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APN podcast: Is summer the most stressful season?

Why are parents so tired in the world's "happiest" country and how did Finland find itself in a financial mess involving the United Nations?

Experts say parents in Finland should relax and trust their own abilities. Taking a break from social media is a good idea, too, according to Finland's Family Federation. Image: Silja Viitala / Yle

Summer in Finland packs a lot of expectations into just a few short weeks after the long, dark winter. But parents often say summer is the most stressful season as many juggle work and childcare when Finnish schools break for ten weeks.

Research has shown Finnish parents to be the seventh-most burnt out among those surveyed in 42 countries.

In light of summertime stress levels, Finland's Family Federation is calling on parents to practice self-compassion, but also stop social media comparison.

"What I would love to see more of in Finnish culture is that people would reach out, help and encourage each other," Heidi Schrooten of the Family Federation told Yle News' All Points North podcast.

"There is some sort of ideal of making it on your own in Finland. We are a very individualistic culture and making it on your own is looked up to. They don't necessarily easily ask for help, even if they need it," she explained.

You can listen to the full podcast using the embedded player here, via Yle Areena, Spotify (siirryt toiseen palveluun), Apple Podcasts (siirryt toiseen palveluun) or wherever you get your podcasts.

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An UNprecedented scandal

The show also explores how Finland found itself at the centre of a multimillion dollar financial scandal involving a branch of the United Nations.

The project was operating out of an office in downtown Helsinki with the goal of investing millions into a flagship sustainable housing programme. No homes have yet to materialise.

APN talked to Yle journalist Johanna Mattinen to understand how Finland got tangled up with the project in the first place.

"You could see clearly that [the Finnish government] really saw no risks involved in hosting this programme, even though the plans for the office were quite vague, really vague in fact," she said.

In addition to rounding up the week's main news stories, the podcast also seeks answers to burning questions about this summer's weather.

Join the discussion

This week's show was presented by Zena Iovino and Ronan Browne. The sound engineer was Juha Sarkkinen.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, contact us via WhatsApp on +358 44 421 0909, on our Facebook or Twitter accounts, or at and

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