If you are suffering from the Autumn sniffles or struggling with the ever-shortening days and darker evenings, we’re here to help with natural ways to beat autumn cold.
Our immune systems can take a battering at this time of year, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Eat well (try not to reach for sugary quick-fix snacks when you are feeling tired), take a good quality vitamin supplement, get plenty of sleep and try to find some time in your day to be still and quiet. Sometimes you might need extra help to get back on track, like these 5 remedies below. All are based on natural ingredients, but if you are pregnant be wary of essential oils and check their suitability before using.
Here are 5 ways to see yourself happily into winter:
Make a spritz to spray on bedlinen (preferably pure linen, which will regulate your body temperature and keep you cosy yet comfortable) and cushion covers. Simply fill a spray bottle with one part vodka, four parts water and 30 drops of essential oils of your choice. Lavender, chamomile, bergamot and rose geranium are all lovely oils that create a calm yet energising atmosphere in your home.
Use a base of pure almond oil, add beeswax and a few drops of thyme and cedar to create an expectorant balm (or buy this one). Rub this on your chest to help ease chesty coughs or respiratory problems. You could also leave out the beeswax and use a few drops of the scented oil on a napkin to inhale throughout the day, or on your pillow at night.
Slice some fresh ginger and mix with hot water, a slice of fresh lemon, a pinch of cinnamon, one clove and a star anise. Drink this often throughout the day to soothe inflammation and boost your immune system.
Indulge in a DIY home spa moment by warming your favourite towel on a towel rail or radiator and running yourself a beautifully scented, luxurious bath. Add some delicious bath product, like Neal’s Yard Seaweed & Arnica foam bath (great for increasing energy and soothing an overtired body). We love the sound of Jane Inc’s Effervescent Bath Cube in Cold & Sinus (made with eucalyptus and lemongrass oils to help clear the respiratory system).
Make an immune-boosting tonic, like this elderberry syrup, and add to oatmeal, smoothies or yoghurt for an extra hit of Vitamin C and anthocyanins. Give your kids a spoonful each day to help them ward off infections and stay healthy into winter.
The slow living movement can seem rather monocultural, and many people are put off sustainable options like ethical clothing or green beauty products due to their price tag. It’s important that the message of living responsibly and minimising our impact on the environment is not just heard within its own echo chamber, or amongst those on higher incomes. Which is why we were delighted to find Cindy Luquin and her blog, Cultura con Wellness, where she talks about her efforts to empower the Latino community and people of colour through her intentionally conscious lifestyle. And we were even more thrilled when Cindy agreed to feature on A Simple Path.
So take a moment to yourself, sit back and enjoy Cindy’s thoughts on wellness, balance and how a major health trauma forced her to reevaluate her life.
Thanks so much for joining us, Cindy Luquin. Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
I am a Spanish translator/interpreter by profession and have more than eight years’ experience working in the public education sector. I received a B.A. in Spanish and completed healthcare interpretation training. I am currently working on my M.A. in Latin American Studies. The rest of the time I am a Latina Wellness Advocate, meaning I blog about topics in the sustainable lifestyle spectrum such as: green beauty, minimalism, less toxic alternatives, social justice, ancestral healing, environmentalism, etc. The start of my green journey began when I endured a laparoscopic surgery in 2015 that resulted in the removal of my entire right ovary due to a massive cyst. After that incident, I started paying attention to the products I was using along with foods I was eating.
If you had one piece of advice or wisdom to pass on to your younger self, what would it be?
It’s surprising that now in my 30s, I have had much time to think about this. I would advise my younger self to stop pushing myself to the brink when it came to physical activity because I was not in a healthy mindspace about my body in my 20s. I believe this resulted in my having back surgery almost a year ago. It was very difficult being a former athletic person to have to learn a new way of living, and a new mindset of what physical activity looks like now. I’ve learned to listen to my body to be kinder to myself.
What is it about the simple life that you find appealing?
I find the simple life so appealing because it takes the clutter out. It takes away having to worry about unnecessary things. We live in such a hustle and bustle attitude every day that we forget to stop and just look at nature. As a child, I had a real appreciation for nature. I am striving to remember that part of myself, that inner child that was satisfied with the simple things this earth has to offer.
How can we counter the pulls of content-sharing and curating images of our lives with the need for being in the moment?
I believe you have to find your own balance. Everyone has different circumstances, whether someone is a parent or student, or from a different socio-economic status. What I have found works for me is instead of cranking out post after post just for the sake of it, I like to ponder: What value will this provide? Who is the reader? If I were the reader what would be the takeaway? How can I stay true to myself along the process? I personally think we live in a digital world that likes to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to success or for appeal. These questions help me stay grounded in my content sharing and to live in the moment.
Who inspires you?
My ancestors and my family history inspires me. I like to hear people’s life stories; we don’t take enough time to listen to people or speak on the phone. Maintaining that connection to my roots is important in shaping who I am today, and the future generations after me.
What are your essential homeware items/ things you couldn’t do without?
My essential homeware items are my steel pots and pans which consist of four items. I use those for everything. They last so long and they cook everything perfectly without hassle.
