Hi, everyone! I’m Emilee and I’m a Central New Yorker who loves yarn almost as much as she loves coffee. Growing up in a cold-weather climate, I’ve always found solace in the the ironic peace of snowstorms; huddling inside in the warmth with knitting needles while the wind rages outside. Most people probably aren’t aware of it — but Central New York can be a challenging place to live. Our winters are long (sometimes up to six months), days can be short and sunshine limited. That’s why hygge is so important.
Even though I’ve spent my whole life living in New York, it wasn’t until my early 20s I came across the very important word which is “hygge.” Now, I’m not one for dramatics (then again, I do love the theater – so maybe I am!) but discovering this simple word – hygge – changed my life.
What is hygge?
For those of you who don’t know, hygge is a Danish concept. In English it roughly translates to feelings of coziness and contentment that come from enjoying life’s simplest pleasures. It can be difficult to describe because we don’t actually have a direct English translation! But I’m going to do my best. Here are a few examples:
Hygge is enjoying a night in front of the fire with your loved ones while the snow falls outside.
Hygge is being very busy prepping for a holiday, only to spend the day itself doing very little and enjoying each moment.
Hygge is disconnecting from the world and spending some quality time outside in the fresh air.
Hygge is baking something from scratch and sharing it with your friends and family to enjoy.
Hygge is prioritizing your mental and physical health. Taking time for the things you love and being content in knowing that life is not a competition or a game but a gift and a journey.
Getting the idea? Hygge is all about simple joys. While the word “hygge” is native to Denmark, many other cold-climate countries have their own words for this concept of coziness and contentment. For example, Norway has Koselig and Scotland has còsagach — but we’ll take more about that later!
While my last name is Janitz (I have my German husband to thank for that – why is it that I feel special having a “z” in my last name?), I will be the first to admit that I am not Danish. I did not grow up with the phrase “hygge.” But even though I didn’t know the word, that isn’t to say I haven’t been living a hyggelig life for as long as I can remember. (Hyggelig, by the way, is the adjective of hygge. Don’t worry – we’ll talk more about that later too!)
As I mentioned before, I remember when I first came across the term “hygge.” I was fresh out of grad school, working my first real public relations job at a notable company. If you’re at all familiar with the PR industry or corporate America then you know that working in the communications field can be very demanding. At the time of my hygge-epiphany, I was flat out, working tirelessly to balance my career, a home, two dogs, a fiancé and our upcoming wedding. Not to mention all of the hobbies that are very important to me and that I’m going to spend a lot of time writing about here!
Now, I love to be busy and I love my career. In fact, I thrive in both of those things! But even those of us who love to be busy can find ourselves becoming burned. out. I first read about hygge in the New York Times – in this particular article as a matter of fact. And when I was reading this particular article, something just clicked inside me. This strange word that I had no idea how to pronounce (it’s HOO-gah, by the way) spoke to me in a way that nothing else had in a long time.
Reading about the Danish way of living reminded me so much of my own childhood. It brought on great feelings of nostalgia and made me realize that I wanted to get back to that style of living. I wanted to get back to enjoying simple pleasures and stop focusing so much on the rat race that was my current life. And so I did. And I can look back now and truthfully say that embracing hygge has ultimately led to my living a much more peaceful, content life.
Embracing hygge has ultimately led to my living a much more peaceful, content life.
What can I expect to find on Hygge Inspired?
I mentioned before that I am a communications professional. This means that I love to write! And even more than that, I love to inspire. I believe in the importance of understanding your “why.” In knowing what drives you as a person and inspires you to wake up every day. For me, this Why is inspiring people. There is truly nothing I love more than inspiring people as a means of influencing positive change. Whether that change be within an individual, in a community or in our world.
I mentioned before that hygge has changed my life. It has helped me find inner peace through simple joys and helped me stay focused on the things that I believe truly matter in life. In it’s simplest terms, this blog is all about the pursuit of hygge and how you can incorporate it into your everyday life.
Here are some topics that I’m especially fond of that you can expect to find here:
Food! I love food – both making it and eating it. Food is super hygge (especially when its homemade) so you can be sure to find plenty of hyggelig recipes here.
Tips for Creatives. Before entering the communications field, I went to college for art. I love any and all things creative and love sharing inspiration and tips for makers of all fields. One art field that I’m particularly fond of is textile or fiber art – yarn-lovers welcome here!
Culture. I love exploring different cultures through travel, literature and art. I’m looking forward to writing about some of my favorite hyggelig places!
Life. At its core, this is a lifestyle blog. This means I’ll be sharing stories about my own hygge journey with you all – I promise it’s always interesting!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for starting this journey with me. I couldn’t be more excited that you’re here. I look forward to sharing more about hygge and living a hygge-inspired life with you. And yes — there will be plenty of coffee and cake along the way.
15 thoughts on “In Pursuit of Hygge”