Red is not just for Christmas! Red is the color of warmth, of fire, of yang. It is the antidote for the cold yin nights of winter. Warm your nights with just the right chi by practicing these feng shui tips for winter colors, light, warmth, safety and sharing.
Winter Colors and Light
Replace some of your summer blues with reds and oranges. Think pillows, quilts and place settings. You will feel warmer and less depressed. A cozy red or burgundy throw on the chair or on the bed will make you feel wonderful, and cut down on the need to turn up the heat.
Cook orange. Pumpkins and squash are plentiful and give you the good carbohydrates and nutrients that you need for winter.
Light up the Night
Get at least one full spectrum light for a reading area. The complete spectrum will relieve seasonal affective disorder and help your eyes. Plants love full spectrum light so you can put some greenery nearby, and create a small winter garden that will cheer you up and help provide oxygen for your rooms.
Long evenings mean it is time to replace light bulbs. Think energy conserving compact fluorescents, especially for outside lights and accent areas. Your pocket book and your planet will thank you. There are even energy conserving Christmas lights that are now standard in Canada. Solar path lights wonít go all night at this time of year, but they probably are on sale and will light your way home in the evening with no strain on the environment. Additionally, in February, as the days lengthen, they will glitter most of the night, even in the snow, and will make you smile for years to come.
Warm up your Windows
Check to make sure all windows shut well. If you have single paned glass which lets the cold wind into the house, find some cheerful thick fabric, valances or drapes, which can cut your heating costs all winter and is a terrific way to change the feel of a room. The Victorians covered their windows for a reason; their homes were drafty! When you feel an uncovered window on a cold night, itís cold! So think warm and add fabric.
Remove or cover your air conditioners. If removal is difficult get some wonderful natural fabric from your local fabric store and create a cover. Tip: Double-sided Velcro is amazing for the sewing challenged!
Watch For Fire
It is the time to have your boiler and fireplace checked and cleaned. Too many house fires or clogged boilers are caused by the lack of taking this step. All combustible materials create residue which in time builds up, so be safe, be warm and be pro-active. This expense could save you thousands.
Pay Attention to Your Floor, Your Grounding
Remove any dangerously slippery bath mat. The backing does disintegrate, and think about a cozy rug for your bedroom or sitting area. Please think about natural materials so you are not creating a toxic environment. Artificial rugs off-gas and pollute a closed environment; you could expose yourself and your family to illnesses. Look for Tibetan or other tribal rugs made from natural fiber and plant dyes.
Tell Stories; Share with Others
Get some good books. The wintertime has always been storytelling time among all traditions, so let the indoor time give you a chance to expand your mind, either for sheer pleasure or to learn something new you have been meaning to get to but haven’t had the chance.
Lastly, share your home with your friends. Long winter evenings are great for sharing food and conversation. Being with those you love will remind you of how much you have to be grateful for.
And as your gratitude increases take some of your old clothing and household goods to a local shelter or Goodwill and spread some cheer around. You will also get rid of your clutter and make room for the new.
From Divine Design by Betsy Stang, certified Feng Shui consultant.