Slow life

Living the lagom lifestyle – what is this Swedish philosophy all about?

Fot. Katja Bayer/
You need about 4 minutes to read this post

After the Danish recipe for happiness came the Swedish answer. We checked what is hidden under the term lagom. Is it very different from the extremely popular hygge?

What does lagom mean?

Lagom is an alternative to Danish hygge straight from Sweden. Both terms are difficult to translate literally into Polish, but lagom can be understood as “just right”, “as much as necessary”, “just right”, “not too much, not too little”.

The essence of this philosophy is to maintain balance – in all spheres of life, from the state of mind, nutrition, through the daily appearance, to the arrangement of the house and apartment. We implement it in life in small steps, without hurry and excessive expectations. The changes may be small, but they are significant, especially in the long run.

Moreover, in lagom, harmony between private and professional life is crucial. We avoid extremes, we do not participate in the rat race, we appreciate what we have around us. That’s why we can’t allow a situation when in the hustle and bustle of work duties we run out of time to meet with family and friends, or even to develop our own passions and hobbies.

Lagom and hygge – what’s the difference?

It might seem that both philosophies mean more or less the same thing, but there are a few significant differences. First and foremost, lagom is all about life’s balance, the balance between pleasures and responsibilities, whereas hygge is all about enjoying moments of happiness and putting pleasures and small joys first.

It is also different when it comes to physical activity and nutrition. In Sweden, sport plays an important role and healthy products dominate the menu, while in Denmark, sport is secondary and sweets and sugary drinks are the order of the day.

Finally, it’s also worth comparing the two philosophies from the perspective of interior design. Lagom is based on raw materials such as wood or concrete, there is no glamour here, while rooms according to the hygge concept are cozier and full of decorative fabrics.

Everyday life in the lagom style

Swedish philosophy is close to the omnipresent trend of being eco. We focus on a diet full of healthy and natural products, preferably grown by ourselves. We also save water and electricity.

In addition, we pay a lot of attention to waste segregation and care for the environment, and at the same time we do not waste food and recycle it (for example, we make pâté out of vegetable broth, we use egg shells to fertilize plants, and coffee grounds are used to make homemade body scrub). When shopping, we use reusable bags, especially for fruit and vegetables. When it comes to our surroundings, rooms should definitely be as energy-efficient as possible, but also comfortable. This applies to small items, such as light bulbs, and larger ones, such as various appliances.

Moreover, when we have conditions for it, it is good to install photovoltaic panels and draw energy from the sun. Our task should also be to eliminate any thermal bridges, through which heat can escape us, which in turn leads to higher bills for heating.

The house or apartment is full of greenery and the furniture is of high quality, made of solid natural materials and kept in neutral colors with colorful accents. According to the concept of lagom it is also good to use recycled or upcycled furniture and buy multifunctional equipment.

Lagom is also a conscious life, where openness and cooperation is more welcome than competition, as well as personal responsibility and responsibility to the whole. What’s more important, according to the lagom philosophy, our life is as important as the life of the community. It’s also good to share what we have and be moderate in our consumption. Listening to others and making space in relationships is also a valuable skill

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