What would you like to be doing in 10 years’ time?
I would like to be working in either a university for the Latin American Studies Department in some capacity or incorporate my knowledge of sustainability and Latin American Studies to bring more awareness in the green community for my Latino community in some capacity.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
The wildest thing I’ve ever done would probably be dying my hair blue when I was 20 and getting my nose pierced. My parents weren’t too happy as you can imagine. Much to their satisfaction that phase didn’t last too long, haha!
Do you ever have that thing when, as the season changes, you look into your clothes drawers or closet and realise you have NOTHING to wear? The weather here changed so dramatically in the space of just a few days taking us from shorts to woolly socks seemingly overnight. And there seems to be very little in the closet that will actually work for right now. If you are organised, your fall/winter wardrobe will be stored safely awaiting this change in temperature and you can just switch them around. But if, like us, you just seem to have no appropriate clothes, here’s how to clear out your closet and make your wardrobe work for you this season.
To get started, empty all your clothes onto the bed. Hold each item in turn and ask yourself these questions:
What a treat we have in store for you this month! We are picking the brains of the lovely Katherine Heath of Wild Grey Skies for her thoughts on all things sustainable and natural. Katherine is a social media manager and content creator* at (hug) London, who not only takes gorgeous pictures, but also has lots of wisdom to share about ways we can be more ethical in our consumption, and how to attain more balance in our lives.
Welcome, Katherine Heath!
1. Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
Many of us strive to slow down and lead simpler, slower lives but just don’t know where to start. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by things-to-do, work, family and all the other things that can trap us into what feels like an endlessly revolving door? Do you browse social media or magazines and end up feeling envy at other people’s seemingly perfect homes or holidays or relationships? Sometimes we need a bit of help to bring ourselves back to what really matters. These 6 books will do just that. From ways to radically change your life to simple steps towards feeling freer and happier, these books have something for everyone seeking to live better, with less.
1.For a major life-overhaul
This month we are delighted to be joined by Heather Hall from thesiftedlife.co. Heather has developed a programme to help people ‘sift’ their lives – to get rid of clutter, to find simplicity and create more time for the things they love. She lives, and works, by this mantra: “There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less” (G. K. Chesterton). Her aim is to support and guide people who are feeling overwhelmed by ‘stuff’ and help them live better, with less.
Sit back and enjoy her insightful, thoughtful interview. We think you will love her ideas on carving out a simple path through this crazy world.
We are super excited to be joined on A Simple Path this week by Dorian Bowen of The Welsh House. You may already know Dorian from his gorgeous Instagram account, but if not, or if you’ve always wanted to know more about the man behind the pictures, read on.
You won’t feel quite as rested as if you had just woken up to a dewy morning on a Welsh hillside, but his words will bring solace and respite from the busyness of your day. Savour this one.
1.Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
With the ever-increasing pace of modern life, many of us are turning to the outdoors as a way of slowing down and enjoying simpler pleasures. Wild swimming is becoming an increasingly popular way to connect with Nature and enjoy a different way of being outside. We thought we’d see what all the fuss is about.
What is wild swimming?
The loose definition of wild swimming is any open water swimming, whether a lido or an ocean, but different people have different takes on the precise requisite for a stretch of water to be classed as ‘wild’. Basically, if you are under the sky, not a roof, you are wild swimming.
We are so pleased to be joined for our A Simple Path series by Julia Smith, creator of Humphrey & Grace and taker of stunning photographs over on Instagram as @humphreyandgrace. Julia has an eye for beautiful, natural wildscapes and sumptuous florals, all with a gentle aesthetic and underlying belief in cherishing the simple moments in life. She works with brands to create photographic content and on social media strategies, and is an all-round Instagram superstar, so we are very grateful to her for sharing her wisdom and thoughts here.
Julia has great advice for connecting with each other and disconnecting with our screens, on teaching children to be compassionate and measured about their online time, on how to manage Instagram, and on carving out time for simple pleasures amidst the hurly-burly of everyday life. Her website is a treasure trove of creative inspiration, practical photography and social media advice, and inspiring conversations.
Read on, this is a true treat.
1. Thanks so much for joining us Julia Smith, we are beyond excited to have you. Can you tell us what you do and how you came to be doing it?
I am a photographer and Instagrammer. For the most part I create content for social media both for myself and for brands, sometimes I share this content in my gallery and sometimes it is simply work for my clients. Either way it is a job I adore.
Amanda Saurin has been on our radar for a while now. Not just because her beautiful flagship store is in our hometown, but also because of her joyful and inspirational approach to her business, A.S APOTHECARY – and indeed to life. Infused with Amanda’s love of plants, her organic skincare products are exquisite concoctions aimed at promoting not just beauty but wellbeing. Her range is carefully curated and each plant is hand selected to ensure only the highest quality ingredients find their way into a product. We caught up with Amanda between a trip to Cyprus sourcing plants for her skincare range and installing her new Alembic Still (a mighty-looking copper contraption for distilling), and picked her brains about what she does and why she loves it.