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What The Heck Is Kalsarikänni? It's Drinking In Your Undies


This Finnish Practice Of Drinking In Your Underwear Is Total Relaxation Goals

Sometimes there’s nothing better than stripping down to your skivvies, firing up the Netflix, and pouring yourself a glass of wine. If this is one of your go-to past times, there’s actually a name for it. Kalsarikänni, which translates to “päntsdrunk” in Finnish means drinking at home alone without pants.

When it comes to #relaxationgoals, Scandinavians have got it going on. From hygge — embracing all things to cozy, to lagom — the art of achieving balance, Americans can learn a lot about chilling out from Scandinavian countries like Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.

And, with the U.S. consistently ranking as one of the most anxious and depressed countries in the developed world, according to the World Health Organization, we could all stand to embrace more hygge, lagom, and kalsarikänni. (I’ll pause here while you take off your pants and pour yourself a glass of wine.) If you want to read about this Finnish relaxation trend while practicing it, then you’re going to want to pick up the new book “Pantsdrunk: The Finnish Art of Drinking at Home. Alone. In Your Underwear.” by Miska Rantanen.

“It is no coincidence Finland consistently rates in the top five in happiness ranking,” the book description reads. “In Finland, päntsdrunk is considered a path to recovery and self-empowerment to help you face your future challenges. The päntsdrunk method also includes binging on Netflix, scrolling mindlessly on your phone, sweet and salty snacks, sofa time, and blocking all work communications. It will lead you to a healthier, more energizing, and relaxing life — wherever, whenever.”

With the days getting shorter, temps getting colder, and the fall-back time change coming right before Thanksgiving to add to your holiday anxiety, treating yourself to a few päntsdrunk nights can lead to happier mornings. If you’re not a drinker, you can opt for tea, hot chocolate, or a fancy mocktail — whatever your in-your-underwear jam — you do you.

During the winter, heading out to meet your friends IRL means piling on the layers, driving in the dark (sometimes in bad weather), and freezing your butt off. But, it’s always summer inside if you turn up the heat, strip down to your undies, and whip up a tropical drink. Plus, it takes a whole lot less effort, not to mention money, than putting on your snow suit to head to a crowded bar.

If you’re skeptical about this whole päntsdrunk thing, consider that Finland was recently named the happiest country in the world because they prioritize self-care and they don’t seem to engage in the dreaded FOMO.

What’s more, despite it being cold and dark, Nordic countries continually top the list of happiest countries because they make personal well-being a priority, giving attention to the importance of health, social support, freedom, trust, and generosity, according to the World Happiness Report. Basically, we’re doing it wrong in the U.S. as we fell four slots to number 18 in 2018, and we have never made it into the top 10.

Americans work more than almost any other developed country, don’t take enough vacation, engage in unfulfilling consumer-driven lifestyles, are saddled with a broken healthcare system, and elect unsavory characters to the highest positions of government.

In short, we’re our own worst enemies, and we’re not doing enough to generate all of those happy feels. For hardcore introverts like me, learning that opting to stay home to get päntsdrunk while watching “Happy Valley” instead of going out to a crowded bar where I have to shout a conversation is a real thing is beyond liberating. And, I fully realize that the above statement makes me sound one step away from yelling at kids for playing on my lawn.

But as someone who spent years as a bartender no less than three feet away from deafening live bands every night, I now have permanent hearing loss, which makes a quiet night of kalsarikänni appealing AF. Same? If you can’t move to Scandinavia, you might want to consider adopting some of their wellness practices so you can start living your best life. I’ll be right there with you.