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Päntsdrunk (Kalsarikänni): The Finnish Path to Relaxation (Drinking at Home, Alone, in Your Underwear)

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Danes have hygge.  Swedes have lagom.  But the Finns have the best - "kalsarikänni" or päntsdrunk – drinking at home, alone, in your underwear. When it comes to happiness rankings, Finland always scores near the top.  Many Finnish phenomena set the bar high: the best education system, gender equality, a flourishing welfare state, sisu or bull-headed pluck.  Behind all of th Danes have hygge.  Swedes have lagom.  But the Finns have the best - "kalsarikänni" or päntsdrunk – drinking at home, alone, in your underwear. When it comes to happiness rankings, Finland always scores near the top.  Many Finnish phenomena set the bar high: the best education system, gender equality, a flourishing welfare state, sisu or bull-headed pluck.  Behind all of these accomplishments lies a Finnish ability to stay calm, healthy and content in a riptide of endless tasks and temptations.  The ability comes from the practice of "kalsarikänni" translated as päntsdrunk. Peel off your clothes down to your underwear.  Place savory or sweet snacks within reach alongside your bed or sofa.  Make sure your television remote control is nearby along with any and all devices to access social media.  Open your preferred alcohol. Your journey toward inner strength, higher quality of life, and peace of mind has begun.


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Danes have hygge.  Swedes have lagom.  But the Finns have the best - "kalsarikänni" or päntsdrunk – drinking at home, alone, in your underwear. When it comes to happiness rankings, Finland always scores near the top.  Many Finnish phenomena set the bar high: the best education system, gender equality, a flourishing welfare state, sisu or bull-headed pluck.  Behind all of th Danes have hygge.  Swedes have lagom.  But the Finns have the best - "kalsarikänni" or päntsdrunk – drinking at home, alone, in your underwear. When it comes to happiness rankings, Finland always scores near the top.  Many Finnish phenomena set the bar high: the best education system, gender equality, a flourishing welfare state, sisu or bull-headed pluck.  Behind all of these accomplishments lies a Finnish ability to stay calm, healthy and content in a riptide of endless tasks and temptations.  The ability comes from the practice of "kalsarikänni" translated as päntsdrunk. Peel off your clothes down to your underwear.  Place savory or sweet snacks within reach alongside your bed or sofa.  Make sure your television remote control is nearby along with any and all devices to access social media.  Open your preferred alcohol. Your journey toward inner strength, higher quality of life, and peace of mind has begun.

