The Importance of FIKA in my Daily Life

I learned about fika last summer, when Monica moved to Stockholm for a few months. From what I understand, fika is an afternoon coffee and snack break that Swedish people take to chat and relax. If only this was a mandated thing in the US...we barely even get full lunch breaks. When I went to visit her, I was actually only in Stockholm for about a day and a half due to an 18 hour flight delay on Norwegian air, so we only got to fika once.

Now, almost every day at work, I take a full FIKA to sit at the only nice cafe near my office to enjoy an Americano, a croissant, and some leisure reading in the sun on the sidewalk of Wilshire Boulevard.  Now that I've started bringing lunch to work, and eating at my desk, it's becoming increasingly more important for me to get out of the office and get some air and alone time.  Enter Amandine -- the only place near my office, nice enough and with good enough food to get me to keep me coming back every day. There are four outdoor tables on the sidewalk facing Wilshire, and this is where I typically sit every day to fika.

Even though its called "Amandine," their cinnamon croissant is the best.

This ~$7 daily fika habit has proved worth it time and again.  Not only do I get to bask in the LA sunshine and drink some good espresso, but this is also one of the only times in my day that I reserve specifically for leisure reading.  The vitamin D paired with the caffeine and sugary croissant do wonders for my mood, but the chance to lose myself in a book and stop thinking about work, even for 30 minutes, does wonders for my mental state in the office.

Plus, reading good literature inspires me to choose my words more carefully, whether it's in additional contract language or for persuasion in a brief. And it has inspired me to do more creative writing on my own, aka posts on here.

Totally candid photo of me wearing my floral blazer and reading at Amandine.

Also, in the latest issue of TYL (some young lawyer magazine that spams me), I just came across an article entitled "The Case for Reading Fiction" by litigation attorney Claire Rootjes/Claire Luana. In it, she also hypes up the benefits of reading fiction (obviously, by the title) but notes that "[i]n addition to the benefits of being exposed to new vocabulary and writing styles, stories are key to connecting with a jury or a judge. The more fiction you read, the more you will internalize the art of storytelling and be able to use if effectively for your clients." So basically I'm right, and I deserve to fika.

I know self-care is almost a cliche at this point, an overused buzzword, but fika-ing is my way of giving myself a break from the stress of being an attorney all day. It's investing in myself, taking the time I need away from my desk (of which I need a lot), maintaining good blood sugar levels, and most importantly feeding my brain.

No comments