Originally written January 2013; updated January 2019
It official; Christmas is over and with a little help, down came my decorations yesterday. The last day of “Christmas proper” was Sunday, the 12th day of Christmas ending on the The Feast of the Epiphany. Not all of us celebrate Christmas (and certainly not all 12 days!) but the cheery white inside lights associated with the holiday give me so much energy that I would put them up anyway, and so I just had to wait for the days to lengthen a bit more before taking them down.
Winter is long here in northern New England and dark lots of the time; especially where I live. We don’t get the city glare in the sky, that dull hum of electricity glowing in the horizon that reminds us of how well protected the streets are; we just have “roads” here. So when the sun heads downward so does the light. However, winter is more dark than light for most of us reading this post.
This dark is all the more reason to incorporate bright color into your life this time of year. Folks that live farther north have used color for centuries to combat the shadowy gray that comes with lack of light. This counteracting effect is actually measureable. As part of the electromagnetic spectrum that we can see, color sends vibrational wave lengths at us stimulating our endocrine system to release mood hormones that create our feelings. Depending on what we are already feeling, those waves can uplift you or disturb you; happy go-lucky “sunshine” or feeling “blue”.
I have to say that my personal “waves” this time of year are pretty flat. Caffeine barely affects me, the pounds pile on and I seem to retreat into my head. So I have always found that “color therapy” is a happy diversion for me around the new year. Here are some of the color tricks I use this time of year to uplift and stimulate myself.
I wear red lipstick! The color red has the longest wave length so is most stimulating to our body. Just applying the color gives me a boost. Pinky, orangey, bloody or sheer, everyone has a shade that is just right for them. Try some on with me…. 603-491-7305
I fill my kitchen with citrus fruit! Orange is the next longest wave length followed by yellow. Seeing their cheery color in the center of my home gives me a boost like sunshine. Don’t you feel it just looking at this photo?
I choose creative projects that let me use lots of cheery color. This January I am in the studio trying new fabric painting techniques with vibrant color. I am touching up all the red painted trim in my house too.
Toby, my Christmas take-down helper.