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11 Feng Shui Tricks to Help You Beat Holiday Stress

Feng shui—the art of maximizing positive energy in your living space—can be the antidote to holiday stress. Let this ancient Chinese practice improve your holiday vibes.

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Declutter your entryway

One of the most important elements is to make sure your front door area is clutter-free. “The front door is the entryway to bring in good chi and harmony,” says Michelle Cromer, an author who teaches feng shui at the University of Texas at El Paso. It’s also important to make sure your hinges don’t squeak and, according to feng shui, the front door is represented by water so when opting for a doormat, go for blue.

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Keep your halls clear


Halls should also be free of clutter “Clutter in halls can create stress for the occupants as it blocks the energy from circulating,” explains The Harmonist’s Feng shui Master Priya Sher. “Keep shoes and coats in closed closets so they don’t stagnate the energy and place some fresh flowers to uplift the energy.” (Here’s how to declutter your home—without actually throwing anything out.)

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Get lots of live plants


According to Cromer, healthy plants enhance the wood element (green represents wood) and symbolize new beginnings, family, and relationships—just what we want for holidays and the new year! So place living things such as plants, flowers, and herbs throughout your home.

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Be conscious of what’s going on in your kitchen


Paying attention to objects and colours in your kitchen area is particularly important if you’ll be hosting in your home this season. According to Sher, if your kitchen has too much red, black, or blue (for example on your worktops, floor, walls, cupboards…), then it can lead to arguments.

You’ll want to watch for the placement of your cooker and sink as well. “If they’re directly opposite each other it causes a fire and water clash, which also results in arguments.” If this is the scenario in your home, don’t despair! You can still align with feng shui principles: Simply introduce green accessories in your kitchen as well as plants and herbs to support the energy of the family. “Also ensure all knives are kept in a closed cupboard as when openly displayed they can send negative energy,” says Sher. Hosting a lot of guests over the holidays? Try these strategies to keep costs under control. 

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Place a bowl of oranges with cloves in your kitchen


According to Cramer, oranges stimulate the mind and improve your mood, while cloves stimulate balance. “The combination has a powerful effect on the flow of chi and energy in the home.”

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Encourage calm in your dining space


Particularly around the holidays, this is a key area. “Your dining area supports family unity, and if you live on your own, it creates a space for you to mindfully concentrate on what you’re eating,” explains Sher. She suggests keeping colours neutral in this area to encourage calm. “The ideal table is round or oval—if you have a square or rectangle table and it has sharp edges then place a tablecloth on the table as sharp edges create negative energy.” (These ways to fight holiday stress can also help keep the negative energy away.)

According to feng shui, mirrors bring good luck, so consider adding one if you have enough space. Alternatively, Sher suggests placing four bamboo in a vase of water on the table, which will help support the energy of this space.

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Manifest your wishes in your living room


As with your dining area, you’ll want to keep colors as neutral as possible here. “Ensure the main sofa has its back supported by the wall to support the occupants,” says Sher. “Keep a current family photo in the east of the room.” To help manifest your intentions for a peaceful holiday, it’s also helpful to display things that reflect what you want. You might even consider making a vision board or coming up with a daily affirmation.

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Achieve balance in the bedroom


You’ve heard it before, but minimizing electrical items in the bedroom is essential for restful sleep. “The bed must have a headboard and be positioned with the head of the bed against a solid wall,” says Sher. Place bedside tables on either side of the bed—everything must be in pairs. Feng shui is about balance, so having items in pairs is especially important in a relationship area like the bedroom. Here are a few more items that can help improve your sleep.

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Set your holiday intentions


Thoughts are powerful, so be mindful about what you think and how you speak to yourself. “Before the holidays, open up the windows and burn sage to clear the energy of your space,” suggests Cramer. “Spray rose oil to invite in love.” She also suggests writing down affirmations in the present tense (“I will be healthy,” “I am a good parent…”) in a blue journal (blue is a calming colour).

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Be mindful of the colours you wear


What you wear matters. The traditional colours of the season are red and green. “Red represents the element of fire and green the element of wood—fire burns wood and grows stronger,” explains Cromer. “Balance the red by using colors that represent water such as blue and black.”

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Space clearing after the holidays


After the parties are over and the relatives are gone, Cramer suggests burning incense or sage throughout the house and opening the doors and windows to bring in fresh air. “This will help clear out all the lingering stress.”

Looking for more ways to find calm? Here are more tips to help beat stress.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest