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What Swedes can learn from Brits for a healthier and happier life

November 7, 2018


I've been staying in the UK for soon 4 years and I've noticed a few things I think Swedes can learn from the Brits (as well as the other way around, so keep an eye out for my coming post on what Brits can learn from Swedes):


  • The pub culture

Meeting your friends for the one or two pints is common here, whereas a Swede rarely go out for just one drink. It's usually a bottle of wine at the least and heavy home (and alone) drinking is rapidly increasing in Sweden.


The pub culture in the UK is one of a kind. My favorite pubs are cosy, dog- and children friendly and at reasonable prices with good food. Not much beats a hike in the Scottish hills, followed by a pub dinner with friends. It's absolutely magical, and I would argue that the pub culture is good for your soul! 


  • Snacks in moderation

In Sweden it's hard to find a small bag of crisps, they are all about 150-200 grams. In the UK the most common crisp bag is about 40g. The average person in the UK eats crisps and snacks when they feel like it, not because it is a certain day (like in Sweden and Finland).  It's usually done in moderation, a few times a week. A friend of mine, healthy and fit, surprised me when first moving here, by telling me he has a bag of crisps every day, and has had for as long as he can remember. When explaining the Scandinavian concept of "Friday cosy" and "Saturday candy", I hear how weird it sounds - being good all week and going mental come Friday and Saturday. 


  • Carpe diem rather than Cleaning Day

Scandinavians in general clean often and usually on a dedicated cleaning day. They wouldn't dream of inviting people over before tidying the house properly. And in all fairness, the average Scandinavian home I've been in is immaculate, and most of them could be portrayed in an interior design catalogue. 


The average Brit I've met, doesn't bother as much about cleaning, and I dare say they would rather see a friend at the pub than tidy their house because it's Thursday. "I wish we could see each other more often" or "I've been meaning to call you" are standard phrases in Sweden. To meet my busy Stockholm friends, I usually have to book a date weeks in advance. Since moving to first England and then Scotland, I have changed my ways. I used to be a "book in the calendar" type of gal, and now I am more spontaneous and relaxed than ever. The UK style is good for me! 


Last but not least, I've heard that Scandinavians have more allergies than any other country/region and it's supposedly because of our/their clean houses (babys bodies doesn't learn to adjust to dirt/bacteria). Whether this is true or not, I don't know. But one thing that is certain is that taking on a bit of a British view on cleaning, wouldn't heard many Swedes. 


So dear Scandinavians reading this, have a small bag of crisps, and go see those friends that you miss. And keep an eye out for the next post - What Swedes can learn from Brits"!





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