Lessons We Can Learn From Everyday Viking Life

Posted by on February 20, 2019 in Thrive with 0 Comments

Source: 123rf.com

When people think of excellent role models from history, Vikings aren’t necessarily the first to spring to mind. There is no doubt that the Vikings have been given a raw deal by popular history, mostly being remembered as a group of savage warriors who invaded and plundered at will. While that side of Vikings cannot be denied, it is all too easy to overlook that most Vikings were peaceful settlers who simply wanted to survive. That makes them no different from any other civilization, which means there are lessons to be learned from the Viking way of life.

Some people crave routine, while others seek to avoid its trappings. The Vikings didn’t have the luxury of choosing whether or not to follow a set routine due to their reliance on manual labor. Whether tasked with farming, foraging, or hunting, a Viking settler had to work with discipline and stamina in order to sustain their lifestyle.

Of course, Vikings didn’t have the benefit of alarm clocks to start the day; instead, they simply rose at the crack of dawn each morning to begin their daily tasks. This meant that Vikings awoke naturally rather than artificially, with some experts suggesting that working with the body’s natural sleeping rhythm and cycle allows for a fresher mind in the morning.

The Viking work schedule was punctuated by two meals, with a breakfast-type affair occurring a couple of hours into the working day and a dinner at night upon the completion of chores. These meals could arrive some twelve hours apart, so it was vital that the first meal of the day provided adequate sustenance. While it is not advisable to adopt the Viking way of living off two meals that almost bookend waking hours, their commitment to eating at the same time each day is something that is still relevant today. Some studies have linked the variable frequency of meals to higher blood pressure and cholesterol.

Giving the efforts that Vikings went to for procuring food, it’s no surprise that they practiced an efficient use of resources. Dinner from the night before, often a stew, would be left in a cauldron overnight to be dipped into in the morning. Breakfast could also feature bread and buttermilk, a diet not too dissimilar to what many people eat in the 21st century.

That morning meal would have to sustain Vikings for the entire working day. Their evening reward would be a heartier meal. Viking wives would have prepared bread and collected eggs from chickens to supplement the main attraction of the meat, which would depend on the local wildlife available to hunters.

Source: Pixabay

This could range from salmon and puffins to elks and bears, although a Viking feast night would see a wide combination of meats on offer. These feast nights occurred three times a year and were an expanded version of the evening meal, with these nights bringing together the family in shared worship to the gods. These meals would be family affairs, with each member of the family able to share stories from the day’s work.

By having a regular sleeping pattern and regular meals, Vikings were able to find the energy to do what needed to be done that day. Contrary to many depictions in the media, that didn’t always involve invading and plundering.

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