Over the past few years, Hygge has become entrenched in everyday culture throughout the US and now the Swedes have decided to share their philosophy on life - Lagom with the rest of the world. Lagom loosely translates to “not too little, not too much” and leans toward minimalism way of life which for the Swedes means a happier, more balanced life.
Lagom is about creating a more enjoyable, moderate lifestyle by living sustainably, creating less waste, recycling more, being more conscious but not depriving yourself of luxuries. Just as with Hygge, there are tons of books about Lagom on the bookshelves. Some favorites are Lagom: The Art of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne and Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life by Niki Brantmark. To learn about all things nordic, check out The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen.
How to incorporate Lagom into your life:
- Enjoy a fika or coffee break - Swedes live for their fika which is a 15 minute coffee break in the morning and afternoon complete with home-baked pastries and filter coffee.
- Declutter your home - Swedes enjoy a simple space with just enough to make it feel cozy but not too much to make it feel cluttered. Donate what you don’t need and fill your space with just enough to feel comfortable but not overwhelmed. Paint an accent wall but leave the rest pure white. Remember that Ikea is a Swedish company who even has their own Lagom collection.
- Eat in moderation - Swedes rarely diet. They eat in moderation but do overindulge from time to time They just go right back to eating in moderation so they can still enjoy the sweetness of life without depriving themselves.
- Fredagsmys - honor your downtime with loved ones. Cozy up with candles, store-bought food and your favorite loungewear. Enjoy time with your loved ones while being cozy at home.
- Take a hike - Being in nature is very lagom. Taking time to enjoy nature and breath in fresh air can being a sense of calm. Taking hikes with friends is also a great way to get exercise in moderation while keeping up relationships.
- “Me Time” - Taking time to recharge your own batteries is important. It has been proven that spending time in nature and being creative contributes to increased happiness. Find happiness while also discovering your creativity. Put aside the social media to find some extra creative time.
- Grow your own food - Swedes are notorious foodies who enjoy growing their own food. The slow food movement has made this even more attainable. Get a plot in a pea patch, plant a garden in your backyard, embrace the growing seasons by shopping at Farmer’s Markets.
- Create a Capsule Wardrobe: Swedes love a minimalistic wardrobe with just the right pieces which are often up-cycled instead of purchased new. The Lagom wardrobe is focused on comfortable, basic clothing in functional colors. The Swedish have a proverb often heard in the Northwest, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.” This is evident in their wardrobes which are designed to keep one warm in cold weather and dry in rainy weather with a strong emphasis on layering.
- Start Crafting - Take up knitting, woodworking or something that uses your hands and can be a sustainable craft.
- Walk or bike more - The lagom way of transport is to enjoy the journey which means walking or biking when you can. You’ll discover new views and get in some extra exercise.
- Embrace the outdoors - Go outside and embrace nature. Find extra Lagom by taking a morning dip or morgondopp outside. The morgondopp is usually done first thing in the morning before coffee and provides a brisk start to the day.
- Be neighborly - Community is a huge part of lagom. Working as a community to improve your neighborhood is vital. Create a strong community by throwing a neighborhood party. Put out a Free Library to encourage book exchanges, offer to help your neighbors when they are out of town and hopefully they will help you when you need it.