Take Control of Your Life the Lagom Way

Want to feel happier? Embrace the Lagom way of life, make a few of these small tweaks to live in moderation like the Swedish…

Striking a healthy balance in every area of your life, from work to food and shopping, isn’t as punishing as it sounds – Sweden’s lagom lifestyle doesn’t deny you anything, rather it helps you to ‘enjoy the right amount’ of everything. It’s 2017’s must-try trend, replacing last year’s Scandinavian phenomenon, ‘hygge’. So shrug off your fluffy blanket, blow out your scented candles and jump on the lagom bandwagon to a happier and more contented life. Here’s how…

1. Want what you have

Being happy isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you have and that’s why lagom is crucial. The idea comes from a Swedish phrase that’s well-worth remembering, ‘lagom är bäst’ meaning ‘enough is as good as a feast’. Embrace the simple things, stay grateful and who knows, you might smile more when you look at your world in a truly positive light.

2. Declutter your home

Focussing on what’s absolutely essential is key to lagom and that’s all but impossible when you’ve surrounded yourself with clutter. You know what that means, go back to basics and do away with anything unnecessary until you have ‘just the right amount’. Clothes that don’t fit, a single shoe, whatever it is, get rid if it doesn’t bring you joy.

3. Upcycle what you can

Not only could this save you pennies that you would otherwise have spent replacing age-old belongings, but you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too. How very lagom! So what are you waiting for? Give your old furniture a new lease of life with a lick of paint, magic your old dress into a skirt or keep the fabric for a craft project.

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4. Simplify your make-up

Want to really look the part? Toss the fake eyelashes and tan to achieve ‘just the right amount’ of natural looking make up instead. Toning down your look is very lagom, as is not laughing too much or being too loud, apparently – but you shouldn’t change your personality for anyone, even a happiness-inducing lifestyle trend.

5. Budget properly and stick to it

Master self-restraint and you’ll have mastered lagom. Living within your means is a start, but it’s more than that, you need to be frugal and uber cost-conscious. Everything you buy should be practical and worth handing your money over for, if not, keep it on the shelf – showing off your wealth isn’t lagom.

Guess who gives the best advice on penny pinching and saving? That’s right, your bank. Whether you’re with HSBC or Nationwide, Santander or Royal Bank of Scotland, phone to speak to a finance advisor today.

6. Only buy what you need

Alas, impulse buys are out of the question if you’re living the lagom lifestyle, because you can only take what you need. The good news? More money in your pocket, no guilt or buyer’s remorse, plus you’ll help the environment.

Overspent at ASOS, Next, Very or Primark for example? Returning a few things might not be a bad idea, just have a quick call with the customer service advisors.

7. Be food smart

Pop food in clear containers and stack them in the fridge, so you can see exactly what you have going on in there – that makes planning your weekly meals easier, which you’re going to start doing if you’re taking lagom as seriously as the Swedes. Armed with a shopping list, you’ll find it easier to balance your diet and stick to your budget.

Lagom is as simple as saving your treats for the weekend and bringing your lunch to work, eating with the seasons and the right portion sizes. Swedish pickled herring with onions, anyone?

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8. Leave work on time, every time

Swedes typically work six hours a day to spend more time relaxing with friends and family, so never miss your lunch break – head outside. You’ll feel more productive at work and less stressed all-round when you clock off on time. Lagom sounds great now, doesn’t it?

9. Go green to live sustainably

You know the drill. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, switch to energy-saving LED lightbulbs, have shorter and colder showers, reduce, re-use, recycle. From using your 5p bags at least twice to turning your laptop off, rather than on standby, do your bit from the environment – it’s key to lagom, saving you money and making you happier.

Check out Ikea’s ‘Live Lagom’ brochure and videos for more tips on living the ‘waste not, want not’ lagom lifestyle.