We Bet You Could Use Some “Lagom” in Your Life Right Now

published May 3, 2018
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Lagom is a Swedish lifestyle trend that just won’t quit. Defined loosely as “everything in moderation,” the concept of lagom (pronounced law-gum) is all about finding balance in your everyday life.

To help us better understand the concept of lagom, we called on Niki Brantmark, creator of My Scandinavian Home and author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life, to break it down. Read ahead to learn basics behind the trend that’s sweeping the globe, as well as a few ways you can bring some lagom-style mindfulness into your life.

So, what exactly is lagom?

Put simply, lagom is a lifestyle. “Lagom is an overarching concept heavily ingrained in the Swedish psyche,” Brantmark explains. “Loosely translated as ‘not too much and not too little, just right,’ lagom is about finding a balance that works for you.”

“For you” is the key word that should stand out there—lagom is a personal thing. For one person, lagom might manifest itself as a desire to make their space at home more minimalist, pared down to just the essentials. For another, lagom is leaving work early to spend more time with their family, or committing to less screen time when you know you’re addicted to your iPhone.

How is lagom different than hygge?

Well for one, lagom is Swedish and hygge is Danish. And their common Nordic language origin is really where the similarities stop. “While hygge is about creating a cozy and comfortable environment in which one feels content, lagom is about finding a more manageable, comfortable, balanced way of doing things,” Brantmark explains. “By doing so you’ll make time for the things that matter most in life.”

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Niki’s 3 Ways to Infuse Lagom In Your Life

You can decide for yourself where your life could use a little balance, but Brantmark has some Swede-approved ideas if you don’t know where to begin…

1. Streamline your bedroom to the essentials: “Sleep is nature’s way of helping us to declutter our mind and restore our body, so it makes sense to create a soothing environment to match. Rid your bedroom of excess to create a clean, calm environment. Not only will you sleep better, you’ll also start your day feeling more organized.”

2. Keep your space clutter-free: “Homes get messy for a good reason–they’re lived in! But sometimes it can feel overwhelming. To create a more organized, stress-free living space, keep a basket or bag by the stairs (or in the corner of a room) and slowly fill it with items that belong elsewhere. Once it’s full, sort through and put everything back where it belongs.”

3. Brighten a dark spot with some glow: “In Sweden, candles are a big part of daily life. When the light starts to fade, why not add a few strategically placed candles to your own home to soothe the soul? Dot them around your living area, enjoy a candlelit dinner on a regular Tuesday or simply brighten up a dark corner to create an atmosphere just right for you—and feel the stresses of the day fall away!”