Lagom is a Scandinavian concept in which you achieve moderation and balance within your life – not having too much, or too little but just the ‘right amount’. Lagom has followed in the footsteps of Hygge (the Danish wellness ideal of ‘enjoyment in the simple things’) and is now exercised in modern life, not just as a style aesthetic but as a way of accomplishing happiness. An attention on contentedness, Lagom is influenced by the Swedish way of life in which people are put first and where you take the time to do the things that are meaningful and add value to your life and self-worth.
There are four main elements to attaining a Lagom Style Lifestyle:
In the spirit of taking a moment for yourself, the Swedes abide by the notion of ‘Fika’ – a small break, usually taken in the morning and afternoon, in which you shut off from emails and calls, physically leave your desk or work area and take some time to have a drink, small snack and simply ‘be together’ with your colleagues. We all too often have a tendency to rush our breaks, eat lunch at our desk or work over time, however in Sweden this is seen as poor time management and there is no value or respect linked with the idea of long working days. Instead most people ensure they get their Fika time, taking a moment to themselves, a break from the hectic and chaos working day and most importantly reconnecting to the people and environment around themselves.
Your interior space can also reflect a calm, restful and balanced lifestyle, and with regards to Lagom there are a few simple elements to evoke happiness in the home. Utilise natural materials such as wood, stone and cork to bring ‘the outdoors in’ creating a sense of peace, harmony and relaxation. Keep the overall tone and feel snug with plenty of cosy textiles, again remembering to apply natural material such as linen and wool. There is a pared back elegance to these materials that is earnest and sustainable. Swedes are often known for their hand made and skilfully designed craftmanship, generating a superb quality and harmonious feeling in the home with pieces that are personal and exquisitely considered.
‘Following a lifestyle that is centered around the balance and moderation is a great way to keep your stress levels in check” – Elisabeth Carlsson
Instead of attending church on Sunday mornings, Swedes are often known to instead connect spiritually with nature by going for a long walk or visiting forests and woodland areas. There is a concept known as Allemansrätt, translated as ‘freedom to roam’ and in Sweden this gives everyone the right to explore nature without asking for the landowner’s permission. Other activities such as gardening, unites and bonds us with the outdoors, forming a sense of calm and harmony, directly impacting our mental well-being as well as having a positive consequence on us physically.
Lagom involves the notion of living sustainably and responsibly, counteracting the way we are progressively consuming more and the struggle we feel in having time to ourselves. Think consciously and be mindful about the way you consume – such as where you purchase food, not over buying and therefore not wasting the food we buy, recycling more and reducing our energy consumption at home. Taking this lightweight, Lagom attitude towards our lifestyles can add value and meaning, as well as a sense of overall purpose and self-worth. It is important we manage the balance between work life and the time we dedicate to our family, friends, community and most importantly ourselves.