I’m sure it’s not escaped your notice that the Scandavanian lifestyle has been a lot more present in our own lives lately but I’m actuallyloving it. I think there is a lot we could learn and it’s a really positive thing. In this weeks post, I’m going to talk you through two popular ‘trends’, one you’ll definitely know and another you might not.
So the big question really is why Scandinavia? Why is this the place to be? To clarify, when I say Scandinavia, I’m talking about Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland. These places are always top of the list when it comes to the most desirable places to live or where people are the happiest. So wanting some of this for ourselves, we’ve started to borrow slithers of their lifestyle and inputting it into our own. And as you’ll find out, there’s good reason for it!
What is it?
Hygge is difficult to define as such because how can you define a feeling or mood? It’s more than that though, it is an atmosphere and an experience. If I were to personally translate it in English, I’d go with cosy. Hygge is feeling at home, where you are with a group of friends or perhaps alone. It is taking pleasure from simple and soothing things. Ultimately though, it is being content.
For the Danes, hygge is connected to the bleak weather they endure most of the time but it is something you will see when there is good weather too. Hygge encourages pleasure in simple acts, closeness with friends and family and just overall happiness and wellbeing.
How do I do it?
Now this is the fun bit. It’s so easy to incorporate hygge into your life and you don’t even have to spend a penny if you don’t want.
-Perhaps the easiest way is looking at the light in your home. 85% of Danes associate hygge with candles and who doesn’t have a few of those lying around? The Danes get through a lot of candles and these aren’t even scented ones as they prefer them natural. For them, it is about the soft, cosy light that candles give off, flooding the room with light. And they’re right, it certainly sets an atmosphere. Having dinner by candle light (regardless of what we’re eating) is so much nicer, romantic even. I love it after a day at work where this one simple change helps me unwind for the evening.
-I don’t know about you but I want my house to smell amazing as much as possible. It’s something that really boosts my mood. And as much as I love my scented candles, I don’t feel safe always having a candle on, especially when I’m in and out of rooms and with a mischievous dog around! That’s where the Puressentiel Gentle Heat Diffuser* comes in. You simply pour in a few drops of the blends (the relax one is my favourite) and without a flame the diffuser allows you to enjoy the incredible smell and benefits of essential oils wherever you want. Take the time to sit and do nothing and take in the scent of your home is a simple but pleasurable, relaxing experience.
–Food! My favourite bit, obvs. Hygge is having a break from the pressure of a healthy lifestyle and treating yourself (more of this pls). Hyggeligt food isn’t anything fancy, it’s simple and delicious. So I’m talking cake, stew, soup, pastries… sounds good, right? And then of course there are the hot drinks. Most notably, coffee! Curling your fingers round a warm drink is the ultimate comfort. And very hygge.
-Another favourite of mine. A huge part of hygge is togetherness. It’s not uncommon for us to work overtime at work but to the Danes, this is insane. As soon as the clock ticks to 5.30, everyone is gone. Which is exactly how it should be. The idea is you are able to spend time with your friends and family in the evening – to talk, eat and relax. Just being with other people, sharing conversation and stories creates a warm and friendly atmosphere for you to sink into.
There is so much more to hygge and it’s something I’d thoroughly recommend you look more into it because it’s a wonderful lifestyle change that is for the good. While plenty of people are trying to make money off of hygge products, when it comes down to it, the point of hygge is the simple pleasures. It is not superficial or materialistic. For reading material, it has to be the very beautiful The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking. It’s a best seller and it’s no wonder why.
What is it?
Lagom is certainly not as huge as Hygge just yet but definitely as important. This one is a lot easier to define. It is translated as ‘just the right amount’ meaning not too much of one or the other.
Chances are, at this time of the year you’re probably already getting behind lagom without even knowing it. It’s common for us to be trying to save money or indulge less after Christmas and in itself, this is the very essence of lagom.
How do I do it?
–Planning your meals as much as possible ahead of time and creating a shopping list from these meals will save you a lot of time in the long run. Just sit down, twice a month to work out what you need. You’ll also find you don’t pick up as many bad things because you know exactly what you need to get and you’ll save food waste. You’ll make healthier choices too as it won’t get to 5:30pm when you’re standing in front of your kitchen trying to decide what to cook and eventually just reaching for a takeaway menu.
– After January, our fitness promises have often slipped and we might not be participating as much as we might like. But instead of getting frustrated at yourself, acknowledge what it is you have been doing. Only made it to the gym once in the week? Good for you for even going! Lagom isn’t about pushing yourself to the breaking point but instead, stopping when you’ve simply had enough. It’s also worth giving fitness a go in another sense. Take a walk outside somewhere you’ve never been before and enjoy the fresh air to your lungs. It’s a great alternative if you don’t fancy the gym and you’ll still enjoy lots of benefits.
– Again, at this time of the year our diets aren’t looking as great as we intended. With lagom, you don’t want to be counting calories but instead striving for a balance. So quite simply, if you find yourself deep into a share size bag of crisps one night, promise yourself the next day you’ll balance it out with healthier choices.
-Being environmentally friendly is a really useful one we can take from lagom. Reduce your environmental impact on the world with small steps like recycling, switching to LED light bulbs and reducing food waste. IKEA is a brand that have got behind lagom in a big way, encouraging their customers to live sustainably. You can read more about it here.
You’ve probably noticed my content has been a little different lately. I’m taking the approach that if I’m interested in a subject, a few of you might be too! I’d love to know what you think about hygge and lagom and if you’ve been implementing any of them into your daily life.
Post contains product samples. As always, thoughts are 100% my own.