Before I hit the full on hibernate button, I always like to squeak in a few of my fave fall and winter rituals to prepare my home, spirit and self for the cooler months. It's a great way to settle in to the cozy season, easing my body into a slower routine. The cooler months are imperative in our personal healing and growing cycles. We can take note from the earth, looking inward and resting so we can come out renewed and reinvigorated come spring.
It's impossible to go-go-go all the time, and though there are busy days during winter and autumn, there is an overall calming effect on us when we are surrounded by blankets of snow. It's important to embrace this time of year, adopting some personal rituals to savour. Just like how having tea, bathing, and reading a book before bed can prepare you for bedtime, the rituals below can help prepare you for a deeper restoration by training your body and spirit what to expect.
If you're fire people like we are at my home (meaning we burn fires all fall and winter), it's time to bring home the wood! Lumber yards have a ton of wood options (check out this post to learn how to make sweet-smelling wood cocktails in your fireplace; no it's not a drink but a seriously cool approach to buying wood); we're bringing home some nice birch this year. Even if you don't have a fireplace, or you have a dismantled fireplace but still a killer mantle, piling wood inside makes for a nice cozy vibe. You can also get birch logs at Home Depot for reeeeal cheap. Just saying. Learn how to build the perfect fire here.
MAKE SOME CANDLES
Changing up the scents in your home come the cool months is totally necessary. Repurpose some old vases, jars or dishes by turning them into homemade, sweet-smelling candles. I'm a big fan of beeswax candles for their warm honey-like scent, and they're good for the air in the home. Pair them with affordable wood wicks and some vanilla fragrance oils and you have a healthy, happy, sweet-smelling - and cozy crackling home. Beeswax is easy to find, too! Check out my step-by-step beeswax candle DIY here.
UPDATE YOUR PLANT SITUATION
Don't forget about your plant babies! One of the best things about living in a place with changing seasons is that we get to experience four totally different and dynamic settings with changing vegetation. One of my favourite ways to change up the plant situation in my home come the cool months is to snip a couple sprigs of pine from outside, or find some of the broken branches around the yard, and add it as a simple arrangement to a cool vase, like this. You can even add a few sprigs to a water-filled carafe for a nice simple look. You don't need too much. This is also a great thing to do with your Christmas tree once you're done with it. I also like rosemary, bay leaves, and eucalyptus.
WINTERIZE YOUR DOOR WREATH
I thrifted a cute little door basket, and I love changing up the branches and flowers I put inside depending on the season. It's the first thing you see before stepping foot in my home. Building a wreath (a wreath base with branches) with cotton or baby's breath along one side is another great way to set the tone for your home. Making a simple wreath with your kids or pals is a great slow ritual to adopt come fall.
CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET
We all have clothes that haven't touched our skin in a while. The changing seasons brings out some new sweaters that maybe don't suit us anymore, or don't fit, and it's a necessary seasonal ritual to give your closet and drawers a little attention. Bust out the winter clothes, and pair down what no longer works for you by donating it to a local shelter. Toss or repurpose any single gloves or socks that have lost their partner, and make yourself a list of any items you need to add to your wardrobe. Colour coordinate your closet if you need to make it interesting. I swear it's super satisfying.
SEASONAL HOME SMOKE BATH
There are a looooot of things that go down in your home. Since you're going to be spending more time indoors as soon as the temperature dips below zero on the regular, it's a good idea to give your home a full on super deep smoke bath. Our home's can develop energetic buildup and can benefit from a seasonal smoke bath with some of your favourite herbs. If our home's energy isn't healthy, it can affect us negatively, making us more irritable, lethargic and even sick! Learn how to give your space a step-by-step smoke bath here.
CHANGE YOUR BEDDING
Cooler nights mean warmer blankets. Switch up your bedding, wrapping your mattress in warmer sheets like flannel or heavy cotton, or toss on an extra blanket. Or! Get new bedding all together! Exciting. You'll love crawling into a cozy warm bed every night, especially when the wind starts howling outside your window.
HOST A SOUP TRADE
It's soooooup season! Everyone has a great soup recipe up her sleeve - or in the family - or on Pinterest, and there is nothing better than making a big batch of it. Gather a couple of your best friends, and each make a different soup recipe. Make enough to portion out equally among you, and come home with two or three new soups to savour. Trade recipes among each other, too, in case there is one you absolutely love; you'll want the recipe!
ADJUST YOUR SKINCARE REGIME
Our skin grows weary in the cooler months, drying and cracking and begging for extra hydration. Spruce up your skincare regimes with potent herbal steams and luxurious facial oils to infuse your skin with the moisture it craves. Adjusting your cleansing, moisturizing and makeup routines for each season is a great way to care for your skin since the elements can change your skin's appearance. Check out this natural DIY rose and coconut scrub, and this herbal steam I wrote for the Body Book (above).
PROGRAM A POWER STONE
Power stones are crystals we feel a special affinity for. They are often gifted to us, or appear in our lives frequently, or we simply feel particularly drawn to them. Working with a specific crystal over an entire season is a great way to work on a larger health goal such as focus, self-love, or mindfulness. Learn how to program your power stone here, infusing it with a supercharged intention to work with all throughout the cooler months.
MASTER YOUR GO-TO SIMMER POT
Simmer pots are one of the easiest ways to add some sweet scents to your home. Using some left over ingredients such as orange peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves or snips of pine from outside are all great ingredients to add to a pot of simmering water. The vapour will fill the home with warm soothing scents. And! No chemicals.
Here's a couple of my fave go-to recipes:
• Apple, thinly sliced
• four cinnamon sticks
• handful of cloves
• orange rinds
• handful of rosemary
• one lemon sliced thinly
• handful of cloves
Fresh and Sweet
• handful of mint leaves
• vanilla bean
• handful of crushed cranberries
• a few small pinecones
HANG THE LIGHTS
Whether you can hang outdoor lights or not, bringing in some twinkling white lights to string across the mantle, place inside glass jars, or drape above your cabinets is a great way to bring light in when darkness falls sooner, bringing a warm glow in your personal space.
Do you have go-to fall or winter rituals? Share them with us in the comments below so we can all get a little cozier this season, and maximize our restoration and healing techniques so we are ripe come spring.