30 review for Päntsdrunk (Kalsarikänni): The Finnish Path to Relaxation (Drinking at Home, Alone, in Your Underwear)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    Päntsdrunk seemed fairly straight-forward to me. To keep your cool, occasionally you should take a page out of the Finnish playbook and put on your most comfy underwear, grab your favorite alcoholic beverage and chill out. But then Miska Rantanen had to write something to fill up the rest of the pages. There was quite a lot of filler material. Päntsdrunk doesn't demand over-the-top arrangements. Affordability and democracy are its hallmarks. It's quick acting and suitable for all who have reached Päntsdrunk seemed fairly straight-forward to me. To keep your cool, occasionally you should take a page out of the Finnish playbook and put on your most comfy underwear, grab your favorite alcoholic beverage and chill out. But then Miska Rantanen had to write something to fill up the rest of the pages. There was quite a lot of filler material. Päntsdrunk doesn't demand over-the-top arrangements. Affordability and democracy are its hallmarks. It's quick acting and suitable for all who have reached the age of majority." pg 16 Rantanen talks about how Finland developed this coping mechanism from a couple of different factors: freezing weather, long distances between cities and towns, and very little sunlight near the winter solstice. "The Finnish term kalsarikanni is a simple compound word: kalsari (underwear) + kanni (state of inebriation). This pithy idiom crystallizes the essential: at its simplest, pantsdrunk means imbibing alcohol in one's underwear at home without any intention of going out. The term's ingenuity lies in everything it doesn't imply." pg 21 But pantsdrunk practitioners don't have to stay in or solitary. You can drink as a couple, with friends, with a couple of friends. As the night wears on, you can go from pantsdrunk to plus pants at the club or bar, if the mood lends itself that way. The trick is to go with the flow of the evening and enter a state of total relaxation. "As a philosophy, pantsdrunk is not in conflict with lagom and hygge. Au contraire. They all spring from the same Nordic origins and share the same ultimate goals: optimal peace of mind, joie de vivre, comfort, equilibrium, and recuperation as embodied in a snug coziness." pg 22 Pantsdrunk is not about getting blasted as fast as possible. It's a slow slide into mellow. "At its most minimal, pantsdrunk is a device for balancing life and work. It can, however, be expanded into a lifestyle and worldview. The beauty of pantsdrunk lies in its possibilities." pg 27 I'm not sure about some of the statistics Rantanen cites in his book, but he claims Finland is one of the stablest, safest, most educated countries in the world. And he credits the practice of pantsdrunk with part of this fantastic result. Heidi, you may say, what could your problem be with pantsdrunk? Anyone who has dealt with an alcoholic can easily point out the potential roadblocks to happiness with this. Also, there's addiction issues to consider. None of which can be dealt with if you're indulging in this behavior by yourself and aren't aware there's a problem. Rantanen does say that if pantsdrunk becomes a conscious choice every day to deal with stresses, that a reshuffling of your life may be in order. He also suggests counting bottles or cans to keep tabs on how much you're consuming. Or gauging how well you've managed to balance drunk and relaxed by your hangover the next day. I'm not entirely convinced this is possible. Rantanen also talks about how pantsdrunk has gotten a bad rap with some films depicting people drinking in their underwear alone as sad and pathetic rather than empowered and relaxed. One of the most uplifting performances (of pantsdrunk) can be seen during the credits of Bridget Jones Diary (Maguire 2001), when Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) belts out the quintessential pajama playback solo while sloshed on red wine. pg 76. But wasn't that one of her lowest points? Recommended for brave readers over 21 who mostly have their lives together, but need to allow themselves to chill out now and then.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 Pantsdrunk: Kalsarikanni: The Finnish Path to Relaxation by Miska Rantanen is a very peculiar little book. You kind of just get thrown into this thing that is pantsdrunk without really knowing what is going to happen. Pantsdrunk is a Finnish relaxation technique (that I had never heard of), which to us here in the US is basically hanging out in your comfiest clothes or underwear and having a couple of drinks while listening to music, reading, or just hanging out. Pantsdrunk is usually ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 Pantsdrunk: Kalsarikanni: The Finnish Path to Relaxation by Miska Rantanen is a very peculiar little book. You kind of just get thrown into this thing that is pantsdrunk without really knowing what is going to happen. Pantsdrunk is a Finnish relaxation technique (that I had never heard of), which to us here in the US is basically hanging out in your comfiest clothes or underwear and having a couple of drinks while listening to music, reading, or just hanging out. Pantsdrunk is usually done alone, but it can also be done with a friend or two. The point of pantsdrunk isn't to get drunk either and you aren't supposed to have a hangover in the morning. Nor should you be partaking in pantsdrunk every night because if you are that is the sign of a problem. I enjoyed learning all about the pantsdrunk technique and it was a pretty entertaining little book. Definitely not something I would normally read, but fun nevertheless. Plus the cover is so pretty and really gives you the feel of what pantsdrunk looks like. There are also some fun little statistics and polls that I enjoyed. Final Thought: I think you would categorize this book as satirical nonfiction, but I'm not positive so don't quote me on that. I think this would be a good choice for someone looking for something short that doesn't take itself too seriously. Pantsdrunk in 3-ish words: Light, Entertaining, Easy-to-Read

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    After all the books about Danish hygge, and Swedish lagom, we have this pretty funny book that is set up to appear to mirror all the seriousness of the books about the above. “The Finnish Path to Relaxation,” Miska Rantanen educates us, is to go home, get comfortably dressed, make several drinks for yourself, and get "kalsarikänni" translated as päntsdrunk. We know Finns are happy; the best school system, gender equality. They stay calm and content in the face of any challenge. How they do it: Pä After all the books about Danish hygge, and Swedish lagom, we have this pretty funny book that is set up to appear to mirror all the seriousness of the books about the above. “The Finnish Path to Relaxation,” Miska Rantanen educates us, is to go home, get comfortably dressed, make several drinks for yourself, and get "kalsarikänni" translated as päntsdrunk. We know Finns are happy; the best school system, gender equality. They stay calm and content in the face of any challenge. How they do it: Päntsdrunk. Selections from 100 reasons to consider achieving the high inner state of Päntsdrunk: 37. You have to go to work tomorrow 38. You don’t have to go to work tomorrow. 39. It’s Saturday tomorrow. And so on. It’s too long, could have been done in half the time, but it’s worth a few smiles. Includes testimonials on how it changed lives, as with the hygge and lagom books. “More than once, downing three or four beers has led me listening to my music in a reverential stupor. . . Solitary inebriation leaves no room for self-criticism.”

