The winter months invite you to turn away from social pursuits and attend to your personal needs. Too often, the demands of modern life tempt us to forgo rest and relaxation. This can create a terrible imbalance.
This winter, take your cue from nature and turn inward. Make more time for solitary pursuits like reading, writing and prayer. If you have a hard time switching gears, try integrating some of the following Feng Shui cures into your home. They'll help you savor all the benefits this wonderful season affords.
Winter affords a welcome opportunity to slow down and enjoy the finer things in life. If you have a hard time slackening your pace, make some Feng Shui adjustments. Close the curtains, outfit the furniture with dark slipcovers and switch from overhead to task lighting. The more you minimize visual stimulation in your household, the easier it will be to turn inward.
If you're starting to get cabin fever, integrate some wavy patterns into your decor. Cascading plants, swagged curtains and a hanging display of pots and pans will make it easier to go with the flow. That's because curved lines slow energy down, rather than speed it along.
Soft, rhythmic sounds will put you in a contemplative mood, which is perfectly suited to winter's calm. A white noise machine or a recording of the ocean's surf will prove soothing, even on the most hectic days.
Nothing disrupts peace more than the insisting ringing of a telephone. Get into the habit of turning your phones off for two hours a day, just as a means to promote calm. Never fear: whoever is calling can always leave a message.
Take a hot bath
Once you're in the bathtub, it's very difficult to get out. This is just the sort of activity that's perfect for winter, because it forces you to stay in one place. Stock up on bath salts, special soap and fluffy towels as a means to make this ritual even more tempting. Remember, winter is a time of self-pampering. Shop accordingly.
Paint it black
Black is the color of winter, for it symbolizes the season's absence of sunlight. Dressing in black will help slow your pace. So will decorating with this color. A black tablecloth, bedspread or area rug are all good ways to introduce calm to a hyperactive household.
Make time fly
Throw the clock out of the window. Well, not literally, but hiding timepieces from view is a great way to instill an air of calm to any room. Remember, winter is a season of quiet reflection. You can't cultivate a meditative state if you feel like you're on a deadline.
Out of sight, out of mind
Now that you're spending more time at home, you might as well feel comfortable. Take this opportunity to sort through any junk that accumulated during the busy autumn months. When you've cleared the area of trash, store necessary items neatly away in closed containers. This will prevent you from worrying about bills, doctor's appointments and social appointments when you should be relaxing with your nearest and dearest.
Round 'em up
Winter is a time of intimacy. Integrating more circles into your decor will draw everybody in your household into a circle of trust. Polka dotted fabrics, oval area rugs and circular mirrors can bring even the most fractured family together in a spirit of harmony.