My three seasonal Hacks

I don’t know about you but I found January grim. The lack of light, the short days, combined with the relentless rain and when you live in the countryside the huge amounts of mud that you cannot escape and which has even become an unwelcome design feature in my home, it’s got to me. And I’m sure I’m not alone.

I’m constantly looking beyond this season to when it’s going to be sunnier, warmer, I can do this or that because it’s not raining or my fingers are too cold to garden etc which might be true but can’t be healthy. So instead I’m trying to focus on the here and now and how to work with the season and lean into it a bit more.

Seasonal Markers

Yesterday, Robert Macfarlane’s word for the day on Instagram was ‘Imbolc’ which he says in the Celtic calendar is ‘the mid point between winter solstice and spring equinox, marking the earth’s wakening from cold’ – so hurrah, we are turning towards the light finally! There is an actual shift towards the sunshine. Buds and green shoots are starting to appear as the increasing amount of light wakes the natural earth up ready to start afresh. So let’s focus on that and feel that shift.

Today, 2nd February, is also Candlemass – ‘the quickening of the year’ when a lot of Christian countries remove their Christmas decorations to start a refresh and turn towards the light. It is also when they bring candles to the local church to be blessed for use throughout the coming year. Many Christian symbols are based on Pagan ideas related to the natural world and our reaction to them. This bringing of candles to the forefront of our lives is spiritual and part of our well being – think Hygge and making your home more hyggelit. We light candles to feel cosy and to nurture our souls. By creating a welcoming nesting space we feel good about our environment. Though the concept of Hygge doesn’t emphasise scented candles, the addition of scented candles further heightens this feeling. Smell has a huge influence on our moods and creating a space that makes you feel better about yourself is so important.

Seasons in our homes

So how can we reflect this shift in the season in our own homes and turn our backs to the fading Winter light and approach the coming of Spring?

I’m not going to suggest a full Spring clean yet – it’s still too muddy and raining for that but I desperately want to feel a new sense of energy and I do think that purging has a huge part to play in this. So I am going to start gently and take on a small project each day. The Minimalist did the amazing #minsgame over the month of January where they challenged you to get rid of 1 item on day One, 2 items on day Two etc to see if you could make it though to 31 items on Day 31 …. I only heard about the game towards the end of January but I am tempted to have a go, plus February has only 28 days, so might be a little easier….

Catkins in apothecary glass jar

My 3 seasonal hacks

Instead here are my three main seasonal hacks that I find useful to bring some energy back into the house:

1. Bring some of the new life emerging on our tress etc inside. The catkins are still acid green here and look amazing in the house. As do branches of early blossom – there are a few about!  Also pots of beautiful white hyacinths and paper-whites not only look beautiful but their scent will fill your rooms with beautify and make your heart sing.

2. Wash all your glass jars, bottles, vases etc that you use to put your displays and candles in. Over the year they get dusty and marked. Then whenever the sun comes out they will sparkle and cheer you up! (I can hear Katie laughing at me on this as I also love a bit of old unpolished glass but that’s a different story!)

3. Choose an up lifting scented candle or ten for your home. These scented candles can be lit throughout the day to create a calming or energising atmosphere depending on your needs. Then as the evening draws in you can add to it by lighting lots more candles and creating that nesting feeling that can nurture us though the rest of the remaining Winter season.

Is there anything that you do that makes this dark long time of year better? I would love to hear from you!

Early white blossom in an apothecary glass jar, with linen background

White heather in tin planter at Harp Cottage

Plum & Ashby scented candles in ironstone bowl with bay leaves