In Denmark they have ‘hygge’; cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. Sweden is a country raised on ‘lagom’; being frugal, fair and creating balance, which in short translates to ‘just the right amount’. Finland on the other (or third) hand, is run on ‘sisu’ – the art of being resilient. So, in my view, the concept of being or living ‘Nordicly’ is a beautiful combination of managing all those things in a perfect harmony, using each component when needed. Or in combination. At work, at home or in life in general.
The Scandinavian approach to the work-life balance is often different to the UK. Over in the Nordic countries you may on average start earlier in the day, possibly work more hours on paper and pay more taxes for doing so…so why do they often seem more content with the work they are doing? (because they really do). This is down to clever things called work flexibility (with time off – working hours – tasks – progression – roles), government supporting wellbeing and family time by providing well-being support such as yearly funding for gym memberships or massages or whatever you decide is your wellbeing need (even get time off work to train if that is what you desire).
And should you decide to start a family, then hey presto, have decent time off (a year or more should you want that) and enjoy your little one – no discrimination whether mother or father – and actually, “don’t use up all your parental leave straight away…have some later if you think that works for you”. Oh, and throw in some generous annual leave which means you can have decent leave off in the summer, to spend with your loved ones, when everyone else in the country is off too which means you won’t come back to hundreds of emails nor do you have to have a total panic on before going on leave. Sounds pretty good right?
I am realistic that some of the above is totally dependent on government support and national changes…but everyone should find a way to be their best, and the time is now to start with bringing the Nordic approach to all aspects of this short and (what should be) exciting life we have. Hygge, lagom and sisu…working in beautiful harmony, making us strong and resilient when we need to be, happy and cosy when it’s downtime and using lagom when it’s time to be fair and create balance. It’s time to approach things Nordicly.