What’s on October 2021: The new TV, streaming shows, books and podcasts to try
What’s on October 2021: The new TV, streaming shows, books and podcasts to try

Sarah Finnan

The IMAGE Shopping Basket: What’s new to the highstreet shops this week
The IMAGE Shopping Basket: What’s new to the highstreet shops this week

Lauren Heskin

These toys are expected to the big hits for Christmas 2021
These toys are expected to the big hits for Christmas 2021

Sarah Finnan

This Rathmines home is on the market for €1.975 million
This Rathmines home is on the market for €1.975 million

Megan Burns

The luxury advent calendars to buy now (before they sell out!)
The luxury advent calendars to buy now (before they sell out!)

Sarah Finnan

These 5 foods help reduce menopause symptoms, says health expert Dr Zoe Williams
These 5 foods help reduce menopause symptoms, says health expert Dr Zoe Williams

IMAGE

Candlelit concerts, dark magic and ghost tours: haunting things to do in Dublin this mid-term break
Candlelit concerts, dark magic and ghost tours: haunting things to do in Dublin this mid-term...

Sarah Finnan

World Menopause Day: The definitive guide to menopause signs, symptoms and solutions
World Menopause Day: The definitive guide to menopause signs, symptoms and solutions

IMAGE

‘Deconstructing stereotypes’: The cult witch movie you need to watch on Halloween
‘Deconstructing stereotypes’: The cult witch movie you need to watch on Halloween

Jennifer McShane

The quilted jacket is the staple to see you through winter
The quilted jacket is the staple to see you through winter

Holly O'Neill

Image / Editorial

Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM


by IMAGE
30th Jul 2017
Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM

2016 was the year when the world learned how to get cosy the Danish way with ?hygge?. In recent months, ?lagom? has been the word on everyone’s lips as the Swedes have insisted that there is more to happiness than lighting candles and snuggling up under a blanket.


Roughly translating as ?not too little, not too much, but just enough?, lagom is a word that in many ways encapsulates the mindset behind the country up north that has made equality, sustainability and style its hallmarks. But where to start with living lagom?

Go back to black

No need to take that literally, as lagom embraces all colours and patterns – but finding your favourite basics that go with everything and last a long time makes your wardrobe more sustainable and flexible, and you won’t need to replace it all to pick up on a new trend you like. Well-fitting denims, quality leggings and comfortable geometrical-style tops will work forever and can be combined in endless ways.

Park the car

Whether you opt to cycle to work in order to build light exercise into your daily routine or get the bus to show appreciation for public transport, most Swedes agree that driving solo is not the way to go. Sitting still in a carbon-emitting machine while others do the same, separately? Not very lagom. If you must drive, why not start a carpool?

Learn to fika

Fika – enjoying coffee and buns or biscuits, ideally in a cosy and calm environment – is a real institution in Swedish culture, both in the home and at work. In the case of the latter, it provides an opportunity to take regular breaks, proven to contribute to both increased productivity and happiness, and at home, it’s a chance to check in with the present moment or a dear friend. Whether you like to bake or not, going offline, brewing some strong coffee and lighting a few candles will brighten up your day. And make it a habit. Trust me – it’s so worth it.

Head for the woods

The seaside works just as well, and for urbanites, the park will do. Swedes have a love of and respect for nature beyond what I’ve experienced anywhere else, perhaps linked to the appreciation of light and sunshine after long, dark winters. It goes without saying that fresh air is good for you, so the trick is to make getting out habitual. Throw some picnics together, go foraging, get an allotment to grow your own vegetables or pick up an outdoor exercise class. Or why not make the most of the back-to-basics interior design trend and spend your weekends flea market hopping?

Stop – and listen

It may sound like a vague description of the term, but I often say that lagom is a lot about pausing, taking a step back and checking in, be it with yourself, your friends or your colleagues. Sweden is known for a deeply ingrained consensus culture, which insists that everyone must get a say in order for the ?just right? solution to be found, and I’m convinced that a bit of perspective goes a long way at home as well. It can be in line with the ?Count to 10? campaign, which encourages you to stop and count to ten before you decide to buy (or refrain from buying) something, or in something as simple as the division of the house chores. Have you really considered your partner’s perspective? Egalitarian couples are happy couples, so research – and Sweden – says.

If living lagom sounds appealing, why not buy a little fika reading? Lagom: The Swedish Art Of Balanced Living by Linnea Dunne contains ideas for living more simply and is available here?now.

Linnea Dunne was born and raised in Sweden, where she started her writing career as a columnist at the local newspaper aged 15. She left for Ireland a few years later and eventually moved to London, where she studied Creative Writing and Political Communications. She now lives in Dublin with her husband and two half-Swedish kids, trying to achieve that lagom balance against all odds.

Also Read

Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM
EDITORIAL
Mandy Moore climbed an active volcano at dawn… while pumping

Hiking a mountain and breast pumping – now, that’s what we call multitasking at its finest. Mandy Moore enjoyed an...

By Sarah Finnan

Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy

Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Forget Hygge: Now You Need 5 Steps to Living LAGOM
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer