Boosting immunity and practising self-care both seem to be a big part of my life right now. After all, ’tis the season for bugs and burnout! In this column, I’m sharing what to buy, DIY and try in the world of wellness right now!

I was invited to the launch of Rhug Wild Beauty a few weeks ago and having thoroughly tested out this beautiful cleansing balm since then, I can now give my verdict… Before I do, it is worth noting that my skin is a little on the sensitive side (I have mild rosacea) and I very rarely risk switching up my beauty routine for fear of causing a flare-up or worsening my sensitivity. My beauty cupboard is pretty nonexistent and for the most part, remains unchanged. After learning about Rhug’s lengthy and meticulous process of creating this skincare line, using the highest quality ingredients hand harvested from the Rhug Estate and the promise of it being incredibly gentle for sensitive skin, I took the plunge and I do not regret it! The smell, goodness me, is heavenly. It’s so nourishing and balmy… you could almost use it as a mask before washing off to savour the wonderful ingredients just a bit longer, I think it’s everything you want from a cleanser. It leaves my skin soft, clean and really calm. Converted. I highly recommend.

Anyone who knows me well will know I hate swallowing pills or tablets. At a push (and in any emergency!) I will do it, but I really do avoid it as much as I can. I don’t know why… it makes me anxious for some reason. So, I am your girl for hunting down great liquid supplements that are, in my opinion, much easier to take and very often provide a better all-round supplement that is quicker and more effective to absorb. I’m testing Love Liposomal’s Vitamin C & Zinc at the moment and really loving it. Firstly, Vit C in winter is a no-brainer but zinc is an interesting one and a mineral I have been meaning to supplement for a while. It too is great for immunity (and lots of other things) but it’s also meant to be good for hair health. I often suffer from hair fall (not hair loss… that’s different) and upon researching ways to combat this, a zinc deficiency often comes up as being linked to poor hair growth and hair fall. 

Light Bathing
Something I’m trying to do every day (ok some days better than others) is getting a morning dose of light bathing. Some people refer to it as a “sun shower” or “light shower”, but in short Light Bathing is getting sun exposure first thing in the morning (yes even in winter) and it has so many benefits. It helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, increases the production of serotonin which is so important for good sleep and mood (many scientists believe serotonin is a key player for those suffering with depression) and of course, provides a dose of Vitamin D. Cloudy days shouldn’t deter you because these benefits still apply, just be sure to take off your sunnies (absorption through your eyes is important too), bare a little skin and soak up the light. Obviously, in the summer it’s easy to incorporate this into your morning but in winter it can feel less appealing! I either head to my local park with my dog, Rosie, or I wrap up warm, sometimes with hot water bottle under my coat, and sit outside to drink my morning cuppa. Do it!

Hot/Cold Showers
Great for boosting the lymphatic and immune systems, hot/cold therapy has many health benefits that will help support your overall well-being. Scientists have found that exposure to cold speeds up metabolism, reduces inflammation, and is linked to improved sleep and a better immune response. You don’t need a snazzy cryo-chamber to reap the benefits, you can simulate the same experience by playing with your hot and cold taps next time you shower. Do a couple of bursts for each to really activate the lymphatic system. You’ll come to realise what an energising experience a shower can be!

The Devout
If you’re always on the lookout for a more sustainable way to enjoy fashion then you must check out The Devout. The Devout is an eco-friendly and sustainable fashion rental platform that offers stunning clothing for the every day, as well as for those who want to dress up for a night out, an event, or even a wedding. The platform offers its subscribers the chance to rent out their pieces month-on-month, helping to reduce the disposal and waste of fashion – encouraging them to stop filling the backs of their wardrobes with clothes they’ve only worn once, and never plan on wearing again. This is really innovative way to still enjoy discovering new items for your wardrobe but at a much lower cost to the environment.

Nasal Breathing
A few months ago I saw someone post a video on Tik Tok about how bad it was to breathe through your mouth. I thought it sounded very odd but I was intrigued to discover why and how nose breathing is so important for your well-being. Since I saw that video, I’m reading more and more about the benefits of nasal breathing and why we all need to stop breathing through our mouths! From my findings, nasal breathing is the body’s primary mechanism for taking in oxygen. Mouth breathing is secondary and can signal to the body that we are in “distress” and not functioning optimally. Of course, when you’re physically active and getting in your daily dose of endorphins, mouth breathing is unavoidable and totally necessary to allow more oxygen in. BUT… the benefits of nasal breathing in everyday life (particularly while sleeping) is hard to ignore. Nasal breathing is better for filtering out dust and bacteria, has been shown to improve cognitive function, warms, humidifies and pressurises the air as you breathe which improves your ability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs and because of that, it can lead to better oxygen deliverability and improved blood circulation. Your posture is also important for your airways so improving this could help you breathe easier through your nose. Desk hunchers I’m talking to you! Some people also tape their mouths at night to avoid mouth breathing! However, if you struggle with a consistently blocked nose, especially at night it might be worth speaking to your GP to try and find a solution.

words by Molly Jennings