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What Is Fika?

The Swedish Tradition of Fika Is the Genius (and Enjoyable!) Way to Recharge on a Work Day

When you've got a 9-to-5 job, that afternoon slump can be tough. Right around 3 or 4 p.m., I'm always feeling antsy and a little drained. In Sweden, busy workers don't face this problem because they've had the perfect solution for over a century now. They practice the Swedish tradition of fika, an afternoon coffee break.

When taking fika, it's about more than just sitting down with coffee. Yes, you have your hot beverage, and often a baked good, but the meaning behind this break is more than what it appears to be. It's about unplugging from your electronics and taking a moment to unwind. It doesn't matter where you do it or if you're alone or with friends, what matters is that you make time to decompress.

It's different from an American coffee break when we just grab a to-go cup and keep moving. The focus of fika is to slow down and enjoy yourself. In Sweden, whether you're at the office or at home, you often take fika once in the morning and once in the afternoon.


So turn off your computer, put your phone away, and look forward to a break where you can enjoy a treat and a cup of Joe. Let's adopt fika in America, and everyone will feel more relaxed and fulfilled.

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