Get Ready for the Social Season: An Autumn-Winter Guide to Achieving ‘Lagom’
Contura shares tips on how to find the right balance ahead of the busy run up to Christmas.
With less than 100 days until Christmas and with Yom Kippur, Diwali, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah festivities to get through before the big day arrives, the busy social season is well and truly upon us.
Whilst we will all enjoy the revelries that come with the season, we can inevitably end up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or stressed; whether it’s the sheer number of parties, gatherings or events to attend, trying to manage our finances, or simply trying to find a good balance between being sociable and spending quality downtime at home.
Fear not. A solution is at hand. ‘Lagom’ is a Swedish term describing ‘just the right amount’ or ‘not too little and not too much,’ and denotes a mindful approach to all areas of life, focusing on moderation, balance, sustainability and frugality.
This thoughtful approach encourages a life less frivolous, more authentic, and most importantly, endeavours to ensure that we strive for the right balance to feel happier and more fulfilled in whatever we do.
Lagom is about making subtle changes to behaviours and routines to bring a sense of equilibrium to your life; it will also bring a greater feeling of calm and contentment.
Catharina Bjorkman, lifestyle expert at Swedish wood-burning stove brand, Contura, says: “It can be tempting to fill our calendars with social engagements, but in Sweden it’s all about finding the right balance to avoid burnout and stress.
“A busy work schedule and packed social life can be better managed by adopting a more lagom way of life; from being choosier about the events you attend, being mindful of spend, avoiding excess alcohol and not overindulging, to creating a welcoming, cosy and relaxing home environment.
“In Sweden, lagom plays into all areas of our lives, so to help Brits feel happier and healthier through the busy social season, we have devised a guide to finding the balance.”
Read on for advice on how to get more lagom into your life.
1. Pick your parties
Getting invited to an event is a treat, but it’s important to be choosy about which to attend. If large crowds, heavy drinking or meeting strangers isn’t your scene, offer to meet with the party host over dinner or drinks just the two of you, or with a smaller group of close friends.
Don’t feel obligated to attend if an event is out of your budget, is too far away or isn’t for a close friend or family member. Curate your social events and only attend those that will truly bring you happiness.
2. Avoid excess
It’s tempting to load up on free food and alcohol but overindulging regularly isn’t good for your health or wellbeing. Drink water in between alcohol to stay hydrated, load up on healthy foods to balance out heavy, rich party food, and try to get in at least 15 minutes exercise each day. Moving around and eating well is key for both body and mind, so do take the time to.
3. Tidy home = tidy mind
A clean, uncluttered home can provide the perfect respite after a busy day at work or a string of social events. Remember that your home should be a place of rest and relaxation; somewhere you can unwind.
Embrace lagom in the home by keeping interiors clean and simple: declutter often and arrange furniture to avoid overloading the rooms. Stick with a neutral colour palette and add lots of plants to bring the outside in. Up the cosy factor with scented candles, fluffy blankets and cosy loungewear for the ultimate comfort.
4. Money matters
There’s no doubt that the run up to Christmas is an expensive time, with presents, travel and food and drink costs all quickly adding up. A simple way to manage your money is to have two separate accounts: one for your wages and one that you pay a set amount into for your expenses. If you pay in £100 a week, this will help you stick to a budget and avoid overspending.
Spread out your spending on gifts and avoid splurging – homemade gifts and crafted items such as macramé pieces, knitwear, decorative bunting, or homemade brews, chutneys, jams and cakes are more personal and special.
Split taxis with other partygoers and use public transport as much as you can to keep costs down.
5. Factor in Fika
Swedes are well known for ‘fika’; a social ritual of taking time out for a coffee break and sweet treat each day. The beauty of fika is that it can be done anywhere: at work, at the home office, the kitchen table, or local café or park. The key is to stop whatever you’re doing and enjoy 10-15 minutes’ quality downtime.
Step back from your computer, put down your phone, and prepare to clear your mind. Regular breaks are shown to boost productivity, as it gives your brain and body a chance to recharge, so it’s a practice worth adopting. It’s also a great opportunity for a catch up with colleagues or friends if they’re around. For a truly Swedish fika, have a warm cinnamon pastry with your coffee.
6. ‘Fredagsmys’ like a pro
Fredagsmys, or fredagskos, is a big deal in Scandinavia – especially in Sweden. It involves throwing on a cosy outfit, gathering friends and family and spending a Friday night in eating tacos and snacks with a boxset or movie. You can Fredagsmys on your own, but it is more mys (cosy) when you share the experience. The golden rule: partying is for Saturdays – on Fridays we stay in.
For more information on Contura, please visit http://www.contura.eu
Notes to editors:
- Rooster PR will coordinate comment, interview and profile opportunities for Contura UK Country Manager, Phil Wood. The Contura PR team will also arrange visits to the nearest Contura Design Centre dealerships or the Contura showroom in Doncaster to see the product range.
For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay | Jo Kendall | Julie Aguilera
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]
Contura is Europe’s leading manufacturer of wood burning stoves, offering an extensive range of classic and contemporary wood burners; from traditional insert stoves suitable for existing fireplaces, to freestanding statement models made with innovative materials such as soapstone.
Starting at £1,295, Contura stoves are premium yet affordable. Award winning, timeless Swedish design means the products complement or enhance any style of home, whilst also offering outstanding performance, maximum efficiency, practicality and ease of use.
Designed and assembled at the factory located in Markaryd, Sweden, and manufactured to the highest standards, Contura stoves are highly energy efficient, offering powerful convection, superior combustion technology and clean burning systems. Currently, 95% of Contura stoves are DEFRA Clean Air Act exempt and thus approved for use in Smoke Control Areas.
Contura stoves can be purchased through a network of 165 independent retailers nationwide.
Contura is part of the NIBE group, a Swedish manufacturing company producing world class solutions in sustainable energy across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.
Contura is a founding member of the Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) in the UK.
For more information please visit www.contura.eu