16 Jun Where to get Happy Scandinavian Life?
Scandinavian Life of Happiness
I wanted to bring a piece of happy Scandinavian life to my readers and listeners. This being my 100th podcast episode I decided to make it extra special. I am not just bringing you a guest interview but three in one. Three of my favorite bloggers coming together to talk about happiness. I caught up with Ingrid, Daiki and Varpu and we talked about happiness. I asked the same questions from all of my guests and it was interesting to see how different and similar their views of the happiness in Scandinavia is.
With Ingrid Opstad from That Scandinavian Feeling
Why is Finland a happy place and why Scandinavian countries are happy countries to live in?
[bctt tweet=”Scandinavian countries are very good with work-life balance.” username=”thenordicmumpodcas”]. You also have time to enjoy life and to spend time with your family.
Scandinavians feel contempt with how our countries are run and how everything is going smoothly. So we don’t feel so scared and we are in a good situation in life so that we can focus on just finding our happiness because we don’t have to think so much about other things.
Do you find that you see happiness in different things in life than what you perhaps did before the COVID outbreak?
I am just naturally like a homebody. I love staying at home and I find joys in the simple things like hygge in general, but now it’s much more confined. I can’t go for a long walk or enjoy nature or, like I’m just on my own, inside with my fiance and my dog.
I guess in a way it has brought us a bit closer because we do have a lot of time now to find little things to do together to be creative to have fun even though the situation is very scary and surreal. We are at least making the most of it and trying to get to find happiness in the small things.
You practice a lot of Hygge for those who are following you in That Scandinavian Feeling. What else are you doing to keep yourself happy?
We’re building a tiny little house like a model house, and that has been quite a good way of just getting a break. From constantly scrolling Twitter and reading the news and just kind of getting your mind off the situation a bit.
Every evening we sit maybe for 30 minutes or an hour and we build this tiny house we bought, we glue we do all the fun stuff so that’s been good. Like you mentioned before we have done lots of baking and at the weekends we create a home cinema for movies.
We try to switch off the routine a bit also to not make every day just the same because you can go a bit crazy if it’s always the same.
What tips would you give to people if they’re thinking about happiness? How can they be happy with this time and space that we are now?
Reading a book or enjoying a TV show together or some baking or maybe make some nice meal together. And for me, like having a dog, for instance, is one of the things that is getting me through it also, because I can see he does not know what’s happening around him and he’s just spreading joy.
So it’s like getting a hug from him is happiness to me and you also have time to just kind of focus on things in the house. Clean out your wardrobe or do some DIY or get a good spring clean. These can take your mind off the situation a bit.
With Daiki from Finnish Life Lessons
What is happiness to you Daiki?
I would say a positive mental state that you can feel and create yourself on a daily basis. Not something like you wait to come to you.
When l learn something new, see something cool, or develop myself. Just smiling or laughing with other people when I’m socializing or when you see somebody feeling happy. Those are the elements of happiness for me.
Happy people have a mentality to feel happy. [bctt tweet=”You have to be ready to feel happiness.” username=”thenordicmumpodcas”].Otherwise, you don’t get anything related to happiness.
When Talking about Happy Scandinavian Life, Why is Finland the Happiest Country in the World?
I say that Finland is one of the countries that have the best environment and social systems to be happy. Finland has the great qualities that make people feel safe and high standard of living, regardless of age, gender, or force of status.
I think in Finland barriers or obstacles to be happy are lower than in other countries.
Lifestyle in Finland is more focusing on basic lifestyle. But one thing I realized after moving to Finland is friends usually don’t have ridiculously high expectations for life in a good way.
Because life here is more simple compared to other countries.
So it means that even daily small effort to create happiness and you don’t even have a strong stimulus or excitement every day in Finland. Not like those big cities in New York or Tokyo, for example, where you get access to all those exciting entertainment or experience on a daily basis.
