Lagom – Living the Scandinavian way

Last year Hygge was everyone’s buzz word, we adopted it and welcomed it into our family like it was one of our own. It was the answer for so many of us home birds, who would rather spend a night relaxing with family, friends, food, cosy candles and comfy clothes, and we finally got a word for that feeling Huzzah!

Like everything Hygge had its moment ( I am not saying Hygge isn’t still important) but in has walked it’s friend Lagom.

Lagom, what the heck is Lagom? I hear you. Unfortunately, I am yet to come across an idyllic covered Penguin book to enlighten us but I love the concept so far so I thought I would shed some light.

First off, it is a lot easier to pronounce than Hygge, Lagom ‘Lar- gohm’ translated to ‘just the right amount’ and is related to being frugal, fair and having a balance, (so many of our January goals). February is exactly the time to start introducing a Lagom lifestyle to your daily living, whilst the commitment to your New Year goals are still in the picture.

There are four main ways you can create a Lagom lifestyle, by reducing your environmental impact, stressing less, eating seasonal produce and living in moderation. Ok so I know compared to thick socks, knitted blankets, favourite candles, roaring fires and a cup of cocoa Lagom sounds like Hygge’s less attractive sister, but stick with it because there are so many ways it can improve your lifestyle, and run hand in hand with Hygge. They are not in competition but we can learn a lot from the lifestyles of the happiest nations in the world. I was going to write this post purely on Lagom, but I thought a better perspective would be to show how it runs alongside Hygge and hasn’t just replaced it with a new lifestyle fad.

Anyone who read up on Hygge will know that Hygge is a moment, it’s that feeling when the rain pours and the lights are low, and you are all cosy with friends, family and rich food, but like most good things Hygge is just a moment, a feeling in that moment where Lagom is a lifestyle, a change to your day to day wellbeing.

It is the smallest changes that can have the biggest impact, creating a healthy balance without extreme changes. These are just some small ways you can make your life more Lagom.

Reduce your Environmental impact – Make a conscious effort to walk more, not only is this good for the environment it will save money on fuel and improve your health. Recycle, I don’t just mean plastics, cereal boxes and dolmio jars. Detox and recycle your old clothes, books you have read (a hygge book swap), make-up you no longer need. It’s about balance and living in moderation and having the right amount of everything, anything in excess is not being used. Switch lights off and turn down the heating, I am not suggesting in a frugal Scrooge way, think more Hygge, swap lights for candles, heating lower for a fire and a thick blanket, not only is it reducing your electricity consumption it is also saving the pennies and giving you that Hygge feeling.

Eat Season produce – Not only is this good for you but it is cheaper and better for the environment, it reduces waste and makes you think about what you are eating. Seasonal food can be wholesome and warm in the winter and light and refreshing in the summer.

Stress less – Sounds ideal doesn’t it, but we only have ourselves to blame. Over here in the UK, we wear our overworked, frazzled look like a badge of honour, but really who are we working all these extra hours for? Certainly not ourselves. The Danish way of living stated that over working to them is a sign of bad time management and showed that the longer you worked often meant the less productive you were. So stop stressing about work, leave it at the office, worry less, live in the moment. Learn to listen to what you need, some days it’s the gym, some days its a run or a nice long walk, other days its home straight to comfy clothes and a relaxing night and that is all ok.

Everything in Moderation– Think quality over quantity, no one is suggesting that you stop buying anything. Ikea are massively behind Lagom with their Live Lagom and I can’t imagine the furniture giant for one moment would want you to stop buying. However be more mindful of what you are buying. If anyone follows The minimalists or have watched their documentary on Netflix or their Ted Talks,  they will be familiar with how they discuss how you need to make room in your life. They talk about how we assign new things to our happiness, how many of us look forward to pay day so we can buy this or that and then we will be happy? Usually, something we have seen our peers in and how amazing their lives look so instantly feel having something new with give us a new surge of happiness, but often all this does is lead to further disappointment when that new product doesn’t change your life overnight.

Keep an eye on your finances – This fits in perfectly with everything in moderation. It’s not a spending ban but just learn to buy more responsible, before you buy a new top think do I have anything similar? Before nipping to Waitrose and spending your life savings on food, is there somewhere cheaper, like a market I can buy this produce, just take a second before you hand over your card to think about what you are spending money on and what impact it will have on your life.

I think we have so much to learn from Lagom and Hygge, learning to live and listen to ourselves more holistically. I would love to hear everyone’s views on Lagom.

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