I’m a huge fan of the Swedish concept of Hygge (pronounced Hoo-Gah) that focuses on the quality of comfort and coziness within your home and life ie. a feeling of safety and contentment and particularly like to practice it during the colder months of the year.
More recently, however, I have been looking more into the Swedish practice of Lagom. Roughly translated as ‘not too little, not too much – just right,’ it is a lifestyle that champions moderation, natural balance and only having what you need. While it has been in the public consciousness for some time, it is growing across social media platforms like Pinterest as people seek to make things a little more simple.
And who doesn’t like simple?
Lagom doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of everything that you own, it is more about improving your life, deciding on what makes you happy and reducing the amount of possessions and clutter that perhaps take up a little too much of your time and serve no purpose.
Here are some easy ways in which you can introduce Lagom into your daily life
Audit your current lifestyle in regards to awareness and sustainability
In order to adopt a Lagom lifestyle, you first need to be more aware of and understand your current lifestyle. Start to take notes of how you do things and think about how you could do them differently in accordance with the Lagom philosophy. For example, you might consider reducing your food shop so you end up wasting less of it, or maybe you want to cut down on your energy consumption or carbon footprint. As well as becoming more Lagom, you will also be adopting a more environmentally considerate lifestyle and actively assisting in the fight against climate change.
Adopt an attitude of positivity and be nice
The true goal of Lagom is to achieve a healthy balance in all aspects of life, opposing the ideas of excess. To do this, you should look for the positives in every situation. You’ll be surprised how quickly the adoption of this mindset opens you up to new experiences and finding joy in things you may have previously overlooked and taken for granted. Lagom is about being content. Having an acute awareness of how you treat others is also a key part of Lagom – thinking about the wants and needs of others before your own. It’s nice to be nice, and one of the reasons why Sweden is often at the top of the list when it comes to happiest countries. Random acts of kindness are often a part of Swedish culture.
Get rid of the things that you don’t need and find a place for the things you do! Niki Brantmark, writer of ‘Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balance, Happy Life’, offers some great tips in how to go about your decluttering process. These include the ‘one in, one out’ rule whereby for everything you buy, you must get rid of something else, and the ‘one touch’ rule for paperwork – sort it as soon as it arrives. Try to avoid becoming completely sentimental about each item if you haven’t used / looked at /listened to it in a long time. Of course, it’s easier to declutter items that have been sitting in the basement or the attic for a few years gathering dust, but it’s a little more difficult to get rid of things that have been used just once or impulse buys that you maybe didn’t actually want, need or don’t actually like – what a waste of money! Be realistic and honest in your decisions.
Once you have decluttered, it is important to be mindful of your future purchases and avoid impulse spending. Ask yourself if you really need what it is you are about to buy, and have you recently thrown out a similar item? Don’t get rid of half your things just to replace them again in a matter of months!
Create a capsule wardrobe
Capsule wardrobes fit the Lagom lifestyle because they reduce the amount of stress and time involved in selecting an outfit, take up less space and means that there is less laundry. I’m a huge fan of capsule wardrobes and love to create them particularly if I am traveling – much less luggage and an outfit for every weather! A capsule wardrobe should only include the items that can be easily mixed and matched so there are plenty of options. Neutral colors like black, white and blue make the best capsule wardrobe base pieces – they look classy and pretty much go with everything!
Plan your meals
The Lagom manifesto of moderation and sustainability applies to our health and diet – planning what we are going to eat, purchasing only what we need and prepping meals in advance means that you can adopt a Lagom eating pattern without feeling like you’re missing out. It isn’t about all or nothing – everything in moderation, including the more unhealthy things!
After a stressful time we are all looking for a way to find a little more balance in our lives. Have a go at Lagom and start living your life in moderation!