Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Bye Bye Hygge, Hello Lagom

Image by Elias from Pixabay

As we navigate our way through the gray, cold days of winter, embracing the Danish concept of hygge, a new Scandi concept is making its way to our consciousness. This time it’s the Swedes who are sharing their wisdom and smart ways of living.

Instead of leaning into cozy firelight, warm woolen socks, and mugs of hot chocolate, we say hello to lagom. Roughly translated lagom means ‘just the right amount,’ that is, not too little and not too much. This applies to everything from treats to cars and the weather. It equates to finding the right balance in our lives and achieving contentment. We leave excess and think about frugality and fairness. While hygge is about a fleeting sense of comfort and well-being, lagom is a way of life.

In Our Home

Embracing lagom in our homes means we can achieve a happy and balanced way of living. In order to do this, it isn’t necessary to be extravagant and spend lots of money. Neither do we need to scrimp and save. We can live a healthy and sustainable life without major upheaval and renovation.

It’s about prioritization and focusing on the areas that are important. For example, a beautiful garden needn’t be filled with expensive plants and exotic flowers. What is important is the time you spend there, making it homely for you and your family. So, a well-kept garden with a smart wood fence installation is in keeping with lagom. Whereas, an immaculately groomed area full of expensive garden ornaments and water features is not.

It’s possible to have a beautiful and functional home without having to dramatically renovate. For example, you can upgrade your kitchen without having to completely remodel it. A lick of paint, some new doors or handles, and a re-purposed storage unit are all deemed to be lagom.

Think along more minimal lines. Look for natural materials and strip back the clutter. This allows for easy living and form follows function.

To live a balanced life, we must change our way of thinking. Instead of working around the clock for weeks on end to take time off for a one-week vacation, it’s about taking regular breaks and practicing self-care. Lagom is a healthy way of life and encourages sustainability, recycling, growing your own food, and sharing.

Grow herbs, tomatoes, and other veg that will keep your family well-fed. Reduce your waste by recycling and creating a compost bin. The soil can be used at a later stage to help grow new food.

Reuse and repurpose items that are no longer needed. For example, jars can be used for other foods or can become candle holders or plant pots. If clothes become worn, cut them up and create other items such as washcloths, dusters, aprons, pot holders, etc. Replace light bulbs with energy-efficient versions to save energy and money.

So, if you’re an ‘all or nothing’ type of person, think about how this affects your life. Changing your mindset and living a more balanced existence can bring calm and contentment. So, remember. Not too little and not too much. Aim for just the right amount.

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