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lena

    The Finnish keep it real. Danish hygge is an Instagram worthy planned, pruned, and posed level of coziness. Kalsari (underwear) + känni (state of inebriation) is the Finnish version for the rest of us mere mortals. Just relax, have a drink, and maybe belt out some tunes! Note: if you want this bit of fun use the kindle version. The book is cute but you need two hands to hold the blasted thing open. The Finnish keep it real. Danish hygge is an Instagram worthy planned, pruned, and posed level of coziness. Kalsari (underwear) + känni (state of inebriation) is the Finnish version for the rest of us mere mortals. Just relax, have a drink, and maybe belt out some tunes! Note: if you want this bit of fun use the kindle version. The book is cute but you need two hands to hold the blasted thing open.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kirsti

    Pleasant yet overly padded, much like a couch on which one could get päntsdrunk.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    This moment’s “The Preppy Handbook”. A take off on Scandanavian living memes recently popular in books. This book was humorous in style but not in substance – I smiled at the title and at how the book was organized, but not so much at the actual content. (view spoiler)[ It is all about sitting in your underwear and drinking. All about it. And even more about it. (hide spoiler)] I listened on audio. Probably not the best choice for this book, given other reviews pointing out the positive aspects This moment’s “The Preppy Handbook”. A take off on Scandanavian living memes recently popular in books. This book was humorous in style but not in substance – I smiled at the title and at how the book was organized, but not so much at the actual content. (view spoiler)[ It is all about sitting in your underwear and drinking. All about it. And even more about it. (hide spoiler)] I listened on audio. Probably not the best choice for this book, given other reviews pointing out the positive aspects of the feel of the paper in the dead tree version. Those Finns…

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I really wanted to like this book, especially since I enjoyed The Little Book of Hygge so much. There were a few interesting things to read about and I realize my husband and I do enjoy Kalsarkianni at least every few weeks, but overall it could have been shorter by half and had more information. Oh well.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Coral

    A funny spoof of those annoying lifestyle books out there that promise if you adopt their method of doing something (organizing your house, exercising...you name it) that you will be happier. A new you! This is very dry satire - in fact, I imagine there are some people who won't realize that it's satire until the very end (or maybe not at all). A very quick, enjoyable read. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's Wednesday. It's raining. It's time to get päntsdrunk. A funny spoof of those annoying lifestyle books out there that promise if you adopt their method of doing something (organizing your house, exercising...you name it) that you will be happier. A new you! This is very dry satire - in fact, I imagine there are some people who won't realize that it's satire until the very end (or maybe not at all). A very quick, enjoyable read. Now, if you'll excuse me, it's Wednesday. It's raining. It's time to get päntsdrunk.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This is by far the best Nordic-life inspired book I've read! The art of Pantsdrunk is something I've been doing for years now, and I'm so glad it has an official name. This book was funny and marvelous. I will be recommending it to everyone, forever. This is by far the best Nordic-life inspired book I've read! The art of Pantsdrunk is something I've been doing for years now, and I'm so glad it has an official name. This book was funny and marvelous. I will be recommending it to everyone, forever.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nate Hawthorne

    Basically this book allows you to get comfy, drink alone, and not feel guilty. Not sure how scientific it is, but Finns are notoriously happy. Easy read and visually pleasing. Now where's my beer. Basically this book allows you to get comfy, drink alone, and not feel guilty. Not sure how scientific it is, but Finns are notoriously happy. Easy read and visually pleasing. Now where's my beer.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    A fun book giving you ideas (and permission) to sit on the couch in your undies!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    This book was so fun. It's all about how to maximize your relaxation when you just want to stay home and watch TV in your underwear, calling itself a "precision strike into free time." It's all about maximizing your enjoyment, relieving stress and the pressure to be productive, and indulging in the things that actually sooth your soul and mind. The book itself is silly and indulgent and this makes me want to carve out time to get suitably pantsdrunk very, very soon. This book was so fun. It's all about how to maximize your relaxation when you just want to stay home and watch TV in your underwear, calling itself a "precision strike into free time." It's all about maximizing your enjoyment, relieving stress and the pressure to be productive, and indulging in the things that actually sooth your soul and mind. The book itself is silly and indulgent and this makes me want to carve out time to get suitably pantsdrunk very, very soon.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    So freaking HILARIOUS!!!!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katie Bliss

