#BeKind was trending on Twitter again last week. As celebrities and social media users looked back two years, it was good to see that something tragic now has a positive legacy. In fact, we wish #BeKind would trend a bit more often, because kindness to ourselves and others is an amazing thing. As the UK begins to get back to some sort of normality, we’d like to encourage you to seek out some of this kindness - with a big slice of kafferep.
Yes, kafferep is so much more than a delicious IKEA range. The origins of the Swedish practice of kafferep go all the way back to the 1800s, when women were still banned from coffee houses. The ladies of Sweden soon became hungry not just for their own kaffi, but for cake and gossip too. Kafferep was born.
What started out as a group of girlfriends getting together in a home to sneak some java and a good natter soon turned into something more formal. Sweet breads like cinnamon rolls were followed by seven types of cookie and finished off with a cake or torte. Drool. Everything was served on the best china, while the ladies improved their social status and put the world to rights. Some have even credited the powerhouse of kafferep with Swedish women getting the vote in 1919. In changing time it eventually fell out of favour, but was thankfully succeeded by the modern daily practice of fika.
It seems the Swedes have always known what Bob Hoskins knew in the 1990s and plenty of therapists know today – it’s good to talk. As the kafferep pioneers proved though, any talking can actually be therapeutic. Catching up with friends is simply good for the soul. Most of us will already know this, but hands up if you’ve kind of forgotten or if you don’t always make enough time for it.
Being a foster carer or a social worker can be both stressful and emotional, fun and exciting – and we should download more than we do. Whoever you are reading this though, we sincerely recommend blocking out some regular space in your diary to meet up with a friend or three. There really are so many benefits. Sharing our ups and downs with friends helps us feel safe and less stressed, it causes the body to produce the happy hormone serotonin and generally gives us a mood lift. Catching up with friends has also been proved to increase our sense of belonging and purpose along with improving our self-confidence. Having close friends staves off loneliness and can help our brains stay sharp. It can even add years to our lives. It is kindness to ourselves and others.
So, why not get on WhatsApp and make a date for some kindness right now? It you want to try a traditional kafferep, we’ve found some easy recipes for the seven cookies and a magnificent kladdkaka (Swedish sticky chocolate cake). Best plates optional.
One of the things we value about Footprints is our sense of friendship, we love knowing our team personally, getting everyone together for socials and watching more experienced carers mentor newer ones. So, if you are a foster carer or are thinking about becoming one and you fancy being part of a friendly, kind group please contact us. We might even offer you a slice of kafferep.