Bringing Nordic Mid-Week Joy into Your Life
Why should we save all the fun for the weekend?
Lillördag, or “little Saturday,” is a delightful Nordic tradition that encourages people to infuse a bit of weekend joy into their workweek, typically on Wednesdays. This concept, popular in countries like Sweden, Norway, and Finland, offers a refreshing break from the routine, particularly during the long, dark winter months.
Coming from a Norwegian background, I was raised with this mindset. I can tell with certainty that it creates a spirit of lillördag in your life, enhancing well-being and breaking the mid-week monotony. Shifting our mindset can transform Wednesdays from being just a midweek marker to a day we actively look forward to. The concept of lillördag, or “little Saturday,” exemplifies this beautifully. Here are some key points on how a mindset shift can make Wednesdays something special:
1. Breaking the Routine
Mindset Shift: View Wednesday as a mini-milestone, not just another day to get through. Implement a special ritual or activity that you only do on Wednesdays, like trying a new recipe, taking a different route on your walk, or even wearing something that makes you feel good.
2. Anticipation and Planning
Mindset Shift: Use the beginning of the week to plan something enjoyable for Wednesday. This could be a social event, a hobby session, or a relaxing activity. The key is to have something to look forward to.
3. Self-Care and Wellness
Mindset Shift: Treat Wednesday as a day for rejuvenation, halfway through the usual hustle. Schedule self-care activities like a yoga class, meditation session, or even a short nap.
4. Social Connection
Mindset Shift: Consider Wednesday an opportunity for social engagement.
Organize a lunch with colleagues, a video call with a friend, or an evening gathering.
5. Learning and Growth
Mindset Shift: See it as a day for personal development.
Dedicate time to reading, attend a workshop, or spend time on a hobby that helps you grow.
6. Gratitude and Reflection
Mindset Shift: Use Wednesday to reflect on and appreciate the week's achievements and lessons. Keep a gratitude journal or simply spend a few moments in reflection.
7. Balance and Flexibility
Mindset Shift: Embrace the concept of work-life balance midweek.
Application: Adjust your schedule if possible to allow for a more relaxed pace or a change in environment.
8. Joy and Celebration
Mindset Shift: Treat Wednesday as a day of small celebrations. Celebrate the small victories of the week, whether it's a successful meeting, a new learning, or just getting through half the week.
Here are some of the ways we create lillördag on Wednesdays!
1. Host a Themed Dinner Night
Pick a cuisine or theme and prepare a special dinner. It could be a taco night, an Italian pasta evening, or a sushi-making session. This breaks the routine and adds a culinary adventure to your week. I plan a theme for the weekend to ensure I have all of the ingredients needed for our theme.
2. Enjoy Nature with a Mid-Week Hike or Walk
Nature has a way of rejuvenating the soul. A mid-week hike or a leisurely walk in a nearby park can be a great way to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with nature. Use your lunch hour to go for a walk, or after dinner, take an evening stroll with your family. It feels so good to do this with the people you love the most!
3. Attend a Local Cultural Event
Be it a small concert, a theater performance, or a poetry reading at a local café, immersing yourself in cultural activities can be uplifting and inspiring. Check your local community events. Our community theatre has a series of incredible productions this time of the year. I reserve tickets for a Wednesday or Thursday evening, and the bonus is that the tickets are usually cheaper during the week!
4. Organize a Game Night
Invite friends or family over for a board game or video game night. This is a fun way to socialize and engage in some friendly competition. For the holidays, we received some new games; it is a perfect time to have some fun!
5. Indulge in a Spa or Self-Care Evening
Dedicate the evening to self-care. This could mean a long bath, a DIY spa session, or simply reading a book with a cup of tea. It’s all about relaxation and self-pampering.
6. Explore a New Hobby or Craft
Use this time to engage in a hobby or craft you’ve been curious about. Whether it’s painting, knitting, or woodworking, immersing yourself in a creative activity can be incredibly fulfilling.
7. Make a Dinner Reservation
Don’t wait for the weekend to go out for dinner. Make a reservation for Wednesday; there will be fewer people, and you can enjoy your food without feeling rushed. My husband and I use Wednesday as our date night; we can get into almost any restaurant of choice!
8. Attend a Fitness Class or Try a New Sport
Physical activity is not only good for the body but also for the mind. YouTube has so many fitness classes you can try. Try meditation, or sign up at your local YMCA or fitness club and try a sport like squash or racquetball.
9. Volunteer for a Cause You Care About
Volunteering can be a rewarding way to spend your holiday. Whether it’s helping at a local shelter or participating in a community clean-up, it’s a meaningful way to spend your time.
10. Plan a Movie or Series Night
Sometimes, a relaxed evening with a movie or binge-watching a series can be just what you need. Make it special with popcorn and cozy blankets, and put a fire in the fireplace.
11. Have a Creative Workshop or DIY Project Night
Engage in a DIY project or a creative workshop. This could be anything from making home decorations to upcycling old furniture. I am reorganizing my recipe book. Learn a new skill. Each Wednesday, challenge yourself by learning a new skill.
The beauty of lillördag lies in its flexibility. It’s a personal choice on how to observe this day. The key is to do something that breaks the routine, brings joy, and rejuvenates you for the rest of the week. By adopting this Nordic tradition, you not only enrich your own life but also inspire others around you to find their mid-week joys. So, why wait for the weekend? Make every Wednesday a little more special!