagram, @TheMustards_

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