While the concept of hygge (pronounced ‘hue-gah’) has gained popularity over the past year or so, a new lifestyle movement is quickly taking over. Not only is lagom easier to pronounce – ‘la’ like ‘bar’ and ‘gom’ like ‘mom’ – the lifestyle is far more conducive to productivity than its cosy cousin. As appealing as it is to curl up in your pyjamas with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a movie in the name of hygge, lagom encourages frugality, organisation and a healthy balance – the key mantra being: not too little, not too much.
This lifestyle could be the secret behind Sweden’s high rankings on international happiness and productivity. Rather than burning yourself out with a 60-hour work week and then completely crashing on the weekend, lagom inspires consistently living somewhere in the middle. So how can you add a healthy helping of lagom to your life? Let’s find out.
1. take regular breaks
Despite the fact that we are constantly told our brains can only concentrate for a certain amount of time without a break, we still insist on powering through. Whether you’re at the office or doing housework, lagom encourages taking a five-minute break for every hour of work completed.
2. make a to-do list, but keep it realistic
Don’t stress yourself out by giving yourself too many tasks to complete in the course of a day, week or even a year. Just like the definition of lagom, your to-do list shouldn’t have too much or too little on it. The key is to be realistic with the goals you’re setting, so that you can achieve them.
3. do more with less
Minimalism isn’t going anywhere in a hurry. And, while lagom isn’t about sparsity, it does promote a comfy yet uncluttered home. Think functional, but cosy.
4. be independent, together
The spirit of lagom encourages you to spend time with loved ones. However, it doesn’t demand this time be spent in an active way – whether physically, mentally or emotionally. It’s about being in the presence of others. Spend the morning reading in bed next to your partner or attend a weekly yoga class with your best friend.
5. self-care is key
Just like hygge, lagom is all about self-care. After all, we should love and look after ourselves. As the world becomes busier and more stressful, it’s important to prioritise what matters most on a day-by-day basis, and having the strength to let things go when necessary.