The Winter Solstice will soon be here. I used to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While I can’t control the length of days, I focus more on little rituals focusing on self-care and spiritual needs to welcome the season.  Every since our Mystic Issue, I’ve been particularly interested in the Pagan side of the season. 

I recently read a study that one of the reasons Swedes are happy is because they contribute to green acts like buying eco-labels and recycling.  Coincidentally, giving back to nature is a winter solstice tradition.  This season, I being extra conscious, whether it’s packaging or ingredients, to be natural and carbon neutral.

 You won’t see me dressed in white with a red sash and a crown of candles on my head, but here are some new self-care traditions that I will be embracing this season with a modern touch inspired by one of my favorite eco-luxury brands Björk & Berries.


Step 1: Mood

Swedes are said to light the most candles in the world, but before you light the candle, spend a moment in darkness. I like to do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Then light a candle to welcome and honor the light.

Editors Pick: Cabinet Scented Candle by Björk & Berries

Light the Cabinet Scented Candle in collaboration with London based British artist Fee Greening, the scent pays homage to the deep forests of Jämtland.


Step 2: Meditate

If you want to take out any crystals or special stones, this is a nice time to hold them or place them next to the candle for reflection.  If you have difficulties meditating, you can find a guided meditation online or say a little prayer. #Blessed is overused on socials, so turn everything off and feel it, visualize it and say:

“I am grateful for that which I have.
I am not sorrowful for that which I do not.
I have more than others, less than some,
but regardless, I am blessed with
what is mine.”

Editor’s Pick: Settler Fringed Embroidered Mohair Blanket from Jupe by Jackie

My Grandma made me my first prayer shawl, I can’t describe the feeling except that it’s like a comforting hug. The power of the prayer shawl is in the thoughts imbued in the shawl. Either yourself or someone else can bless or pray on the shawl which you will keep to meditate in for years. This is blanket from Jupe by Jackie creates a comforting and safe space around you.


Step 3: Tea

A cup of tea after meditation in the morning or evening can continue to calm your mind, allowing you to focus your energies for the day.  Just like with meditation, it is good to do this in a clean, decluttered space.  To bring out the warming notes of the season, look for blends with star anise and cinnamon.

Editor’s Pick: BY JAPAN + Ceramic Japan Dobkin Tea Set

I love this Japanese ‘Dobkin’ style set for my two favorite words of the season: tradition and modernity. It includes a ceramic teapot fitted with a wooden handle and five traditional yunomi cups.


STEP 4: Moisturize the Body

During the winter you need an extra layer of moisturizer. Winter is a tough time for dry skin, and after all you have to be comfortable in your own skin. I actually find that serums with a blend of oils do the trick, especially if your aim is a non-sticky glow.


Editor’s Pick: Body Serum by Björk & Berries

This body serum is a blend of natural oils, which provides deep hydration to the skin. This concentrated oil serum is enriched with a blend of borage oils, sunflower seed oil, birch leaf extract, and jojoba seed oil, in order to deeply hydrate and help the skin to revitalize.


Step 5: Clean Routine

Developing a cleansing ritual is all about nourishing your skin. If you don’t understand the ingredients, then you should probably avoid it. Aim for plant and earth-based ingredients and avoid harsh products that can be saved for fall or spring. The overall lack of humidity during winter in the air pulls moisture out of the skin quicker. Even though it’s cold outside, don’t wash with hot water, no matter how tempting it is. Aim for lukewarm.

Editor’s Pick: Nourishing Cleanser and Vitamin Moisturizer by Björk & Berries

Cleanse and moisturize your face with the Clean Routine duo, composed of a vitamin moisturizer and a nourishing cleanser made up of gel-clay formula, perfect for any skin wanting the sensation of deep cleanse that doesn’t leave the skin tight or dehydrated.


Step 6: Apply Suitable Oil

For years, I avoided oil because I thought it would make my skin look greasy, now my skin drinks it all up and high-quality oils create a glow when our skin usually looks most dull in winter.  It’s important to know your skin and then choose the most suitable oil for your skin type. Oil will protect you from the winter harshness outside and inside.

Editor’s Pick: Face Oil by Björk & Berries

Björk & Berries launched a trio of face oils right before fall this year. These oils are made up of the most potent berries that Swedish nature can offer. Each of them has specific properties. I am both acne-prone and showing signs of aging with Hemp Seed Oil and Backuchiol (nature’s answer to retinol), I’m currently using the RASPBERRY + BAKUCHIOL FIRMING FACE OIL.


Step 7: Start or End Your Day with a Book

My favorite part of summer and winter is both reading! Winter months were usually spent sharing folklore and sagas. Giving books is also my favorite gift-giving tradition. In Iceland, they even have a word for it: Jólabókaflóð.

Editor’s Pick: Wild Mann by Charles Freger

I still get books from the library and borrow reads from friends, however, photography books to hold onto and love are my secret pleasure. Wild Mann by Charles Freger is currently in its fourth edition and features dress and traditions from Winter and Summer Solstices from around the world.