Lagom: The Swedish concept of ‘Not too little, not too much, but just the right amount’.
It's no secret that we live in a world that often glorifies excess, speed and constant striving. It's exhausting, especially for us feminine souls who genuinely want to live in the present, be content with what we have, and love on those we care most about.
Yet, we often feel like "this way of living I want just isn't the way things are done anymore", and we find ourselves slipping back into the flow of society, not really sure how we could possibly slow down enough to let our souls catch up with our bodies when the world is moving so incredibly fast.
I came across the beautiful idea of Lagom on Pinterest a while back, and it was so helpful to me and my slow living/gentle business mindset.
Lagom embodies a lifestyle of moderation and simplicity, offering a refreshing perspective on how you can pursue harmony and contentment in your everyday while pushing the constant nagging of social channels and the "should"'s of this world to the side.
Lagom hasn't and won't solve all of the world's problems (only cookie dough can do that), but it's an incredibly easy-to-use toolkit that, when accessed regularly, can keep us on the path of intentional living that we are working hard to relax into.
Here's what's in the Lagom toolkit:
1. Embracing Simplicity
Lagom encourages us to appreciate the beauty of simplicity. By being filled up through having less, and finding joy in the little things we so often overlook. This can look like decluttering a physical space you're feeling claustrophobic in, or going through your home once a month and throwing 20 items into the GoodWill bin. In addition to this, before purchasing an item, you can ask yourself "what is this item truly costing me?" (How much money does it cost? Yes, but also: How much time will it take away from my day? How much does it cost to maintain it? etc.). Simplifying can also look like cleaning up the apps on your phone, setting time limits on your social apps or organizing your inbox. The less things you have to clean, rearrange, maintain, pull yourself away from in your day-to-day, the more room you'll have for what truly matters.
2. Striving for Balance
"Balance" is a very trendy word right now. We hear about work-life balance almost every day, and the idea seems to be ever-elusive. And I think that's OK. The beauty of life is that is is always changing, and that's why I write "striving for balance". Accept that you may never have perfect work-life balance, but accept also that there is so much you can do in your everyday decisions that can lead to the harmonious middle 20-30% of the spectrum. Not too much work, not too much life... just the right amount of each called for in that day. At the beginning of your week, look at your schedule and note where you may have over-booked yourself. Then move some things around to create that ever-needed white space in your calendar. Schedule in play dates at the park with your kids in pen not pencil. Say "no" to extra minutes at work, and "yes" to homemade dinners. Make notes for next week about things you said "yes" to this week that you maybe should never say "yes" to again (e.g. if serving lunch at your kids' school really causes you stress and doesn't truly matter to you, stick to your commitment this week, but never say "yes" again.). And always prioritize a weekly date with your husband (doesn't matter if that's an evening out or 1 round of King's Corner!). You'll more than likely never feel like your life is in complete balance, but when you intentionally plot out your week and stick to your plan, you'll start to breathe easier and find you love living in that harmonious middle ground.
Whether it's food, drinks, TV, social media, work or negative thoughts, be mindful of what you're consuming every day. When you practice being mindful about what you're putting out into the world, what you're putting into your body or the positive/negative vibes you're emitting, you can cultivate a sense of responsibility and be more fully aware of what's serving you well in your life, and what things are best left by the curb.
4. Finding Contentment
In a society that often values achievement and accumulation, finding contentment can be a challenge. Lagom teaches us to appreciate what we have and be grateful for the present moment. It reminds us that true happiness does not lie in material possessions or external validation but rather in finding satisfaction and contentment in our everyday lives. Here are a few examples of things you can do to better help yourself find contentment in your current life's situation:
- Never impulse buy. Sit on a larger purchase for 72 hours (whether that's $50+, $100+, $1000+... whatever "larger" is to you), and after 72 hours see if you still "need" that item. Chances are, you'll find you don't truly need it!
- Spend less time on social media, and you'll find you don't find yourself wishing you had more nearly as often.
- Live by a budget, and stick to it! I personally love the free EveryDollar app.
- Begin your day by writing in your gratitude or prayer journal. Write just 5 items you're grateful for.
Lagom emphasizes the importance of nurturing relationships and fostering a sense of community. It encourages us to prioritize quality time with loved ones, support one another, and create meaningful connections. By cultivating strong and healthy relationships, we can enhance our overall well-being and sense of belonging. Nurturing relationships can look like a date at the park with your child, an evening of wine and deep conversation with your husband, an ice cream date with a friend, asking another mom in the school parking lot how she's truly doing, or sending a "just because" gift to your cousin who live across the country.