Last year I shared five ways to beat the January blues. Well this year I’m adding a sixth – stop cutting back. Don’t go on a diet, don’t do Dry January – carry on doing whatever you enjoyed previously.
Have I gone mad?!
I can see why you’d think that. Taking a step back from the excess of December is certainly not a bad thing, and if you’ve overindulged (like I have!) January is a great opportunity to slowly meander your way back to reality. But to cut back on all fun completely? No thank you.
Why is it that during the darkest, coldest, poorest, and all round most miserable time of the year we decide to deny ourselves all of life’s pleasures? When I Love Gin offered to send me a trial of their monthly gin subscription box, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to tell you about my new philosophy: lagom.
What is lagom and how do I embrace it?
The Swedes have lots of brilliant, untranslatable words that perfectly describe a feeling or state of mind. Lagom is exactly this – a word which encapsulates the art of having not too much, and not too little. If hygge was the buzzword of mindful living from 2018, I think lagom is exactly what we should be adopting this January.
Swedes, and Scandinavians overall, are known for their balanced lifestyle. In the world of work 25+ paid holiday days a year are a legal requirement, while a 40-hour week is considered long. In their downtime Swedish people don’t use bad weather as an excuse to avoid exercising outdoors, and British style boozy binges are just not the done thing. They also make the most of the sunshine – every day commitments can wait during a luscious summer’s day. There’s a lot we can learn from our Scandi pals.
Let’s be clear here, buddy: I’m not saying now is the time to live on take-aways and booze-fuelled night outs, punctuated by shopping trips so excessive your credit card will need bandages. But instead of trading chocolate bars for celery sticks and swapping your coffee dates for 10km runs, learn to embrace both.
How I’m finding the balance this January
Looking for some inspiration to find your idea of lagom? Here’s how I’ll be treating myself just the right amount as we welcome in 2019:
I’m cooking fresh, delicious meals every day that are full of vegetables and inspired by my favourite takeaways. BUT I’m not counting calories.
I’m cutting out big nights with shots, doubles and wicked cocktails on the go until 3am. BUT I’m enjoying a double gin and tonic from my I Love Gin subscription box during my family’s Thursday afternoon ‘gin o’clock’.
I’m avoiding big purchases in the January sales, spending money I don’t have on things I don’t need. BUT I’m thinking carefully about what useful things I can pick up a bargain on (then strutting around in them like the goddess I am!)
I’m avoiding structured work goals, and easing up the pressure of striving for some future ‘success’. BUT I’m still working hard, and pursuing opportunities that come my way.
Life is for living, and if you are focusing all your energy on doing things the ‘right’ way then chances are you’re not having fun! But looking after yourself is essential, too – there’s no point having a life full of luxuries if you are not around to enjoy it. #deep
Interested in treating yourself to an I Love Gin subscription? From £14 a month you can have two specially selected gin miniatures and paired tonics sent directly to your door. The perfect serve, without having to leave the house? Now that’s my idea of happiness!
How are you going to embrace lagom this January? I’d love to read your plans in the comments below.
Keep living your best lives, guys and gals!
I was gifted a subscription to I Love Gin. However, all thoughts are my own.