There's no doubt Hygge was the buzz word of 2016. Everyone was jumping on the aspirational lifestyle trend for cosiness and comfort by wrapping themselves in blankets, grabbing hot chocolates and sitting in front of the fire. We've got to admit, it's a pretty indulgent idea and we love the thought of going that extra mile to make your environment a little bit nicer.
What about Lagom? Are we looking at a new lifestyle fad or is this something we should really be paying attention to? Whilst the Danish word Hygge celebrates a moment of bliss and doing more to create that, Lagom is quite the opposite. Lagom is a Swedish adverb which translates as "just the right amount". It's about moderation, knowing when to stop, and living adequately. Living a life more Lagom means practicing self restraint and achieving balance in life.
For most Swedes, being Lagom is a way of life and a habit of the mind. The idea to live moderately isn't just about material possessions and consumerism, but also about views, personality and balance. Living appropriately, you might say. Living a life more Lagom suggests a degree of abstinence and doing less, and in our view has been wrongly labelled as the 'successor to Hygge' for that very reason.
How do people feel about Lagom?
The buzz around 'being Lagom' has been interesting to read. Some Swedes are angry that it's being labelled as the new word to adopt and some are conflicted about the concept in the first place. Brands are capitalising on the talk around Lagom with Swedish furniture giants IKEA launching the 'Live Lagom' campaign to encourage sustainable living. We even discovered the UK magazine called Lagom.
So how can these so called buzz words really help our lives if the concept isn't part of our culture already? This holistic approach to living a simple and sustainable life is one that could require us to acquire new habits and change our mindset. If you're prepared to put the effort in, this could work for you.
Ways to live a life more Lagom
We have to admit, we did wonder if cinnamon buns would be out of the question for adopting this way of life, but we soon discovered Swedes enjoy Fika which is a tradition to enjoy coffee and pastries, similar to afternoon tea. But of course, just the right amount.
The idea of less cake doesn't really excite us (can you notice a theme here?) but practicing moderation when it comes to eating has surely got to be approaching Lagom in the right way. We suggest checking your cupboards before you go grocery shopping and only buying what you need. Making stew or soup from leftovers is certainly good for you in more ways that one.
Why not take a look at material aspects of your life and create a more minimalist environment. How sustainable is your home? Are you looking for investment pieces for your furniture and do you know how and where it's made? Are you recycling and reviewing your waste? The frugal mind is what you are aiming for here.
Swedes don't believe in working more than is necessary. Looking at your work/life balance can never be a bad thing. So many of us have busy computer based jobs that it becomes necessary to review our screen/online time in order to live healthily.
Adopting the Lagom concept will mean changing your mindset, habits and views. We think there is a lot to be gained from learning how other countries choose to live; it encourages us to improve our mindsets and habits and to seek improvement. Let's see how many Lagom books we see published in 2017......