Decorate for Wellness With Feng Shui This Holiday
by Catherine Morris | December 16, 2020, updated 5 days ago
This time of year our neighbourhoods and our homes are transformed—trees, tinsel, twinkly lights—there's holiday cheer everywhere you look!
But what if you want your decorations to be about more than cheer? What if they could promote positive emotions, express your dreams and desires, and set you up for better health in 2021?
Festive Feng Shui
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice that aims to create balance and harmony in our environment. Feng shui practitioner Nattacia Greene of Vibrancy Holistic Health explains—
“Feng shui is enhancing your outer environment to change your inner environment. The ancient Chinese used it as an art and a science to enhance every aspect of their life—promoting good energy flow in their homes and finding the best place to build a home or a business. We now have feng shui in the west and we use it a little differently. Here we use it more to enhance our own homes. It's an ancient practice but it's very relevant today. It's about having a balance of elements in your space [and] enhancing your energy and wellbeing.”
Greene practices directional feng shui, where each compass point relates to a different element, shape, and colour. For anyone interested in giving their home a feng shui make-over, she advises they start by creating a map of their home to see the best position for their furniture, art, family photos...and Christmas decorations.
You may want to put your Christmas tree in the east or south corner of your home, the direction associated with wood or fire (wood feeds fire). If it makes more sense to put it in the north area of your home, you may want to balance out the wood with metal. Metal holds the water element and can be represented by round shapes and metallic or shiny colours so perhaps use round balls as tree ornaments and pick blue twinkly lights, or tinsel to accessorize it, says Greene.
Plants such as poinsettia, festive garlands, and sprigs of mistletoe are all associated with the wood element so, in feng shui terms, they would work best in the eastern or southern areas of your home. Another popular Christmas item, candles, or the colour red, represent the fire element so should be used in a south corner.
De-Clutter and De-Stress
One of the most important principles in feng shui is clearing clutter—both the mental and physical kind—and this is just as important during the holidays.
“It's about getting rid of what you don’t use. When you get rid of things you don’t love or use, you’re making space in your life for new energy to come in. Everything you own, you give a piece of your energy to. When you de-clutter you are taking that energy back,” explains Greene.
So before you start piling on the Christmas accessories, it might be an idea to do a quick clean and remove anything that's outlived its purpose. If you're having a hard time letting go of anything, Greene recommends putting it in a box and storing it out of the house, in a shed or a garage. If you find that you don't miss anything in the box within the next year, throw it out (without peeking inside!).
Greene adds—“Take five minutes to check your space. If you’re just a little more conscious and aware of what’s in your space, it’ll help. You don’t want anything holding you back, anything you kept from the past that’s not helpful, things from a dream you’ve let go of, or things with bad memories. When you let go of it you’ll feel a lot clearer. People feel it physically, they feel lighter and their health improves.”
It's not worth getting in a tangle over tinsel. Don't overthink it, says Greene. Your home has to suit your life and that requires some practical thinking. When it comes to picking the perfect spot for the perfect item, sometimes it's just good to trust your gut—
“Most people practice feng shui, whether they know it or not. They have a natural sense of what colours look good in their space. Often you find your instincts are right. If something looks like it is in the wrong spot, it probably is.”
If you're one of those people who lives to turn their home into a Santa-worthy Christmas grotto, then go for it. With the year we've all had, it's especially important to get some positive vibes going, and decorating can also be a way to ease any holiday-related loneliness.
“For people that really like to decorate, at the end of the day if it brings them joy that's what's important. If you grew up with [a lot of Christmas decorations], it feeds your inner child. A lot of people will not be getting together with family this year so put up family photos and ornaments that bring you joy. That energy brings them to you.”
If it's family conflict you're worried about this year (we get it, we've all been trapped in our 'bubbles' and it's normal for tempers to fray), then Greene recommends decorations featuring words like 'joy' and 'peace' and, where possible, making sure there's lots of natural light in your space, calming music, and even soothing scents.
“Having a peaceful space that’s harmonious, joyful and uplifting means having things with that energy. Sunlight, music, and aromatherapy can clear spaces after conflict.”
Again, it really helps to ditch clutter, as clutter will only feed negative emotions brought on by the holiday. Greene says—
“People that feel overwhelmed or depressed because they are stuck at home: there is a lot you can do with your space. In terms of clarity, the less things your eyes see the better. Our brain is interpreting everything in your environment and the more you can see, the more overwhelming it can get. Clutter is confining. Your current environment is a reflection of you and your inner environment.”
Finding What's Important
Ultimately, feng shui is about appreciating what we have, being mindful of our surroundings, and thinking about what we want for our future. At the cusp of a new year, it's a way to usher in some optimism amid the difficulties of the previous 12 months.
Greene says—“Feng shui isn't about impressing anyone. It’s about having something that means something to us, and making space for what's important in your life. Make sure the things in your life support your current life and your current goals. Buy things for your home with intention, it's about spreading good cheer and good energy.”
If you need some help reorganizing your home for better energy, book a consultation with Nattacia today through our online wellness platform. If you're struggling to feel the cheer this Christmas, we also have an extensive network of therapists, counsellors, and life coaches to get you back to your best and feeling good—or to take your wellness routine to the next level.
Catherine Morris is an award-winning journalist with a bad case of wanderlust and a passion for all things health and wellness. Originally from Northern Ireland, she worked as a news and feature writer for media outlets in the UK, South Africa, France and the Caribbean before settling in Canada. Catherine now lives in Alberta with her husband and rescue mutt and spends her time happily exploring the great outdoors with both.