Why is it that the colder season always seems to last longer than the summer months? When it seems like winter is dragging on, purifying our homes with new energy may be just the cure. In Feng Shui, winter is naturally a "yin" season; a quieter, more reflective time of year that encourages us to spend more time in the home. Read on for eight essential Feng Shui cures to make your living space brighter, warmer, and more energetic, while staying in tune with the season.
1. Clean with citrus
Since we’re stuck not opening the windows for any extended periods of time in the winter months, the energy and air in our homes can become terribly stagnant. Luckily, there’s a simple cure to lift the energy, refresh the air, and prevent bacteria build up in our homes during these months: citrus is a wonderfully natural disinfectant and mood lifter. Citrus fruits are in peak season during the cooler months, which is why it is even more important to incorporate them into your home cleaning regimen (as well as your diet) because this will restore your energy equilibrium and alignment with the natural world. Lemon rinds make a fabulous stove cleaner, so it’s a great idea to reuse the rinds after cooking or juicing. Squirt a bit of the juice out of the lemon, and then use the rind to scrub! Mix a little vinegar with orange or grapefruit essential oils for an all natural window cleaner, and combine a bit of citrus Dr. Bronner’s with water for an uplifting all-purpose cleaner to use throughout your space.
2. Redecorate by “shopping” at home
When the energy is feeling “stuck” in winter, it might just be time for a little change in surroundings. However, instead of hitting up IKEA for new decor, you might find that you already have just what you need. Try moving a vase, picture, or even a piece furniture from one room to another. You’ll be surprised with how much your energy shifts just by moving something that hasn’t been moved in a while, dusting it off and giving it a new home. You may be inspired to redecorate your entire home, just by reorganizing your line of sight.
3. Do an assessment of what you really need
Are there things in your closet or under your bed that you haven’t used in ages? As you re-decorate and re-organize, you might find that there are some things that you really don’t need. If you haven’t used the item in over six months, it’s time to say goodbye. If it’s sitting collecting dust, it’s adding to your wintry stagnant energy, and it needs to go. While many Feng Shui recommendations advocate clearing clutter by throwing things away, it’s best to donate your items or refashion them into something useful. Creativity is key!
4. Create a meditation corner
While the spring and summer months are full of yang, vibrant energy, yin energy is restful, quiet and contemplative. Nurture this seasonal energy by welcoming it in with open arms, which will in turn renew you for the more energetic seasons to come. It is natural to want to engage in more yin activities during the colder months, like reading, sleeping more, and meditating. Create a mini-sanctuary with pillows, warming textures, and candles to sit with this renewing, replenishing energy.
5. Make something from scratch
While you’re spending more time indoors during the colder season, it is a great time to work on all the projects you’ve been wanting to try. Cooking is a wonderful way to add warming, positive energy to your space. Making soups and stews with seasonal vegetables is a great way to connect with nature, since we can’t get our hands in the garden at this time of year. You can also try making candles or soap to unleash this creative, warming energy.
6. Change your lightbulbs
With winter comes much more darkness, so we end up spending a lot more energy on indoor lighting. This time of year is the perfect time to do a lighting audit of your home to ensure that you are using energy-efficient bulbs in all of your light fixtures. You may want to also add in a few more daylight bulbs in certain areas to extend your light intake.
7. Let natural light in
During the daylight hours (if it’s not too frigid, of course) you might also want to pull your curtains all the way to the side or even remove them completely. You’ll want to make the most of the light-filled hours, and best way to do this is by letting natural light in instead of artificially lighting your space.
8. Add warming textures
Our bodies tend to tense up when we are cold, and while warming up with lots of blankets is important, it’s also essential to pay attention to the types of textures we are cuddling up with. Are you sleeping with a stiff cotton quilt, or a soft, wooly blanket? Surround yourself with warm, inviting textures, such as velvet, wool, or softer cottons that will really warm you to the core.
Images via Shutterstock
Laura Mordas-Schenkein is a LEED accredited eco-Feng Shui consultant at Pure Bloom Feng Shui in Rhinebeck, NY. Her philosophy is designed help you love where you live, by realizing a deep and fundamental connection with nature. Laura has been professionally trained in the Classical and BTB schools of Feng Shui, Psychology, and currently serves as Editorial Project Manager at Inhabitat.com.