Winter blues. We’ve all heard of it but what does it mean? As the days get shorter and the nights get colder many of us find ourselves low on motivation, high in exhaustion and feeling blue.
For some this may translate into an entire season of malaise, spawned by lack of light and energy. For others, our blues may be based in emotions, tied to unrealistic expectations of family, our friends, and ourselves during the holidays. We may experience feelings of boredom due to cold weather confinement, or even a sense of depression due to the sheer number of grey days winter brings.
Can feng shui fight the winter blues?
Feng shui can help you shift the energy around you, and in that shift you change not only the way your spaces look, but you also change the way they feel.
No matter what your experience or how long your winter blues tend to last these 9 powerful feng shui tips will help ensure that this winter season isn’t a season of blues.
- Let the sun shine in! Open your curtains. Sunlight, or rather the lack of it, contributes to the winter blues. When you open your curtains you allow sunlight to enter your home, energizing you and your spaces. In feng shui, sunlight represents fire energy, and fire energy is full of vitality and life.
- Add colorful accents, pillows, throws, candles, curtains, tablecloths and art in red, orange and yellow. All three of these colors are warm and inviting, and they increase the energy of the space they are in. Using warm colors literally makes your home feel 10 – 15 degrees warmer. And warm feels good when it’s cold outside!
- Place plants and flowers around your home to literally bring life into your space. Plants and flowers have living energy and vitality, they connect you to nature and in that connection they bring balance. (Think of them as little spots of springtime.)
- Exercise – it’s not just about losing weight! Exercise helps relieve stress by relaxing your mind, tones and strengthens your body by working your muscles and gives you more energy by boosting your metabolism. With benefits like that, your mood is bound to improve! (Our body is our most important environment, even before our homes – and feng shui believes in creating supportive environments. So get outside and take a walk, go for a run or a bike ride. You’ll soak up some sun and improve your living environment at the same time – sounds like good feng shui to me!
- Eat healthy. What you eat and when you eat has an effect on your mood and energy. Try to avoid or limit processed foods and simple carbohydrates. (Sugar, white rice, white bread, etc.) Instead eat complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, fruit, vegetables and oatmeal. According to CBS news correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, “…your diet can have a significant impact on your mood. Oatmeal is a great winter option its got lots of fiber and whole grains, it’s warming, it’s comforting and it’s not just for breakfast. Oatmeal can be used in bread and whole grain rolls; it can be used in place of breadcrumbs in meatloaf and much more. Vitamin D can help combat the blues. There’s research linking Vitamin D deficiency and depression — so make sure you get enough Vitamin D. Good sources include fish, eggs and milk “ Don’t’ forget sunlight. Every time you go outside you soak up Vitamin D, another good reason to go for a walk! Tea may help relieve stress — one British study found that those who drank tea found their cortisol levels (stress hormones) dropped almost 50 percent when they drank black tea four times a day.
- Create a treasure map. Treasure maps and collages capture your thoughts, your desires and intention with a series of images. You select the images from a series of magazines and pictures of your choice. The images you choose should be images that convey the image of what you desire. As you select these images, do so with a spirit of abundance, gratitude and joy. (Click here for Treasure Map how-to)
- Break out of your routine. In winter, when every day seems cold and grey, it’s easy to find yourself going through the motions, stuck in a boring, tired routine. Shake it up! Go out for breakfast with friends before work, meet friends or colleagues for a warm eggnog or apple cider and talk about the latest books you’ve read, swap colorful accessories with a friend and wear them, change your lipstick color – go bright instead of dark, join a wine club, take that cooking class you’ve been considering, join Facebook and search for your long lost friends.
- Paint a room in your home. Paint at least one wall in your home a warm, vibrant color. Color transforms space faster and easier than any other decorating tool. Color can change an uninviting, drab space into a personal paradise, full of vibrant energy and warmth. Afraid to paint a room or a wall? Then consider painting the frame of a wooden chair, the legs on the sofa, a picture frame or even a chest of drawers. A few little touches can really help chase away the winter blues.
- Embrace the things that make this season special. Even if you haven’t thought of winter as special there are many things to enjoy this time of year. The smell of pine, cinnamon and apples. The warmth of a roaring fire. Roasted marshmallows. Hot Chocolate. Special seasonal TV shows, some of my favorites are; Babes in Toyland, Hocus Pocus and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Wear winter clothes you love, for me that means jeans, boots, mufflers and an assortment of coats – if you don’t have any winter clothes you love, get some! When you like what you wear you feel better about yourself and feeling good helps chase the blues away.
Stay positive, focus your thoughts on what you like rather than what you don’t like and the cold winter months will be gone before you know it.
© 2011 Harmony Life®, LLC by Laurie Bornstein
Feng Shui Lifestyle™ articles, tips and conversation http://www.fengshuilifeandstyle.com
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