I first discovered hygge and it wasn’t long after that I stumbled upon lagom.
While there is no direct translation from Swedish, I liked the definition “not too little, not too much, just right.”
I saw someone refer to it as the “Goldilocks" amount. And another said lagom is closer to “optimal”. Overall, it is a lifestyle of balance, sustainability, and frugality.
For a minimalist like myself, lagom speaks to me. I think a lot of people think minimalism is about owning nothing, living in a destitute house of white walls, a mattress on the floor and one plate and fork. And it couldn’t be further from that.
While yes there are those that enjoy minimalism in its extreme the vast majority of us look at it as a way to go about life. A conscious choice to be selective about what we let into our lives. Whether that’s physical things, people, experiences. It’s all about refining it down to just what brings you happiness.
Why bother with the rest everything if it’s just going to clutter up your space and your mind?
Unlike hygge, lagom isn’t a moment or an experience, it’s much more of an overarching concept to live by.
When you get down to it, lagom is about striving for a balanced life that can lead you to live in your most natural state.
Funny enough most Swedes will go “meh” at the mention of lagom because for them its something that means average and boring to them. But the rest of the world is jumping on the lagom train.
I’m all for taking these concepts like hygge and lagom and finding the aspects of them that speak to me and infusing that into my life to make it all that much better.
So, here’s the bits of it that speak to me:
Balanced Eating — I’ve never been too strict with what I eat. And the great thing about being vegan is I can eat as much as I want on a whole foods plant-based diet. But there will always be a place in my heart (and my stomach) for sweet things. If I’m focused on getting enough nutrition through fruits, veggies, nuts seeds, grains, etc. then I can have my cake and eat it too!
Wasting Less — I’ve made some big changes over the past two years when it comes to this. And for the most part, they’re simple switches. Getting reusable shopping bags, coffee cups, not overbuying on food. I don’t leave the lights on when they’re not needed, or the water running while I brush my teeth. I walk or ride my bike when possible (and it helps not having my own car). I recycle, I reuse, and the amount of trash I produce has dropped drastically. I’m still far from zero waste but I’d love to get there one day.
Getting Rid of the Excess — Decluttering is one of the most beautiful things I do for myself. It is addicting first off because you have this amazing feeling of lightness and freedom after going through your belongings. And there’s nothing better than having just what you need, and when all of those belongings have a home. Decisions are easier, cleaning is easier. It’s a win, win!
Being a Conscious Consumer — If I want to buy something new it first gets put on my ‘want list’ and it sits there while I research the best option, cost, where I can get it from, whether I can get it second hand, etc. And often times I find that things will sit on my ‘want list’ and eventually I realize, meh I really don’t want/need that and it gets taken off the list. Decluttering was a great way to jump start how I viewed buying stuff. The same goes for starting a capsule wardrobe.
Creating a Capsule Wardrobe — Speaking of that, it intimidated me at first but once I finally went for it and curated a capsule for each season my mornings have been so much simpler. Why have all of your clothes all together when you probably can’t even wear half of it? This doesn’t mean I’m stuck with only that capsule for the season. If I realize there’s something I need I’ll add it. And it’s a great way to actually see what you need, and what you don’t wear, and can pass along.
Having a Mindful Work/Life Balance — This one can be tricky regardless of whether you work for someone or you work for yourself. Personally, work and non-work can blend together. Especially since I work from home. But a few things that have really helped is creating a little home office in the corner of our guest bedroom, knowing that “Right, I’m going to sit down to work from 8 -5 today.” I also find that getting ready for work (getting dressed, etc.) helps get me into the mindset. I also don’t jump straight into work in the morning or work up until bedtime either. I make sure I have time before and after my work day to do things for myself. Whether that’s journaling, yoga, meditation, hanging out with friends or family. You need to make time for yourself outside of work.
Overall, I think there are so many elements of lagom that are already a part of my life. But I’m all for discovering new concepts and finding inspiration in them. And sharing them with you!
Are you into hygge or lagom, or is there another catchy term you are inspired by?