Reset: Learn How The Rest Of The World Takes A Break

April 09, 2022
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Pete Walls

Unsplash: Pete Walls

We are so busy playing the main characters of our lives that we sometimes forget to take a break. As unfortunate as it is, slowing down has become so unusual for us that we forget what that feels like. Therefore, the need to reconnect and breathe has become essential to our sanity.

Around the world, people take a break differently. Some drink tea or coffee with friends. While others take a peaceful nap. However you choose to take a break, one thing is for certain: you are relaxing and refreshing your mind. Sounds beautiful, right?

Try this: Take a break and just let your mind wander. Relax yourself. Listen to a meditation guide or an audiobook of your favorite story, even try finger breathing. Maybe turn off your notifications for several minutes and take a nap. You can also make coffee or tea, the choice is up to you. The goal is to unwind and unplug for a brief moment, so you can feel more refreshed and ready to tick off your checklist.

If you’re in for a vibe check, take a quick break and learn how the rest of the world relaxes with our handy dandy guide. And if you end up yawning, then you’re a step away from that glorious and needed brain break.

Fika in Sweden

Fika is the Swedish version of coffee break. But fika is not just your typical coffee break, because fika is more than that. It is a way of life. It is an art form. It is a social tradition. The Swedish tradition of fika is about connecting with friends while enjoying a cup of coffee paired with a sweet treat.

You can fika anywhere. You can fika in the park or in your house. You can fika by yourself or with friends. The most important thing about fika is to take a break. And as long as you’re taking a break, you’re having a fika.

Interested in learning more about how to incorporate fika into your life? It’s simple! First, grab a cup of coffee or tea. Then, don’t forget to pair it up with a tasty treat like a Sweet Bun or a Princess Cake. Last but not least, get ready to...dun dun dun… relax and unwind, because the true essence of fika is about unwinding.

Kaffee und Kuchen in Germany

On an afternoon in Germany, you will find most if not all of the German coffee shops bustling with people. And this is because of an afternoon tradition called Kaffee und Kuchen, which translates to coffee and cake.

This afternoon break is very important to many Germans as this ritual is all about gathering with friends and family over coffee and cake. And the best way to celebrate this German pastime is to lose track of time by getting lost in conversation.

Kaffee und Kuchen started in the 17th century. But the practice became more popular in the 19th century when coffee was more accessible to many people. Up to this day, the tradition is still so popular that even some parts of Austria and Switzerland take part in this delicious ritual.

Smoko in New Zealand and Australia

Smoko, otherwise known as Smoke-oh or Smoke-o, is a slang term to describe the work break in Australia and New Zealand. It is a reference to a morning or afternoon break around eating and having tea (or coffee) during a so-called smoke break.

The term was believed to have originated from the British Merchant Navy in 1865. It was a way to define and describe the short break where workers relaxed to smoke, eat, and have a cup of tea or coffee.

In New Zealand, the smoko break refers to the activity of drinking tea in the morning and in the afternoon. Farmers and manual laborers think of smoko as an important part of their work day, a way to re-energize before returning back to work. People now consider smoko to be a general term for a work break.

In Australia, smoko is a break that is seen more as a mid-morning break – a break between breakfast and lunch. Before, rural workers and sheepherders took up to two smoko breaks and three large lunches to keep them going for the rest of the day. However, smoko is now used to describe the smoking aspect of a work break.

Riposo in Italy

Italy, the majestic Mediterranean country of pasta and pizza, is also home to a laid-back lifestyle. Riposo is the Italian way of the midday break. Think of riposo as an extended lunch break, a way to slow down, eat, and rest.

During riposo shops, churches, museums, and almost everything else is closed. Businesses lock their doors and either go home for a nap or head to a restaurant for a long lunch. By taking a long break, Italians get to relax and spend time with family and friends. As a result, employees tend to be more productive after the break, feeling ready and refreshed to return to work.

Inemuri in Japan

The idea of sleeping on the job is frowned upon in many countries but in Japan, this practice is encouraged. Inemuri is the term used to describe the concept of sleeping on the job. However, the proper definition of inemuri is “being present while asleep.” Sleeping on the bus, at the train, or even at the steps of a mall is a common sight all over the country.

Sleeping in public places in Japan is a sign of hard work and that’s because Japan is infamous for its long working days, which can sometimes last up to ten hours. The main rule for inemuri is that as long as you aren’t trespassing or blocking anyone, then you are free to take your forty winks in any open public space.

Afternoon Tea in the United Kingdom

Afternoon tea is known as a quintessentially British tradition. The tea is served in the afternoon, around 4 PM or so with sandwiches, scones, cakes, and your choice of tea. When having afternoon tea , please do NOT stick your pinky out.

The custom dates back to the early 19th century and Anna the 7th Duchess of Bedford is credited for the social tradition. The Duchess of Bedford would feel hungry in the late afternoon because dinner was served at around 8 p.m. back then. As a result, she would ask for a tray of tea and treats for her midday snack. Later, she invited her friends over to share the delicious afternoon delight. The pastime then became a ritual, and the tea parties began. But when Queen Victoria joined the social gathering, the event became more grandiose with tea served in elegant silver. Around the 1880s, afternoon tea became more popular all over England.

Today, having afternoon tea is a way to socialize with friends and family. afternoon tea can be served at home for any occasion or it can be served on special events like birthdays or anniversaries. On the other hand, many hotels and restaurants all over the UK serve afternoon tea with a charming selection of tea and treats for you to choose from.

Learn a new language