People in Finland don’t tend to seek for anything, especially happiness. I think that also a good part of feeling daily happiness easily.
How has happiness changed with the Coronavirus outbreak?
I realized how important daily facilitations in our life to feel happy because for example, if I work from home, I don’t talk to anybody. It could feel lonely easily.
A connection for daily socialization with other people is a big part of our happiness. So that’s one thing people started noticing after the Coronavirus outbreak. And of course daily needs including eating, sleeping. All those stuff are really important in our life.
How we see our daily life and how we feel happiness might start changing for many people in many ways.
What Would be Your Tips to People, What They Should do to Keep Themselves Happy?
It’s really important to be active to make time for small communication so that you don’t feel isolated. And also, I tried to get things done, so that I can actually feel that I have achieved something today, which makes me feel happy as well.
You got to take the situation positively. Things that we can do are really limited, but we can also use this time more effectively. In my case, it is Finnish studies and writing a blog.
So the more time you spend at home, the more chances you will be able to utilize it. So yeah, so my main tip is to be active.
With Varpu from Her Finland Blog
What Does It Actually Mean Being Happy in Finland?
Happiness is not what you have, but it’s what you do. But if you are grateful for the things you have, you end up being happy.
And also, I’ve read and tried to learn a lot about this topic because it’s really interesting. Some happiness experts say that you shouldn’t think or try to be happy. That’s how you get unhappy. You should aim to make your life meaningful. And you should aim to be grateful and that’s how you end up being happy.
What is the Reason Why do You Think That Scandinavian Countries are All Happiest to Live in?
And I’ll definitely want to answer from the Finnish side or Finland side. I think It’s very easy to leave a healthy life here. It’s super safe and super clean. And I think in particular, as a woman, I take the safety issue for granted because you can walk here, everywhere.
And you never have to fear and that’s something that you cannot do in many countries. The whole social support network is brilliant.
But also like, the main issue for me is that you can count on other people’s work. And you can trust the people and you can trust the system. Also, you can trust that. The news tells you the right news and not fake news. And you can trust that the government is honest.
You can trust that your colleague does what she says she’s going to do. And you can trust everyone surrounding you.
That’s one of the key issues for me. And finally, I think learning in Finland, we have a concept of lifelong learning. Learning is always encouraged.
And I think this is a major point when it comes to staying active and increasing your happiness. Because you’re not always in your same routines and inside this same comfortable bubble. You’re learning new stuff, and that makes you happier.
Do you Think That Happiness Has Changed with the Coronavirus Outbreak?
I do think that we are focusing on the essential things now because everybody’s on edge at the moment.
We’re entering very difficult shadows and very different routines, and we don’t know what’s to come.
I think that Finns are more appreciative than ever that we are in Finland. We are very lucky to be in, this environment and this is within the support networks and systems that we are.
How do You Keep Yourself Happy in Self-isolation and Working From Home?
I’m still developing my own routines. One thing I’ve noticed that I have to exercise every day otherwise I get so depressed.
Also, I’ve noticed that shoeboxes make an excellent table. That kind of table that you can not sit around but you can stand so you just have to pile enough those shoeboxes and you are able to put your laptop so high that you can stand next to a table that is so healthy for your back.
I also think I will grow knee-deep into gardening and knitting. Finally, my Her Finland community has been really helpful. Every time I share my energy with my community, they give it back to me tenfold. I’m so grateful to everybody there.
Thank you for listening and reading about happy Scandinavian life in this 100th episode of the Nordic Mum Podcast. Let me know what you thought of what is happiness to you in the below comments.
You can check out my guest’s blog and their previous appearance in my website in the following addresses:
Her Finland by Varpu
Blogging About Finland for Living
Finland Life Lessons by Daiki
Why Japanese Love the Simplistic Life in Finland
That Scandinavian Feeling by Ingrid
Fall In Love With Scandinavian Living with Ingrid Opstad
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