How to Have Lagom in Your Life

Lagom is one of the main Swedish exports over the past few years, but it’s not a type of food or a special knitted sweater – it’s a way of life. Lagom doesn’t have a direct translation in English, but it’s a bit like ‘just right’ or ‘not too much, not too little’ – like the French phrase ‘comme ci, comme ça.’ However, the implications of having something just right are very different in Sweden – it means being stress-free, taking your time, and trying to go about your life at your own pace. There’s a lot of beauty when you slow everything down a little, but there are specific ways you can get lagom in your life. 

Be Okay with Being Alone Sometimes

Spending time alone
Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

Nowadays, people are rarely by themselves, thanks to the mobile phone, but this is a very modern phenomenon. In Sweden, being alone sometimes is encouraged by lagom culture – you feel liberated when you have only yourself for company, especially when nature is a big part of that. Taking a break from everything else in the world can keep you refreshed and happy, even if it’s just for a short walk without your phone at lunchtime. 

Have a Cozy Home

Lagom is different from the Danish concept of hygge, but both prioritize enjoying your surroundings and feeling good, comfortable, and cozy when you’re at home. That might be by lighting lots of candles, or it could be by feeling comfortable and protected thanks to a warm fire, thick walls, and double glazed windows. Having a cozy and comfortable home will benefit both your time for you and your time spent when you entertain your friends at home. 

What’s Wrong with a Fika Paus?

Coffee break
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

A fika paus is a break from your day, accompanied with a coffee and a treat if you feel like it. It’s taking a short rest from work and can help to take your mind off problems and let you relax. It is normally associated with coffee, but it can be replaced by any drink and has evolved to be more about the actual respite. Although this is quite good for your mental health, taking a short break can also help your problem-solving skills – just switching off and focusing on the present is also the philosophy behind mindfulness. It might feel self-indulgent, but it’s entirely practical. 

Enjoy Listening to Others

Swedish people don’t tend to interrupt others very much. They tend to talk quietly and are very inviting to pauses in conversation. When entertaining a guest, they often listen to others and then take time to pause (while making an audible hmmm or exhale to avoid awkwardness) and reflect before replying – something that isn’t done too much in the US or UK. Really listening to others enables you to have more fulfilling conversations – it even makes small-talk better. It enables you to pick up on things that you might not do otherwise, giving you the opportunity to turn small talk into something more important.