Natural elements to reduce holiday stress
The holidays are here and there is no better time to introduce a variety of fragrances and textures into our home. Aromatherapy is a wonderful and effective resource for lifting one’s SAD and reducing stress. Decorating with natural elements will not only make your home smell delightful but also adds a touch of Scandinavian design as well.
Pine, moss, saffron, mulled wine, burning candles, and a bounty of flowers are the aromas we associate with the month of Advent, but many of these ideas can be continued into the winter months serving as a source of enjoyment until spring greets us in April.
Hyacinth is well known for its abundant fragrance. Christmas hyacinths come to Sweden from Holland in late August, reports Göteborgs Posten. They are stored in a cold room and then picked out ten days before they are ready to be sold. This spring flower is available from December to April.
Pink, purple, white, and blue, each variety of Hyacinth has its own degree of scent. Blue Pearl, Purple Sensation, Pink and White Pearl are the lesser fragrant of the bunch. Blue star being one variety which has a stronger scent. White smells less than all others.
Flowers are an important decorating embellishment during Advent, but also the aroma of baked goods from the oven. The smell of warm bread. Spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and clove warm both heart and home. Setting out a bowl of nuts looks lovely and provides an easy snack.
Taking pleasure in home decorating is one way to be mindful this year and to elevate the mood. Using natural elements such as moss, twigs, lichen, and pine can work nicely clustered together as a wreath, arranged upon a tray, or used to adorn the Christmas tree.
Some mosses and lichens are protected in Sweden, but regular green moss is available for picking, writes Göteborgs Posten. Also pine cones, fallen branches, and assorted grasses make for unique and lovely arrangements.
The smell of snow and cold brisk air clears cobwebs from the brain. Throwing open the window for a few moments every day brings a breath of fresh air. Cozy up with wool blankets and animal skins thrown against modern design furnishings.
Simple, minimal yet so effective, Scandinavia is famous for its northern lights, design sensibility, and winter scenes – and this is never more apparent then during the holidays. Transforming your home into a Scandinavian winter wonderland is sure to help lift the spirits of one and all.
This article was originally published in Göteborg Daily – December 2015
Writer/photographer Lisa Mikulski. Available for print or online publications and business in the Nordic region, Europe, and the U.S. Editorial, features, marketing copy, and public relations.