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Lagom. (pronounced [ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm])

If you’re not up on your Swedish, or if you’ve been avoiding the media in 2017 (perhaps not necessarily a bad idea!) then we will forgive you for thinking that was our way of saying hello. 

What is Lagom?  Lagom, the newest lifestyle trend and translates as ‘just the right amount’.

We absolutely know that we’ll be channeling our inner hygge again come October, but for a few months (weather permitting), life generally feels less heavy, days are lighter and brighter and it feels a little easier to adopt a more balanced life with the right amounts of everything, queue Lagom time!

It’s a much easier concept to ‘get’ than hygge, which translates roughly cosiness, but nothing really much more specific than that.  Lagom, dubbed “the Swedish secret to contentment” is more about living a lifestyle than enjoying a momentary ‘feeling’ or indulgence. 

  • Hygge is a short-term cosy joy
  • Lagom is a way of life, the pursuit of an overall balance of every aspect of life for the long term. 

The concept of lagom is focused on balancing out everything in so that you don’t have too little or too much of anything.  It’s about ‘virtue in moderation’, sustainability, responsibility, fairness and frugality (we know, we’re perhaps not really selling it to you but stay with us…).  Overall, it’s about happiness and contentment, and who doesn't want a little more of that in their lives?

The Caorunn guide living life lagom…

1.  Keep it simple

We cannot overstate how much we love the philosophy of ‘simple things done really, really well’.  

We are so over maximalism, excess and over indulgence. Things don’t have to be busy, fancy, fussy, huge, fast, glossy, sparkly, in your face ‘big’ to be impactful.  Think of the most perfectly simple/simply perfect things in life that can bring so much pleasure.  How about kicking back after a hard days work with a Caorunn & T - just the right amount of ice, and just the right balance of gin and tonic.  Snuggling up in newly laundered bedding – a dream!  A good cup of coffee to pick you up mid morning.  A 20 minute run – short enough to squeeze into your day and long enough to get your endorphins buzzing.

2.  Reduce consumption

By balancing more, you’ll be consuming less.  Of everything.  Food, clothing, energy, material objects, ‘stuff’…which means that the amount of money you’re able to spend and save increased and you can make new, different choices about how you live your life. 

  • Perhaps join the gym you told yourself you couldn’t afford to (did you look at how much these morning lattes cost you last month..?)
  • Enjoy your gin in increased moderation and that bottle will last a little longer, after all good things in life are meant to be savoured
  • Book the trip to the destination you always wanted to visit, get out of the consumption trap and experience the freedom of living. 

It’s about being careful with all of your resources (including your personal energy) so that you can do more and enjoy the things in life that will make you happy.

3.  Let it go

By letting go of the need or the desire to define yourself by material things, you remove a whole world of stress and pressure from your shoulders. 

It’s not about having nothing and being super frugal, it’s about having the right amount of the things you need and enjoying and valuing what you have rather than that it always being about ‘what can I have?’, ‘what can I have more of?’.

4.  Baby steps

You can’t have a lifestyle overhaul overnight. 

Lagom is something that’s achieved bit by bit, little changes that add up to something much bigger. A quiet revolution if you like. 

It’s about introducing little habits into your day that will cost you nothing but help you achieve greater balance.  By being mindful of everything you do in a day, you can start to become more aware of areas of imbalance and excess, and you can start right now, today. 

Put a pen and paper and start writing down everything when it comes into your head – the things you need to do, the quick wins, the meal ideas that work with your time and money, the things you need to sell or get rid of, the little things you want to start doing right now.

5.  Spread the treats

Remember the days when we used to watch an episode of our favourite show and actually look forward to the next episode the following week instead of pressing the pause button on life while we binge consume an entire series in a oner?  And it’s not just our consumption of TV – it’s everything.  How wonderful would it would be to scatter the treats of life across every day, rather than wait for the weekend and over indulge? 

Imagine having pizza night on a Monday instead of a Friday!  Think about the joys of a mid-week Caorunn & Cook – A Caorunn and tonic on a Wednesday evening while we chop, stir and prepare our favourite dish is our way of breaking the week, putting something to look forward to at that halfway point when we most need it. 

Taking time out to enjoy some of the things we love is what gets us through the harshness of a Monday and the ‘always seems so long’ Tuesday.  Why wait till a Friday?

6.  Be grateful

We all think we’ll be happier when we get what we want.  When we get that ‘one more thing’ we’re striving for.  But we aren’t.  Because in its place pops up another ‘thing’.  And so on.  Living a lagom life is about wanting what you have and being grateful for it.  Value the here and now, and if it’s not of value or it doesn’t bring you joy then get rid of it.

7.  Buy less, but better

Moderation doesn’t have to be boring.  Less really is more.  Buying fewer but better things is ultimately preferable to having a whole lot of everything.

8.  Slow down to potter pace

When was the last time you did something on your own, something for you? 

Take the time out and read the book, bake the cake (just don’t eat it all at once unless it’s October and you’re Hygge-ing!), enjoy some mindless swiping through your music libary to a whole load of whatever.  Have some completely chilled out time living life at potter pace for an afternoon and restore your inner calm.

9. Order out of chaos

Sometimes there is nothing more therapeutic than de-cluttering. 

Yes, there is pain in the process but having more room at home so that ‘there’s a place for everything and everything in it’s place’ is great for the mind. 

Chuck it, sell it or fold it, hang it and order it.  Create more space, more order and less chaos.  You won’t revolutionise the order in your home in a day, but drawer by drawer, you’ll get there.

10.  Gym & Tonic

One of the joys in life is the feeling of reward, but you rarely get a reward in life without working for it. 

Perhaps our favourite Caoruun moment of the week is that Friday post-gym, feet-up Carounn & Tonic.  The satisfying feeling of having worked up a sweat, given our bodies a big end of week exercise boost and starting the weekend on an endorphin high with a cold, refreshing glass of Gin and Tonic to look forward to at the end of it.  A treat earned is best kind of treat, would'nt you agree?

A good life is all about balance and moderation unless of course you subscribe to the Oscar Wilde thought school on moderation,  “Everything in moderation, including moderation”, in which case, you’ll be delighted to know that it’s only three more months until Hygge season..!

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