How Swedish "Lagom" can inspire us to live a balanced life.
Have you just learned to say Hygge? well, now you can get familiar with Lagom. The new tongue twister is a Swedish concept, an approach to life. Lagom (pronounced [ˈla-gum]) is a Swedish word meaning "just the right amount." It is a uniquely Swedish term that doesn't have an English equivalent. Whereas words like "sufficient" or "average" suggest some degree of moderation or scarcity, lagom carries the idea of appropriateness, although not necessarily perfection. It's just a very Swedish idea or feeling.
Lagom is not about perfection but about finding simple, attainable solutions
A popular translation is "around the team," meaning enough food or drink for everyone at the table; this translation is said to go back to Viking times. Lagom is not about perfection but about finding simple, attainable solutions to your everyday worries like stress, eating better, having downtime, and achieving happiness. It's a balance of work and life, so everything is in sustainable existence with each other. Lagom is not about frugality, but in essence, it's about living and enjoying a simpler life so that you can focus on what's important.
It's also a fuzz-free lifestyle: learning how to find pleasure and contentment in what we have, even if it's not picture-perfect and understanding that everything we do plays an important part in how we lead sustainable and enriching lives. Whether or not you want to practice the art of Lagom full-time, you have to admit a fuss-free lifestyle seems ideal right about now.
The 2017 book "Lagom: The Swedish Art Of Balanced Living" by Linnea Dunne describes this Swedish lifestyle concept. The book is divided into three sections: Lagom in your personal life, lagom in family/relationships, and lagom in the wider world. Each chapter comes with recipes, tips and tricks, and research to back up each point. I highly recommended it if you want to dive deeper into the philosophy of Lagom.
"Lagom, The Swedish art of Balanced Living", Linnea Dunne, Octopus Publishing group 2017
"Lagom (Not too much, not too little) The Swedish art of Living a Balanced, Happy life", Niki Brantmark, Harper Design, 2017
"The Little book of Lagom", Jackson and Larsen, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2018