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Hygge is so last year, get ready for ‘Pantsdrunk’ the Finnish approach to relaxation
Whilst many people spent last winter trying to wind down by getting all hygge with cashmere rugs, candles, snuggly socks and hot chocolate, this year the new Scandiwegian hit is to unwind by drinking beer in your pants. Before we go any further, I think that the term ‘pantsdrunk’ is a misnomer because actually getting drunk is not the aim here, far from it. Let’s unpick this new craze in a bit more detail.
Most of us can absolutely relate to the everyday scenario of a long day at work, or at home looking after your family and what you need, what you crave, is to just relax. There was a time when ‘letting your hair down’, was going out to party and drinking to excess was the antidote to this situation. The hygge philosophy was principally about being in balance, taking care of yourself and being with friends. That’s all well and good, but sometimes Netflix is all the company you need! Sometimes, hot chocolate and a blanket are not going to hit the spot.
So let’s examine the ‘pantsdrunk’ approach to de-stressing your life. Some elements remain the same - simple comforts in moderation. The requirements are simple and not as expensive as cashmere throws. All you need are comfortable clothes - you know the kind that you get into on a Sunday when you are going nowhere other than the sofa. The ones that accommodate just a bit too much to eat. The alcohol element is about drinking in moderation, but really enjoying what it is that you chose to drink and having absolutely no intention of leaving the house for your downtime. Pantsdrunk is not a party, its about being comfortable without effort - be that solo or with your partner or best bud. A really good pantsdrunk experience is not first date material, nor is it recommended to share with your boss!
Pantsdrunk is not a fad thought up by a publisher looking for a good way to peddle some books this Christmas (although no doubt they will), it is officially endorsed by the Finnish government. They even launched emojis of Finnish men and women drinking in their kegs representing Finnish culture. I’m not sure that I can see Mrs May welcoming the Finnish President over for a bit of pantsdrunk to discuss Brexit! It may all sound like a bit of a joke, but actually the deep bit of thinking behind the whole notion is really quite sound, to be happy, relaxed, able to enjoy being at ease in one’s home alone or with your nearest and dearest, able to indulge in what you enjoy but without the extremes of excess. Given that the Finnish spend a great deal of their year in darkness and cold, as we head towards our winter I think it is worth checking out their approach to happiness especially through the months ahead.
So, now you know the path to the ultimate state of relaxation and happiness, what do you need to get started. The key here is a bit of preparation before hand.
1. Stock up on your favourite craft beers - maybe experiment with a new one or indulge in one or two that are more expensive than your usual beer. The point here is to really enjoy what you drink. To savour it ,not just buy gallons of the cheapest thing on offer and barely taste it as you race towards a drunken haze.
2. Nibbles are essential - give careful consideration to what flavours will go best with your chosen beer. Opt for a selection of interesting artisan yummy things, with the same principle in mind that you are not mindlessly eating your way through giant bags of crisps, but enjoying what you eat. You don’t have to starve or restrict yourself, but make conscious choices and make sure you have enough.
3. Entertainment selection is critical - again it is the same principle of conscious choices of viewing that you really enjoy, not mindless channel surfing in the vain hope of finding some half decent, but ending up watching rubbish. Find a great movie - get lost in a box set.
4. Decide whether you are going for a solo pantsdrunk evening or whether you are having company - this is quite critical and really should have been point number one, but this choice will have an impact on your selection of drinks, nibbles and entertainment.
5. Finally, and you are nearly ready, get out of your work gear or whatever you had on during your day and either stay in your pants or pop on something mega comfortable. The might be your PJs, old joggers, there are no rules other than be warm, comfortable and that’s it.
6. Head to the sofa, remote in a hand and... pantsdrunk.
If you want to find out more about this phenomena you could check out Pantsdrunk: The Finnish Art of Drinking at Home. Alone. In Your Underwear by Miska Rantanen, (Square Peg, £9.99)
Maybe you already indulge in a little kalsarikännit and didn’t know it. If so, do you have any tips you would like to share with other readers? If yes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know all about it.