Western cultures are being faced with a common problem. Our “living to work” mentality detaches us from the simple pleasures of life by being overworked, under paid and too exhausted to enjoy those rare moments of free time. I often wonder if there is a better way of living.
Scandinavian culture proves that there is. Just look at the 2013 world happiness report and you will see that the top 5 happiest countries include Denmark in 1st, Norway in 2nd and Sweden in 5th. Their secret? They believe in simplicity and functionality, and unlike most western countries they live with the “working to live” mentality, viewing their careers and the money they earn as a means to enjoying a good and harmonious life. Here are 5 tips on how to make your life a little more Scandinavian:
1. Bring nature in: Scandinavians are inspired by nature and its preservation. While they enjoy urban life, they know how to bring nature into their everyday existence and how to make it meaningful. If you are renovating ,create open spaces with tons of natural light by having big windows to bring the outdoors in. If you are not able to do that then adding elements like natural wood, raw fabrics, natural tones and accessories that are either from the outdoors or look like they could be, works as well.
2. Brighten and de clutter your space: Scandinavian design is minimalistic and very functional. It comes across as modest, simplistic and natural looking. With the sun going down so early, Scandinavian design relies on lighter tones to combat the darkness. To achieve this, take out anything that isn’t functional in your space and brighten things up with a fresh coat of white paint. With the right textiles and accessories it will feel warm and airy.
3. Edit your wardrobe: In terms of fashion, less is more. They use uncomplicated palettes, simple separates and smart tailoring. They really show us how Normcore is done. Get yourself some good basics; they go a long way in Scandinavian style.
4. Begin to see beauty from the inside out: Scandinavians believe that beautiful is not just about your looks. Women are known for their natural and minimalistic beauty approach. They prefer a ‘no-make-up look, with hair that is loose and casual in appearance. Along with using natural products, they take pride in leading a healthy lifestyle by eating organic food, and exercising daily. Just like their style, they don’t overcomplicate what goes into their body- natural is best.
5. Work for the weekend: Don’t let your career take over your life. There is an important balance to be found in work and pleasure. Work hard but don’t forget to play hard as well. Family and relationships are a priority for Scandinavian people, much more than building a career is. They invest time and effort into establishing close relationships with others and having a good time.
So what do you think? Maybe it’s time to slow down a little and enjoy life to it’s fullest, take some time for ourselves and edit out the clutter. The Scandinavian way may be just what we need!