I find winter hard. I’ve written on my Instagram about how much I prefer Halloween to Christmas…. although this year does feel easier. My mental health is much better, AND I’ve created the HiberNATION to celebrate the cosy, dark vibes of this time of year. So I’m feeling a lot more chilled out about the Christmas part of winter (you can read about the Christmas I stayed in bed and ate pizza here!), but I’m wondering how we can create some intentional rituals to fight off the post-Christmas blues….
Christmas day comes so close to Solstice; here in the UK it’s bang in the middle of the darkest time. We’re celebrating the returning of the light. But it’s a slooooow return, and still a way to go before hibernation time is over.
Once the decorations come down on Twelfth Night, it can feel kind of bleak, can’t it? We been collecting and doing things that helps us survive the winter and lift our spirits – pretty lights, evergreens, socialising, exchanging gifts, eating comfort food – and then at New Year BAM! We give them all up again, even though there’s a lot of winter left. Astrologically, Solstice marks the START of winter!
I used to work with a lovely lady called Mel, who would countdown to Valentines Day, because from that point she knew she could pretty much always drive home from work at 5.30pm without her headlights on. It’s a nice measure of when the evenings begin to get lighter again.
So, what can we do to look after ourselves and each other as we wait for the light to come back…? Here are some ideas:
- January Decorations! Apparently, the tradition of taking the Christmas decorations down to avoid bad luck is a Pagan one, linked to the evergreens and their foliage – you could deck the halls, but you had to get them back outside by the 6th of January or the tree spirits would start to get antsy. So last year we made sure we got the tree outside, then kept some of the fairy lights, and jiggled around some of the not-to-festive decorations. It definitely helped the house to feel warm and welcoming. Other years, I have purposefully made January decorations to replace the Christmas ones, to brighten the place up and celebrate the New Year.
- Join the HiberNATION. Recognise that it is still winter, all the things that helped us before Christmas ARE STILL ALLOWED! Pyjamas, chocolate, snuggling, catching up with friends, bingeing on box sets, knitting and/or wearing all the warm knitted stuff… keep making time for the cosy things that nurture your heart and soul. This is the best time of year to enjoy this stuff! You don’t have to stop just cos it’s not December any more 🙂
- Look for the beauty. Right now, my garden is a muddy quagmire. Every time the dog comes in, we gain some indoor mud too. Sometimes I have to search out the beauty of this time of year. But it’s there. The resting quiet, like the pause in between breaths. The silhouettes of trees against pastel winter skies. Ice, frost and snow. And then slowly, the tiny signs that start to creep in of returning life and noise, like snowdrops and little shoots of green bursting up from the mud…
- Do some reflecting and look to the future. I’m not one for full-on, high-pressure New Years Resolutions, but there is a ton of advice out there about setting intentions or themes for the year. This year I think I will do a little bit of journalling to reflect back on the previous year, create a list of things to look forward to in the next year, and list some of the qualities I’d like to call in to my life for 2020. (If you need some help, my friend Alice is doing a mini-course that could be just the thing!).
- Allow your feelings. Winter is by nature a darker time, for slowing down, reflecting and planting seeds. You don’t have to be ‘jolly’. It’s ok to feel whatever you feel. I think we can sometimes make things harder for ourselves if we fight what we truly feel. I’m working on welcoming my emotions and seeing what they are here to tell me. And a lot of the time in winter, they’re saying ‘go slow, be gentle, plant seeds.’
And, as ever, allow time for self care 🙂
I am so excited to be announcing the release of my first colouring book!
Breathe: feel calm and inspired. A magical colouring book for adults.
They include my drawings for you to make your own plus journal prompts, visualisations and meditations.
I didn’t know it was going to turn into something quite so special, but as I started writing and laying the drawings out, all sorts of other things just POURED out! This little A5 size book really is packed with magic to help soothe a busy brain.
They are available in the Samdrawsthings shop.
Thank you so much to everyone who has bought one already! I can’t wait to see pics of your creations and hear how you get on with the extra bits and bobs. Of course the Comfort Fairy makes an appearance in here too… 🧚♂️ 🐕
And I’ve also put together a really special HiberNATION Hamper which includes the book, some colouring pencils, a beautiful candle and lots of yummy goodies in there too. You can find the shop here.
Happy Badgerween! I hope you had a good one. I sent a toddler to nursery dressed as a dinosaur, then spent the afternoon making badger masks and a music video, before picking up the small dinosaur to come home for a little Badgerween party.
I’m so grateful for all the members of The Badger Sett and everyone who has bought something from the Badgerween collection to support out stripy friends. I’ll be adding up the total soon but in the meantime, there’s a little sale on in the shop to give the badgers a bit more of a booth before I have to put my maths head on! You can shop Badgerween here.
What would you do today if you weren’t feeling self conscious…? How would things be different if you weren’t worried about how you looked or came across? What would it be like if you just KNEW that your story was important and people needed to hear it? Can you imagine how it would feel if you just trusted that your friends (real or virtual) genuinely wanted to hear from you, see your face, or share in the beautiful thing you’ve just created…?
The thing is, they do!
What gets in our way is our own fear and worry.
And I’m done with it. I’m so tired of getting in my own way all the time! I want to be here, to show up and ⭐️SHINE⭐️ and I want to help you to do the same.
There are some wonderful people that I am super inspired by at the moment who are just so sparkly. And I know that the fear is still there for them. But they are showing up anyway and oh how I love them for it 😍
If you need some inspiration too, go and check out:
@sugarandsloth to meet Anita, queen of feeling the fear and doing it anyway, creator of cute and sweary things
@through_this_iris and meet Shiráz, traveller of the world, photographer extraordinaire and mental health warrior
@hedgerowyarns and meet Jane, classiest lady on my feed with the most beautiful photos and fabulous small business
And if you’d like a bit of help stepping up and shining, I’ve got a new little Facebook group called Show up and Shine.
It’s got me as your cheerleader and signposter to useful things that help with social media and other places you can show up, and it’s growing into a sweet and supportive little community. I’d love you to come and join us 🙂
I could see her so clearly, my little inner witch. 🧙♀️ It was in a dream. She’s about 8” tall, and towers tinily over her sacred fire. She’s sort of a miniature version of me, but with a wider, more elfin face, huge deep eyes and even more hair. She bustles with a magnetic energy, not concerned with her stature at all and completely comfortable in her own power… so I had to draw her. And add some flames for her to conjure with 🔥
My witchy self portrait over on Instagram really resonated with people. I had a lovely reaction to sharing this part of myself, and quite a few requests for me to draw other people.
Sooo, I have a few spots for commissions of YOUR inner witch.
So far I’ve drawn the magical Mishelle:
And the stunning Sara:
If you would like a portrait of your inner witch, you can message me on Instagram, find them in my online shop here, or drop me an email.
Here’s how it works:
⭐️ drop me a message and send me some pics of yourself or a link to your Instagram with some selfies
⭐️ I will create a customised witch drawing for you
⭐️ for £40 you will get a little video with animated flames and pretty bits, to share on your social media
⭐️ for £50 you’ll get that plus an A5 print of the drawing
I am having so much fun creating these magical portraits, and adding in cute animal familiars.