How to Welcome Wellness and Slow-Living into your Home
We’re all practising social distancing right now, but wellness and slow-living are two guests you can invite in.
At any time, but particularly in this one, wellness is an enviable status. It is deep-set contentment, a feeling of being at home in yourself and your life. This might seem like a big ask when you’re confined to your home, unable to travel and perhaps unable to work.
You may even feel that slow-living – that languid, lazing-on-a-sunny-afternoon life the Italians do so well – is a penance. Whether a worker bee intent on buzzing, or a mountain head pining for a hike, normal life is temporarily suspended. You’re in stasis.
If any of this is true for you, our team at Lake Country House are here (virtually) to help. In lieu of extending our hospitality to you, we have created a guide to help you fill your home with the lovely, sun-flared, cockle-warming atmosphere of an undeniably good place.
Our movements are not so limited that we cannot use them positively, to embrace slow-living and live well during lockdown.
How to Make the Most of Your Home Space
Keep it fresh: declutter your space, removing items that are neither practical nor pleasurable. A clearer space is calmer, feels more spacious and is easier to keep clean. Make an effort to stay on top of housework to keep your space as enjoyable to be in as possible. Inject life into your home by clearing your windowsills, using any mirrors you have to reflect their light back through the room. If you have houseplants keep them well nourished, and if you are able to grow seedlings.
Distinct Areas: if you are working from home, resist the temptation to work in bed or from the sofa. Opting for a standing desk or an upright chair at a table will protect your back and your work-life boundary.
Workout Zone: keep your yoga mat, weights, any other equipment or simply a designated space free to do equipment-free circuits or online classes.
Comforting Corner: create a soft and cosy refuge to relax in. Arrange your favourite things here, like a scented candle and a blanket. Come here to switch off with a book, a mug of tea or a record.
Being in different places makes us feel different and experience life differently, nowhere more so than in a spa. Sanction self-indulgence in your home with these recipes from our spa team.
Sugar & Salt Scrub
To make this deliciously scented sugar body scrub, simply use a fork to combine ¼ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of sea salt and ¼ cup of coconut oil in a bowl. Then, add essential oils of your choice and stir through. We used 5 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of peppermint.
DIY Face mask
If you’re missing the Temple Spa Power Breakfast Facial, try making this facemask with oats and honey. Oats have anti-inflammatory and exfoliating properties, whilst honey is antibacterial and rich in antioxidants. We have added lemon juice and tea tree oil for their antiseptic properties, making this mask a brilliant spring cleanser, great for ridding your skin of pimples and blackheads.
Simply blend a tablespoon of oats until they resemble flour, then stir in a tablespoon of runny honey, ¼ of a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and two drops of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is naturally antiseptic, like honey and lemon.
Slow down with these wholesome activities:
- Handwriting letters to family
- Making cards
- Sketching objects around your home, your view, or from photographs
- Dabbling in watercolour
- Learning calligraphy
- Painting a rainbow for your window
- Making a photo album
- Getting creative in the kitchen
- Learning or playing an instrument
Wild garlic is in season now. On your daily walk be sure to look out for luxuriant banks of green, and the tell-tale aroma of garlic. Pick the leaves that are high up (out of reach of dogs and other animals) and keep them in a bag. Once home, wash them thoroughly in salted water, pat them dry with a clean tea towel, and either keep in the fridge for salads, dressings, and other recipes, or stow in the freezer. Wild garlic makes a flavoursome, colourful and nutritious addition to any cuisine, making it an excellent thing to have on hand.
Grind the fresh leaves into a mouth-tingling pesto, bake in bread, chuck into soups and curries, and gently wilt into pasta dishes and risotto.
Our Wild Garlic Pesto recipe:
• 100g wild garlic leaves
• 50g Cheddar, grated
• 50g cashews, lightly toasted
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Fresh lemon juice, to taste
• Sea salt
Thoroughly wash your wild garlic and place in a food processor, blitz until fairly well broken up. Next, crumble in the cheddar or other hard cheese and process further. The cheese helps to break down the garlic leaves.
Add your cashews, then as they are broken down trickle in the olive oil to your desired consistency.
Season with salt, pepper and a spritz of fresh lemon juice to taste. Keeps in a clean jar in the fridge for a week, or in pots in the freezer for 3 months.
Do not underestimate the importance of a daily dose of nature and endorphins from your walk, run or cycle.
Now is the time to explore your backyard and unearth the footpaths that have been claimed by brambles.
If you have more time on your hands than usual, why not set yourself an ambitious exercise challenge or incorporate online classes into your day-to-day?
Make the most of technology. Connect with your friends and family online. There are a multitude of free apps offering video calling and even interactive games. You can also find the games yourselves- collaborate on the Guardian’s online crossword, or organise a weekly family quiz, with the household who scores the least being tasked with writing the following week’s questions. Not only is this a fun way to spend an evening, but the social contact is important in wielding off feelings of loneliness.
The above said, know when to switch your screens off. Staying informed is one thing, consuming news updates the second they appear is another. Give your dopamine cycle some reprieve and turn off your notifications, or better still, devices. Read a book, write a journal entry, eat a meal entirely by candlelight. You could try a digital detox or have a go at meditating. If you’re new to the latter but interested in learning more, Insight Timer is a fabulous free app and online resource full of guided meditations, readings of bedtime stories, breath work videos and meditation music. It’s a helpful tool with videos designed for anxiety, stress, and sleep.
We hope you stay well during this strange time. The Welsh countryside sits, quietly resting. Waiting to welcome you back.
We’ll end with this, from Novelist, Matt Haig:
I love the stillness. The blueness of the sky. Clear air. Birdsong not traffic. Lone footsteps. Spring flowers blooming with new defiance. People say it feels dead. It also feels more alive. Like leaning in to hear the earth’s heartbeat.