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Hygge + lagom

Musings inspired by the Scandinavians

Take a quick search of hygge on the internet and you’ll find thousands of images of cosy fires, cups of hot chocolate and fluffy blankets. This Danish word (pronounced ‘hoo-guh’) takes centre-stage as a way of life when it comes to mindful living. But as 2017 is still trying to grasp this foreign word, there is already a new kid on the block: the Swedish lagom, where life is all about finding the perfect balance. So, from the comfort of hygge to the balance of lagom, let’s see what the Scandinavians are trying to tell us about living a healthy, fulfilling life.

By Jana du Plessis

Hygge huh?
The Danes have been living and perfecting the concept of hygge for as long as they know. It’s difficult to define, yet somewhat easier to understand. Hygge can be found in a bowl of hearty porridge, sharing a rich, dark beer with a friend or going on a comfy bike ride with your little one accompanying you in the side car. It is more than one simple act and cannot be restricted to a single definition. It is a philosophy to slow down, indulge in a nourishing way and care for the soul. Who wouldn’t enjoy that?

Looming lagom
Now that the feasting, relaxing and hygge-ing of the holiday season are over, we all yearn for a little more balance when it comes to our work, health and daily life, and this is where we should welcome lagom with open arms. As the mighty ol’ cloud of knowledge predicts, 2017 will see more and more of this Swedish word being hashtagged and shared across communication platforms. Most dictionaries will define lagom as ‘just right’, meaning not too much and not too little. It’s all about finding the ultimate balance between where your needs are satisfied and your wants aren’t over gratified.

Living the Scandi-life
While it’s easy to leave hygge hanging in the past, it might be a good idea to hold on to it a little longer (despite what the trends may tell you). We all need to take it slow, rejuvenate and unwind from time to time in order to maintain our wellbeing throughout the year. Whether it’s a glass of wine over the weekend or reading your favourite novel before tucking into bed, hygge is a way to look after more than just your physical health, but mental and emotional health as well. By combining this type of self-care with the principle of lagom, achieving a personal equilibrium, you will set yourself up for a thriving life in regard to your overall well-being.

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