Five Tips on How to Live a Lagom Life, Starting at Home

By Aaron De Silva / EdgeProp | December 27, 2017 8:00 AM SGT
For much of 2016, you couldn’t get away from hearing the Danish word hygge, at least not in design circles. The term, loosely translated, describes a sense of cosy comfort and feelings of contentment and well-being. According to The New Yorker magazine, hygge nearly became the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of The Year 2016. Such was its prevalence.
This year, another Scandinavian buzzword entered the English-speaking world: the Swedish lagom. The term has no direct equivalent in English, but roughly means balance and moderation. Not too little, not too much, just right. And if the fashionable set has anything to do with it, lagom looks set to displace hygge as 2017’s most ubiquitous phrase.
Now, while hygge is about enjoying life’s simple pleasures – such as sharing a meal and laughs with friends or snuggling up in front of a fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate – lagom is more of a lifestyle choice.
Lagom is a break from the business or constantly checking our phone, driving forward and being ‘on’. Time to unplug and switch off is so important for us, for our well-being, our relationships and our creativity,” pyschologist Dr. Jessamy Hibberd told Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper. Incidentally, Dr. Hibberd is also author of This Book Will Make You Calm, a tome that offers tips on how to cope with stress and anxiety.
The fundamentals of lagom begin at home. Think of Swedish furnishing giant IKEA and how they’ve refined domestic living to an artform. Swedish interior design and decoration is practical, functional and aesthetically pleasing, but never over-the-top.
There’s no shortage of manuals devoted to living the lagom lifestyle. Books Kinokuniya’s shelves are practically heaving with titles like The Little Book of Lagom; Lagom (Not Too Little, Not Too Much); and Lagom: The Swedish Art of Balanced Living.
The reads offer a useful guide on how to declutter, downsize, reprioritise, recycle, upcycle, reduce waste, save energy and ultimately, find balance and happiness in life. It’s quite a paradigm shift from an existence that emphasises achievement and accumulation, to one that’s more balanced and prudent. Yet it seems so right, given the current state of the world.
If nothing else, it’ll help get you off to a great start in 2018. Here are five ways you can live la vida lagom.
1. When it Comes to Decorating, Simplicity is Key