Wellness trends inspiring much ado about nothing

 TUNE OUT: Hygge, Lagom and Niksen are the European wellness trends exciting the rest of the world to master the art of de-stressing. Picture: Shutterstock
TUNE OUT: Hygge, Lagom and Niksen are the European wellness trends exciting the rest of the world to master the art of de-stressing. Picture: Shutterstock

What do you think about Hygge, Lagom and Niksen?

Are they Formula One drivers? I love that F1 Netflix documentary. Did you see the one where the Red Bull and Renault bosses nearly had a punch-up?

These are not racing drivers. They are Northern European wellness trends.

Ah yes. Like saunas and herring.

Except much better suited to bestselling books, hashtags and adorable, IKEA-meets-Wallander lifestyle photo shoots.

Unless you've embraced a de-stressing philosophy from a place where Santa maintains a residence, you're woefully uninformed.

I do know about Hygge. That's the one with all the candles, scatter cushions and harmonious toning shades.

Right. It's the Danish cult of cosiness and comfort. Everything around you needs to feel like a hug. There's even a song about it in Frozen: The Musical.

Hygge first rose to prominence in the wellness world about three years ago as an antidote to stressed-out urban, modern life.

Then came Lagom, the "not too little, not too much" Swedish philosophy of moderation and balance. That one's about de-cluttering life.

Find tuning the art of doing nothing. Picture: Shutterstock

Find tuning the art of doing nothing. Picture: Shutterstock

So Hygge without the candles and cushions?

Sort of. And then there's Niksen.

Which really does sound like one of Santa's reindeers.

Niksen is Dutch, and it's recently eclipsed both Hygge and Lagom in popularity, perhaps only because it's easier for celebrities to pronounce. It means "to do nothing" or "to do something without any use".

So the Kardashians are totally Niksen?

Perhaps. To understand fully, you might need to read the literature. In the last three years, unrelated Niksen experts Annette Lavrijsen, Olga Mecking and Carolien Janssen have all written books with the same title: Niksen: The Dutch Art of Doing Nothing.

That's a lot of fuss about ... well, nothing.

It seems there's an endless audience in search of ways to 'niks,' in order to de-stress and tune out of their busy lives.

Isn't that why the Northern Europeans already gave us all those Scandi Noir crime shows? I'd rather Borgen and Bordertown than Niksen and Lagom any day.

Fair enough. Oh, I forget to tell you about Fika. That's the Swedish art of having a coffee break.

Enough! Niks off, please.

  • Amy Cooper is a journalist who embraces wellness, but has also used kale to garnish a cocktail.