The typical Swedish lifestyle encompasses many things; there is a great desire to be in nature, to be active and moving, to be healthy and happy, to have an open mind, to strive for equality and to experience old traditions to the fullest. To truly get the Swedish experience while you’re here you have to jump into the Swedish lifestyle.
There is no doubt that Swedes love to be active. Whether it is outdoors or indoors, you can find Swedes working out hard all year long. Staying active through playing on sports teams, hiking outdoors, or going to the gym is an important part of Swedish society. Being active is supported through education and work; there are sport holidays at school and even financial contributions to the cost of working out from employers.
This can also be easily illustrated in the mode of transportation chosen by many Swedes. All age groups in Sweden frequently use a bike as a way to get around, even the elderly. It is a great way to stay healthy from when you’re a child to your senior years.
Whether it’s out picking mushrooms, going for a run, or just sitting in the grass enjoying a fika, Swedes are always outside enjoying nature. In the winter everyone gets outdoors because of the many popular outdoor sports like skating or skiing. As soon as the snow starts to melt and the sun starts to shine everyone heads outdoors. Most of the warmer months are spent hiking through the forest or spending time by the lake. These strong ties to nature make it easy to understand the greater concern for the environment.
Just getting outdoors has a great effect, not only on your body, but also on your state of mind; there is nothing more calming then going on a long walk through the forest. And while your there pick some berries or mushrooms. (For more on scavenging in the forest check out The Expat Blog)
Keep an Open Mind
To truly fit in you have to be open-minded. Sweden is especially known for its liberalism, equality and acceptance. Most people are calm and try to keep a positive attitude. Also, I would say most Swedes try to avoid conflict and deal with stressful situations in a non-confrontational way.
And, if any tension does exist simply do as the Swedes do and hop into a sauna; it is a great way to relieve any of that stress you might have and truly unwind.