As Winter settles around us, the urge to hibernate is kicking in and we are beginning to spend more time indoors. However, by merging elements of the external landscape within our internal safe places, we can still embrace the natural energy of the season and make peace with the perceived starkness of nature during this time. We have put together some tips for achieving this balance, and to encourage you to use nature’s influence to help you balance the instinct to hibernate with a renewed sense of vigour, and an excitement for the year ahead.
INVITE THE OUTSIDE IN
The changes in the energy of the external landscape during Winter are profound. Winter is often perceived as dark and stark, but once we understand the underlying potential in the bare landscape we realise that there is still beauty to be found there, and joy to be gathered from it. Despite retreating inside, we can still embrace this beauty by bringing external elements in with us; which will also serve to allow us to soak up the natural energy of the season and instinctively feel more connected to the changes going on around us.
The leaves may be gone from the trees, but this simply allows us to appreciate the elegant glamour of the trees in their exposed form. Harness this appreciation by gathering discarded twigs and branches, and look out for plants which blossom in wintry conditions, and incorporate them into homemade wreaths. Use this craft activity as an opportunity to engage with others and help reject any feelings of isolation that winter can inadvertently instil; invite friends to join you, or attend a workshop. Leftovers from making your wreath can also be put to use: fill a jar or vase with the cut-offs and top off with pinecones to create a seasonal centrepiece.
Further these notions of inviting the outside in, and creating fun bonding activities in the process, with more decorative crafting. Leftovers from making your wreath can be used for making seasonal centrepieces. For a simple method, simply fill a jar or vase with the cut-offs and pad out with pinecones. Or you can take it a step further by coating empty wine bottles in white primer, leaving them to dry and then spraying with adhesive and rubbing them in Epsom salts – creating a snow-covered effect vase, topped off with winter branches. Group a few of these together, and sprinkle pinecones and twigs on the surface area around them to create a whole display.
Another classic homemade item that celebrates the winter elements are paper snowflakes. These offer so much scope for creativity; you can devise your own patterns, or find templates easily online. If you want to get really creative and an added a touch of vibrance, intersperse classic white snowflakes with some made from patterned craft papers, or festive wrapping paper, using colours that match your interiors.
Winter has some very distinctive smells which instantly instil a feeling of seasonal cheer, or summon a perceived cosiness to your surroundings: such as mulled wine, fir trees, log fires and berries. Pot pourri to stir up some of these scents can be very easily made; simply mix together cinnamon sticks, dried orange and apple slices, cloves and star anise, and then share between decorative bowls.
For a wider choice in which winter scents to fill your home with, there are a wealth of scented candles to choose from.
How better to raise your energy than to cover yourself and your home in a bit of seasonal sparkle? Twinkling fairy lights always add to a festive atmosphere, and they don’t have to be confined to your tree; drape them along mantelpieces, hang around picture frames and wall mounted mirrors – even bring them out into the garden and drape into any bushes or plants (battery powered LED lights may be most suited to this). Similarly, tinsel and baubles also work well outside of the confines of your tree – hang baubles at intervals along your lights, and drape tinsel along surface edges or around the bottom of your decorative vase displays to add that little extra pep to your winter themed interior. For full sparkle factor, spice up your wreaths and centrepieces with spray-on glitter.
SHARE YOUR SPACE
Once you have your home looking all inviting, cosy and sparkly, you’ll be dying to show it off! Just because we don’t feel much like leaving our houses during Winter, this doesn’t mean we can’t still socialise. Why not invite some friends rounds for cocktails and canapes; winter may be stark in many ways, but it also encourages indulgence, and so try embracing this and indulging yourselves together. There are loads of other ideas you could use for social nights-in and get togethers as well; you could organise a games night for example, or a pot luck dinner. There is nothing more boosting than filling your home with loved ones, and evening get- togethers are great for reminding you of all the special people which you are grateful to have in your life.