    Highly entertaining book about how to de-stress by having an adult beverage or two and vegging out with social media or the television and salty/sweet snacks from time to time. You'd think this would be pretty basic advice, but there IS a right and wrong way to do it, and there are people who don't do this, and they're basically missing out. "The leitmotif of pantsdrunk is meaningful meaninglessness. When you start and end at zero, the tiniest achievement counts as a victory. Winning is easy, lo Highly entertaining book about how to de-stress by having an adult beverage or two and vegging out with social media or the television and salty/sweet snacks from time to time. You'd think this would be pretty basic advice, but there IS a right and wrong way to do it, and there are people who don't do this, and they're basically missing out. "The leitmotif of pantsdrunk is meaningful meaninglessness. When you start and end at zero, the tiniest achievement counts as a victory. Winning is easy, losing is hard."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Carbery

    Päntsdrunk is one of the funniest self help books I've ever read. It is shameless and delightful. It is a philosophy that encourages "spontaneous bathing, belching, intent nose-picking, air guitar-playing, singing, leisurely masturbating, flatulating, talking to yourself, or screaming into a pillow" (page 31). That is the kind of realness that I wanted to be served. As wonder as it is to be told to exercise and journal everyday it is also wonderful to have the beauty in my disgusting habits prai Päntsdrunk is one of the funniest self help books I've ever read. It is shameless and delightful. It is a philosophy that encourages "spontaneous bathing, belching, intent nose-picking, air guitar-playing, singing, leisurely masturbating, flatulating, talking to yourself, or screaming into a pillow" (page 31). That is the kind of realness that I wanted to be served. As wonder as it is to be told to exercise and journal everyday it is also wonderful to have the beauty in my disgusting habits praised on occasion. Before you go off thinking that this book is just for humor, it is important to note that the author, Miska Rantanen, is the director of the Norra Haga Party Central Institute, which appears to be some kind of non-prophet (I cannot read Finnish). "He has spent fifty years researching the Finnish way of life" is all that his bio says. I trust him to write about his own culture. Outside of enabling our base desires to be gross in solitude, this book does something that humorless self help books like Finding Sisu: In Search of Courage, Strength, and Happiness the Finnish Way do not--it advocates for people who are feeling stressed, dependent, or otherwise unwell to seek actual medical attention. It is almost like the author cares about mental health! The book itself is beautiful. The illustrations are both beautiful and whimsical without distracting from the info graphs and photographs included. What is also awesome about this book is that it is littered with funny little testimonies. A personal favorite is from an individual identified as only "woman, 42, CEO". "I joined the Social Democratic Party while päntsdrunk. I read the original party platform from 1903, cried a little, and then joined. I'm still a member." (page 163). Anyone who knows me in my personal life can vouch for the fact that this kind of behavior is iconically me. Self help should be about growing as yourself, not becoming a drone or a knock off version of somebody else. Pantsdrunk enables this. But what really is Päntsdrunk? It can't be as easy as just getting drunk naked and alone. That is answered as well. The most accurate representation of pantsdrunk is, however, to be found in the Coen brothers' cult classic The Big Lebowski (1998). At 32 minutes, there's a scene where the protagonist, the Dude, is lying on the rug, listening to 1987 Venice Beach Bowling League playoffs on his Walkman after downing White Russians. Focus, bliss, contentment!" (page 78). If the Dude abides, we should too.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Licia Bailey

    There is no right way to get that R&R we all need. This is a beautifully illustrated, quirky, fun read to inspire your own version of päntsdrunk. For me alcohol isn't always necessary, no pants is very necessary, and I'm rarely alone - but it still works. There is no right way to get that R&R we all need. This is a beautifully illustrated, quirky, fun read to inspire your own version of päntsdrunk. For me alcohol isn't always necessary, no pants is very necessary, and I'm rarely alone - but it still works.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Light fluff read, if you want a quick run down on the book you can watch the video with Greg Davies and Russell Howard which sums it up pretty well (note Greg and Russell are in their underwear and it's kind of awkward so might not be some people's cup of tea) https://youtu.be/UeQXreI76q0 Light fluff read, if you want a quick run down on the book you can watch the video with Greg Davies and Russell Howard which sums it up pretty well (note Greg and Russell are in their underwear and it's kind of awkward so might not be some people's cup of tea) https://youtu.be/UeQXreI76q0

