Is it just us, or do the people over in Nordic Europe have a serious knack for creating cool things? Minimalistic Scandinavian homewares, IKEA, delicious pastries and most recently, the lifestyle trend of Hygge. Pronounced ‘Hoo-ga’, the Danish word loosely translates to the sensation of cosiness. While it was a created as a way to create warmth in the otherwise dreary Danish climate, the rest of the world has adapted the trend into Instagram shots of cosy, Scandi-style bedrooms and knee-high socks.
But while 2016 was undoubtedly the year of Hygge, it looks like it’s about to take the backseat to another Nordic lifestyle trend — Lagom. This Swedish concept translates to “not too much, not too little.” While Hygge is all about cosiness and comfort, Lagom is based around the ethos of moderation.
In a Vogue article, the writer mentioned an example from her Swedish friend. In Sweden, 1.5 percent fat mellanmjölk is the go-to milk. It’s not a super-lean skim, but also not a fatty whole. Put simply, the Swedish way of life is about balance. Like Hygge, the term has been around in it’s originating country for decades but has only recently found its way into the public eye.
It’s probably partly thanks to IKEA’s recently launched Live Lagom project — which focuses on sustainable pieces in their signature, minimalistic style. However, the project is more broadly about “striking a healthy balance with the world around us without having to make extreme changes, and without denying ourselves anything.” Sounds good to us!
Scroll through the gallery for some examples of how you can apply the Lagom philosophy to your everyday life.
1. Go sustainable
It’s thought that the Swedish created the Lagom philosophy as an alternative to mass consumerism. However, rather than going to extremes, it’s all about making small changes to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some great examples from IKEA’s Live Lagom project are turning the tap off when you brush your teeth and switching to LED light bulbs. Making a conscious effort to shop for sustainable fashion and skincare brands is another easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.
2. Enjoy a balanced diet
While Swedes are known for their lean, lithe bodies, you won’t find them doing extreme crash diets. In fact, Lagom promotes quite the opposite. It’s all about eating everything in moderation. This means nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods most of the time, but indulging on occasion (think the 80/20 rule). So go ahead and eat that cheesecake every now and again!
3. Find the right work/life balance
Sweden is known as the land of the perfect work/life balance, which probably has a lot to do with the Lagom mindset. While many employers offer a 6-hour working day, Swedes are also known to be some of the hardest workers in the world. How? They’re incredibly productive during the time they’re at work, but also take the time out to recharge their batteries. Some great ways to inject some of that balance into your work life is to actually take your lunch break, leave work on time and practice self-care activities when you’re off work.