Does this spark joy?
Marie Kondo’s Japanese art of tidying up and the Swedish philosophy of “lagom” share some similarities. “Logam” is the idea of living a life that is balanced and happy. Translated literally, lagom is “just the right amount,” “in moderation,” or “in balance.”
The recent popularity of Marie Kondo’s own lifestyle of tidying up and this Swedish philosophy of living in moderation suggests that balance is something we look for in our lives. What do you own that sparks joy?
As Kondo explains, “you can also define things that spark joy as things that make you happy.” Logam and tidying up doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything, but make sure that the stuff you own makes you happy.
For our friends at the Scandinavian Shoppe, Scandinavian gifts spark joy. Some scandinavian gifts are rooted in our histories and traditions, including the Dala horse and Viking ship. Maybe your friend collects Nordic jewelry that brings her joy. Or maybe your neighbor decorates his house with Scandinavian home decor. Living in moderation means keeping the items that help balance your life and bring happiness.
History of Lagom
Lagom plays a large role in everyday Swedish life. This daily philosophy reminds Swedish people to slow down and enjoy life in moderation.
This philosophy also carries into their work traditions. Employees in Sweden take at least 25 vacation days a year, more than other countries like the U.S.. These vacations days give Swedish people more time to practice lagom and find balance between their work and home life.
Logam might be a Swedish tradition, but it’s a philosophy that be incorporated into the life of anyone looking for moderation, or a life that sparks joy.
6 ways to practice lagom, or moderation
There are different ways you can practice lagom in your own life, and find what sparks joy for you.
- Find your balanced schedule. Do you work too much? Do you not balance your work and personal life equally? Do you need to give your family and friends more attention? Think about some changes you can make to find new balance in your life.
- Find joy in your stuff. The important question: is do they spark joy? If something you have makes you happy, like that antique Dala horse that’s been passed down from generation to generation, that’s something important to have in your life. But if you hang onto everything you get, whether or not it’s useful, then you’re not finding moderation in your stuff.
- Find your Fika. Another Swedish concept, fika means to take a tea or coffee break with a friend. Is there a friend you haven’t had time for this month? Spend some time with them, don’t rush, and enjoy the moment with that person. Talking with a friend about their life can give you insights to the imbalances in your own life.
- Find joy in the whole. When someone at work succeeds, so do you. When something good happens to a friend or family member, find joy in that. Find balance in being part of the community around you instead of focusing on the individual.
- Find nature. A great place to find balance is outside. There is a Swedish rule called allemansratten which means “freedom to roam.” Your world is outside, so take time each day to enjoy it. Fresh air can not only help the body, but it can also bring clarity to a mind that’s not balanced.
- Find yourself. This might be the most important way to find logam in your life. What kind of moderation and balance do you want to find inside yourself? How does that balance relate to the joy in your life?
There are countless ways to practice and incorporate the Swedish philosophy of lagom in your life. The most important thing is to know what that balance looks like for you and your life.
There is always room for more love and happiness in your life. The history and traditions held by the Scandinavian Shoppe help you find that right balance of tradition with handcrafted Scandinavian gifts. Find something that sparks joy, and helps you live your life in moderation.
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