When my friend Ciara thrust a book about hygge into my hands some years ago and said, “read this, you’ll love it!”, she most definitely had me figured out! I fell in love with the concept right there and then and have tried to build many elements of the multi-faceted Scandinavian cultural principle into my life ever since. I ran a 1-day workshop on it a while back to share my interest with others and help people find ways of incorporating it into their lives too.
But if hygge wasn’t already great enough, I then discovered Lagom. As my blog topic for the season is self care I think it’s pretty fitting to introduce Lagom into the mix.
According to Linnea Dunne, Lagom can be summed-up as “the Swedish art of balanced living”. Much like hygge, it cannot be translated into the English language in one word but basically means “just enough”, so not too much, nor too little. It can be applied to all aspects of life and is hailed as a key factor in the success and happiness of the Swedish nation.
Applying it to food, work or money is pretty straight forward but the real beauty of it lies in its application to situations, community and society as a whole where balancing acts are performed, fair exchanges made and codes respected and rarely abused.
It makes me reflect on the fantastic Wilde quote I used earlier in the summer about moderation. Lagom embraces the Friday night treats and weekend late nights in order to balance out the healthy eating and sensible bedtimes of the week. It looks at both sides of the coin and honours them with appropriate measure.
“If you know what’s just enough, why go overboard?”
This quote really resonates with me, particularly in relation to habits I’d like to stop. To me it says, “don’t stop having the treats or staying up late, just don’t do it all the time!” I can apply it to so many other parts of my life and I find it really helpful.
The benefits of Lagom are listed in Dunne’s book and include the following:
Improved physical space as a result of more conscious consumption and therefore less clutter;
Improved mental space due to taking a step back, observing a work life balance and being present in the moment;
Improved finances as a result of consuming in line with needs, with the planet in mind and by being thrifty;
Improved connection to community through shared responsibilities.
It’s hard to find anything not to like about it really.
Are there ways in which Lagom already features in your life? If you’re interested to read more I can highly recommend Linnea Dunne’s book. It also makes a lovely gift.