Family Feud or Full House? A Feng Shui Guide to Cherishing Family Relationships during the Holidays
Health and Family in the Holidays
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Can’t live with them and can’t live without them.

Who’s excited about seeing the in-laws or the ex and the new girlfriend or the bickering kids over the holidays?  Maybe not so much.

That being said, unless you live by yourself in the middle of the ocean on a deserted island; relationships are a part of your existence.  And even then, there would still be critters around to occupy your time and energy.

So, when the holidays start rolling around, are you in the camp: yay, I can’t wait to see everyone – we are going to have so much fun playing games, and taking hikes, and co-existing peacefully?  Or are you in the camp of: oy vey, I hope I can make it through the next hour?

Either way – Feng Shui can be a benefit and a helpful tool to navigating time with others.

And our time with others is important. 

You see, we humans are not meant to live in a vacuum – a void where we never interact with others.  We are meant to exchange energy with other living beings.  We are meant to co-exist and thrive and prosper in the world.  That’s what the Universe sets up for us.  We are meant to grow and have friends and family and co-workers and strangers at the bus stop with which to share a smile or a story or a moment in time.

So, what can you do when relationships feel difficult or even if things are humming along but you want to balance and boost those connections even more?

Look no further than your Health and Family gua.

Some Feng Shui perspectives and practitioners call this space “Health and Family;” some call it “Ancestors and Family.”  It’s the same thing.  Notably, there is another space in the bagua grid that is for love and romantic relationships known in many perspectives as Love and Relationships.  That section is for the special someone in your life – your partner – your person. The gua or section or grid area we are talking about here is for everyone else.

According to author Terah Collins in The Western Guide to Feng Shui, the Health and Family gua teaches the “importance of cultivating strong physical health, and loving family relations to act as supportive foundations through the periodic shocks and unforeseen ‘storms’ of life.”  Terah reminds us that family, in this sense, encompasses our “real” or blood family and our “chosen” family, meaning friends and loved ones.  A solid foundation in this gua “provides the springboard for expansion, growth, and happiness in life.”  And who doesn’t want that.

So, how does it work?  Well, take a look at your space where you live and work and find your Health and Family gua, located in the left center section of the bagua map. 

The Family and Ancestors or Health and Family gua is about nourishing our roots, our deeper connections.  Which is why it makes sense that the Feng Shui element for this space is Wood.  You can boost that energy by bringing wood element enhancements into a room, including but not limited to:

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  • Items in the blues and greens range of colors
  • Columnar shapes – think of a tree trunk such as vertical stripes
  • Real plants
  • Depictions of florals and plants in artwork
  • Floral prints and tapestries
  • Anything made of wood
  • Forest scenes

In addition to considering adding wood energy to a room, you can also look at five element balance.  In your room, are there other prominent elements that are literally or figuratively choking out or killing any wood growth?  Two wood controlling elements are fire and metal.  To think of it in real world terms, if you have a fire burning in the fireplace, and you add wood; well, it burns it up and leaves ashes in the midst.  Anyone else had a holiday meal that ended in ashes?  And metal is used to cut down a tree in the forest – so metal is a controlling element for wood as well.

On the other side, a superpower feng shui element to nurture wood energy is water.  That kind of makes sense in the real world too.  If you have a plant and you don’t water it – it dies.  So, it’s no surprise then that too little of wood energy in a space is known to present as distrusting or closed energy, shriveling up energetically.  And that’s the last thing we want when we are working on family energy.  Suggestions to add water energy to a space include: a fountain, the color black or dark navy, glass or mirrors, and art featuring water, to name a few.

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In essence,

  • bring in more wood
  • look at the controlling elements of fire and metal
  • add water to nurture the wood
  • and any combination of the above

There is no right or wrong answer – and there is no one way or exact balance of elements.  It’s what works for you.


Now that we have looked at our homes and office – let’s take this a bit further to the holidays.  What can we do feng-shui-wise to foster healthy family relationships and boundaries to make it through the holidays?  Because let’s be real – the holidays can add a bit of stress, maybe anxiety, and even conflict – even in the most wonderful of families.

Self Care for Family Relationships
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In feng shui, we are about honoring and nurturing energy, or chi, and finding balance.  Below we list a few energy tips to make the most of your holiday season and family time – take what works for you and leave the rest.

Remember everyone has a story.  Everyone is on this earth to learn something. Their “lesson” or journey is different than yours.  Not better; and not worse.  Try to not take things personally.  When you are triggered, it’s more about what is going on with you – so find that deeper meaning and focus on you.  You can’t do anything about them anyway.  Take care of you.

Limit your interactions.  Maybe you know your energy limit is a couple of hours.  Let that be ok.  You don’t have to do everything you are invited to attend.  You can say no. In the past, it seemed society placed such a guilt factor to make perfect happen all the time.  Times are changing as we become more intentional about what we believe and how we react and feel and live. Give what you can – do what you can – find your balance.

Check your expectations at the door.  Every single person there has an expectation of what they want and need, emotionally and physically.  Sara Pascoe says “I honestly believe true happiness lies in lowered expectations. In opening the door to let the air in.”  Sometimes expectations can rob you of living in or enjoying or a moment.  When you walk into a room with a “what I want to happen is” or “well, we know this is going to happen again (and not in a good way),” you set the stage for that exact thing to happen.  The Universe is listening.  Be careful what you wish for – be open and let better happen. 

Focus on the simple things.  Get out in nature.  Take a walk.  Watch a movie.  Drink water.  Phone a friend.  Meditate – there are a jillion meditation videos on YouTube you can find on your smartphone to do in 15 minutes.  Talk about a raise in your energy level.

When all else fails, tell a joke.  Laughter is a mood changer.  Laughter can shift energy faster than anything.  Remember the movie Monsters, Inc.? Laughter did more than fear could even imagine.

Last but not least, know that we are thinking of you.  We are sending you love.  We are with you in spirit and energy.  We lift everyone up for the greater good.  And we always will.

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