  18. 4 out of 5

    kris b.c.

    meh. a quick easy read about mindful relaxation. it's fun and unassuming but I'm glad I didn't pay for it. meh. a quick easy read about mindful relaxation. it's fun and unassuming but I'm glad I didn't pay for it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shanna

    Quick and easy read! Started reading at about 8pm and finished just after 1am (with a few breaks in there.) I was happy to learn about this Finnish Tradition!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dave Parnin

    I received this as a gift. I would have never picked it up but felt obligated to read it. I found zero value. 👎

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kandise

    I honestly don't know if this is satire or not. On the one hand, extremely silly. On the other hand, a lifestyle I can believe in. I honestly don't know if this is satire or not. On the one hand, extremely silly. On the other hand, a lifestyle I can believe in.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Grace Acevedo

    This ended up being a more thoughtful read then I expected. Yes it’s about being home & enjoying a yummy adult beverage while being in pjs & wool sox (the latter part is strenuously stressed). But it’s also about being comfortable in your own skin & knowing when your body needs the down time. The Finns do know what they are talking about!

  23. 4 out of 5

    AJ

    "Mindfulness", but make it fancy. Read like an overly long Refinery29 article. Managed to answer some of my internal snarky questions, but raised more. Maybe something was lost in translation. Maybe I just don't understand the culture. Maybe this just wasn't for me. "Mindfulness", but make it fancy. Read like an overly long Refinery29 article. Managed to answer some of my internal snarky questions, but raised more. Maybe something was lost in translation. Maybe I just don't understand the culture. Maybe this just wasn't for me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wendelle

    A funny guide to Finnish style of relaxation. A tongue-in-cheek contrast to the more rules-based relaxation styles of swedish lagom and Danish hygge

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Very light, very cheeky, very silly!

  26. 5 out of 5

    J Lopez

    Wow, this book was definitely not for me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Krista

    I got this out at the library since I had read the little book of hygge I thought I would enjoy this. It’s a cute little book and I enjoyed the little tidbits of information I learned but overall the book was kind of bland and didn’t really engage or intrigue me much. It may work as a nice gift but overall I am glad I just got it out at the library.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    I am lucky to have made the self-discovery of pantsdrunk earlier in my life, the book just added a bit of legitimacy 😂 The book was fun.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    A breezy, entertaining book on the Finnish concept of "päntsdrunk", i.e. hanging out in a lazy state to get over life's stresses. I preferred The Little Book of Hygge, but then I'm a Virgo. Cute images. A breezy, entertaining book on the Finnish concept of "päntsdrunk", i.e. hanging out in a lazy state to get over life's stresses. I preferred The Little Book of Hygge, but then I'm a Virgo. Cute images.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    I wasn’t planning on reading this book, but I saw it at the library while I was picking up another book and figured why not. It was worth a quick read! Initially I was skeptical because it seemed like this was just a Finnish attempt to hop on the hygge and lagom trend. But it is a real thing and I agree with Rantanen’s characterization that this is a more accessible form of relaxation for some people than hygge or lagom. It’s also a practice I feel like I’ve engaged in at times unknowingly. It i I wasn’t planning on reading this book, but I saw it at the library while I was picking up another book and figured why not. It was worth a quick read! Initially I was skeptical because it seemed like this was just a Finnish attempt to hop on the hygge and lagom trend. But it is a real thing and I agree with Rantanen’s characterization that this is a more accessible form of relaxation for some people than hygge or lagom. It’s also a practice I feel like I’ve engaged in at times unknowingly. It is a very individual experience, intentionally, and you can really customize it to fit your life. While most of the book discusses the inclusion of alcohol in your practice, you actually don’t need to have alcohol. It really is about surrounding yourself with the things that make you most relaxed (snacks, good movies/tv, wool socks, etc.) I also appreciated the section on incorporating this while traveling. I travel a lot for work and am always lonely and anxious in hotels alone. This could be my new go to so I relax and try to enjoy my nights in hotels! This summary of “Pantsdrunk” really stuck out to me. “Pantsdrunk is the perfect antithesis to forced maintaining of face and facades, and as such, can be an incredibly healing and liberating experience”. I’ll keep this in mind when I want to indulge in this practice next time. I should probably also read those books on hygge and lagom just to see what they say. Really quick read, definitely recommend.

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