What we have discovered on our exploration is that self-care isn’t complicated, expensive or elusive. It is simply about taking care of the most important person in your life: You.

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In a nutshell

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Lauren Mischcon and Nicole Goodman created the Self Care Club podcast in 2020. Their goal was to become human guinea pigs, testing out a large array of products and practices that the multi-trillion-dollar wellness industry has to offer.

Fast forward four years, they’ve taken their learnings on the practices that work and won’t cost you a penny, and jammed it into “the only self care guide you will ever need”.

Book Club Notes

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There was nothing especially novel, surprising, or profound about the contents in this book and yet it was a great read. The format and dialogue is constructed in a way that is incredibly easy to read and grasp. It’s humorous, down to earth and clearly demonstrates how taking care of yourself can be easy, can be free, and can add so much to your life.

The book is split into chapters that tackle a familiar struggle that we all face at some point; boundaries, self-love, confidence, calm, body image, physical health, relationships and the oh so elusive work-life balance. It also features both Lauren’s and Nicole’s experiences. With completely different personalities, their sometimes opposing perspectives are refreshing and have a wider chance of resonating with you.

This is an excellent resource for those who are new to the concept of self care and/or have the perception that self care requires a ton of money and time. It’s for the busy moms who think they aren’t their own biggest priorities, and that everyone else must come first.

The work-life balance chapter is the one I enjoyed the most. Despite having come a long way in the last few years and finally being a place where I have achieved my version of balance, I always enjoy exploring new ways of solidifying this. 

This section gave me a new practice to try. It was something I had never heard of before and it not only stuck with me, but introduced a new level of calm into even the most frantic days. The Practice? FIKA.

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What is FIKA?

Not to be confused with the admin process you need to undergo when buying a new SIM card or mobile plan, Fika (with-a-k) is a Swedish term that is often translated as “a coffee and cake break”. Lauren and Nicole explain that many Swedes find making time to fika every day essential – it is a ritual and state of mind which is an important part of Swedish culture.

The word is both a noun and a verb and is believed to be a reversal of kaffi, the old spelling of coffee. Originally coffee was the fika, but over the years, fikabröd (baked treats) became an important accompaniment. 

Swedes consider it important to make time to stop and socialise, to enjoy a coffee-and-cake custom with friends, to pause. It not only refreshes the brain, but also strengthens relationships.

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The Benefits of FIKA

Lauren and Nicole listed the benefits of FIKA as 

  • A positive moment of respite in hectic days
  • Better connections and conversations (working during fika is a no-no)
  • Improved productivity and creativity when you’re back at your desk
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How to FIKA

There are no set rules. Although they instruct you to take two 10-30 minute breaks throughout your day to connect with others, it’s your practice to mould according to your needs. Indoors, outdoors, with friends, alone, for 10 minutes, for 30 minutes, with cake, without, with coffee, without. The important aspect is the break.

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How I FIKA

Although I’d love to have a coffee-and-cake break everyday , in reality that much cake would not only spoil my 80/20 healthy/treating diet philosophy but it would also spoil cake for me. Having it once a week makes it a treat and something to look forward to. I do indulge in this evolved fika with fikabröd practice once a week and it does everything it promises.

In terms of everyday application, before reading this book, I would usually make a mid-morning coffee and bring it with me to my desk, sipping while I continued working. Now I take my cup outside and sit in the fresh air while I drink it. It can be 5 minutes or 15 minutes, no matter how short or how long, those minutes of pause have a calming impact on my day.

Read If

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You need a down to earth and practical guide on how to self care.

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Rating

8
Readability – 10/10
Writing – 6/10
Applicability – 10/10
Timelessness – 8/10
Shareability – 8/10
8.0
8.0Overall Score

The Nitty Gritty

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Published by: Welbeck publishing, Distributed by Jonathon Ball 

Genre: Non-Fiction, Self Help

ISBN: 978-1-80129-313-6

Pages: 226

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A note on our book ratings

Readability: How easy is it to read and understand what the author is saying? Do you need a dictionary or PhD to understand it?

Writing: How well written is the book? Do you find yourself wowed by the writing or unimpressed?

Applicability: How applicable is this book to daily life? Is there enough advice and actions that are easy to start applying?

Timelessness: Is the content of the book timeless or is it something that in a few years won’t have relevance?

Shareability: How likely are you to share the book?

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