To truly fika requires a commitment to making time for a break in your day, the creation of a magical moment in the midst of the routine and the mundane.
–Fika, Anne Brones and Johanna Kindvall
At its very essence, the Swedish term “fika” (pronounced fee-ka) means to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee and possibly a delicious baked good to go with it. Fika can be a noun (it’s time for fika) or it can be used as a verb (shall we fika?). But to simply call it a coffee break as we understand that term in English would be missing the point. The tradition of fika runs deep in Sweden. Life in structured to accommodate fika, even in the workplace, and the expectation of a midday opportunity to stop what you are doing and enjoy a cup of coffee and a treat is something that is anticipated and enjoyed as a part of daily life. According to Nordstjernan, The Swedish Newspaper of America, most Swedes fika twice a day for an average of 52 minutes in total.
Fika is not something you do in front of a computer screen or as you scroll through social media on your phone. It is meant to be a sacred pause in the day, an opportunity to rest and reconnect. If you are enjoying fika in the company of others, consider it a time to relax and engage in face-to-face conversation with your companions. If you are on your own, simply siting and enjoying your break in silence can be a quiet moment of peace and restoration. Or maybe you turn to the company of your journal and a pen or an engaging book. The particulars are entirely up to you…coffee or tea, treat or no treat, alone or with company. What matters most is that you pause, unplug and enjoy a momentary respite from the day.