2016 has seen some big trends. We’ve been inundated (thought that’s not really any different from any other year) with advice on how we should best live our life and what will bring us happiness and contentment. Whilst some of it might be suitable for some of us (as they say, you can’t please everybody all the time), a lot of it has been so over-done that it’s surely time to say ‘goodbye’. I’m not saying that we should completely rid ourselves of everything that was considered a trend last year. Some so-called ‘trends’ will be more down to making our own lifestyle choices which will outlast that year, but it’s the clinging onto trends that don’t suit us that we might want to rethink. If you like your wardrobe full with clothes that remind you of certain events (even if you’d never wear them again), then you’ll probably never be a minimalist. If you’d rather spend your holiday in a 5-star hotel than in a wood cabin, then (no matter how trendy) you’ll probably never really subscribe to the “going back to nature” tribe. All that is ok and it’s what makes us who we are, but every now and then we simply cannot help but succumb to some trend. And yes, I include myself in that. So, if you’re in any way unsure of what to ditch right now, this is for you.
The first trend that needs to go is Hygge. Enough already! Look, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have a cosy home, spend time with the people we love, cook warming food, watch less tv, read more books and light some candles, but it’s something that can’t be prescribed. Making our home as warm and comfy as possible for the winter months is something we naturally strive to do, not something that can be prescribed by a trend. Buying all the candles and woolly blankets in the world will deplete your bank balance but won’t necessarily buy you that cosy feeling because a feeling is just not something that can be bought. The newest trend for 2017 is therefore another Scandinavian one: Lagom, which is Swedish and means “just enough, everything in moderation, in balance”. I think it sounds like a great idea: being happy with things being not perfect, but good enough for us.
Another trend that has kind of outstayed its welcome is the minimalist decluttering according to Marie Kondo. Nothing against the lady herself and I’m sure she’s helped countless people regaining clarity in their homes, but too many people have probably gone through her techniques and regretted it afterwards. I’m all for decluttering and making our homes calm sanctuaries, but we’re also emotional beings and it’s just natural that we sometimes hold onto items (no matter how silly it might seem to another person) that serve no purpose other than reminding us of an event or of a feeling. So, hold on to those old photographs, concert tickets, faded flowers or tacky ornaments and get rid of the trend that tells you to get rid of everything.
Clean eating. Seriously, this holier-than-though approach to eating needs to stop and the signs that it is are there. The backlash is happening as many of the claims surrounding this trend are being debunked one after another. Now, just to be clear, I’m not against eating fresh fruit and veg, less meat, less processed and pre-packaged food and trying to stay as healthy as possible. However, many of these trends are way too restrictive, based on no scientific evidence and end up making us feel rubbish about ourselves rather than better. They are are just that: trends. A far better way to go about these things is to go “Lagom”: everything in moderation. Take inspiration from the clean eating books, but don’t treat them as the be and end all. Have that big sugar & cream cake, but eat your vegetables at the next meal, have your wine, just not every evening, eat a steak, just not every day.
I think the new trend for 2017 should be “be happy and enjoy what you have”. Now, wouldn’t that be wonderful?