Spring Cleansing: Mind, Body, & Home {HEALTH & WELLNESS}

Spring Cleansing
Spring is almost here and readying its blossoms. This is the time when we emerge from our layers and unburden ourselves from Winter’s sedentariness. We often lighten from the outside by cleansing our homes of clutter and excess. And, we cleanse from the inside by purifying our minds and bodies.

Many have watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix series, Tidying Up, that offers ideas on how to organize and purge our homes of clutter, allowing us to open up and brighten our spaces. We tackle this by letting go of material items and clearing our homes of the years of amassed clothing, shoes, and books. We’ve ‘KonMari-ed’ our home and recently took on our sister’s kitchen cupboards! We felt a bit like Monica Geller from the television show Friends (if you know what we mean :)), but we got the job done!

For our bodies, cleansing may include exfoliating the dead layer of Winter’s skin that has been hidden underneath heavy, thick clothing. Also, choosing the right foods including leafy greens like kale, watercress, and arugula and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant foods like ginger, garlic, turmeric, lemon, and berries can help to heal and protect our bodies (we’ll include some of our favorite green smoothie recipes in an upcoming post).

For our minds, cleansing our thoughts may feel like the most challenging task. Because how do we stop our minds from drifting, especially to negative thoughts that can affect both our minds and bodies? What can we do?

For us, taking long walks gets our body moving and allows us to reconnect with nature from which we draw inspiration and to clear our thoughts. Life’s details snare us. So, we turn off our cellphones and disconnect from the social noise so that we can reflect in the beauty before us and, most importantly, the beauty within us. We admire the perfect imperfections of nature. Not every tree is perfect. There are many with fractured branches. But that’s what gives each tree its character. Not all the rocks are uniform in shape. Yet, the variations in shape allow for greater contrast and a varied flow in the waters. It’s the combination of these differences that create the perfect picture that we call life. So, take a step back and breathe. Let the fresh air purify your body and mind.

More recently, we’ve also found that meditation can help to clear our minds, especially of any negativity and distractions that can draw us down a seemingly endless rabbit hole. As we researched the meditative practice, we reviewed material from Oprah Winfrey, Marie Forleo, Gabrielle Bernstein, and Dan Harris whose book, 10% Happier, gave us a good understanding of how meditation can help many to be more centered in their personal and professional lives. Meditation takes time and discipline to effectively incorporate into our day-to-day lives but it’s a practice that can help us remain focused on what’s most important…our health and well-being.

For us, we’re still working on honing the meditative practice. Oftentimes we find it hard to stop thinking about the dishes that have piled up in the sink or the loads of laundry that need to be washed, but we’re working on that :).

Choose the practice that feels most comfortable to embrace into your life. Take the time to disconnect from the social noise so that you can reconnect with your inner self. It will help to disentangle from the minutia and allow your mind and body to cleanse.

Thank you for being kind to your body.

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Are you a year-round allergy sufferer? [HEALTH & WELLNESS]

Incessant sneezing. Runny nose. Watery eyes. Asthmatic conditions. Itchy skin. Oh the signs and symptoms of allergies! With Spring on its way…this is the time we begin to brace ourselves for the onslaught of allergy-inducing culprits that oftentimes are pollen related.

But do you suffer from allergies year round? Could it be caused by dust and dust mites? Dust mites?! Those microscopic eight-legged creatures that dwell and accumulate in our beds, in our closets, in our furnishings, and in the warm and moist areas in our homes. They feed on dead skin flakes and their fecal matter, secretions and the mites can cause skin irritations and allergies.

So, what are some things we can do to mitigate our allergy symptoms year round? Here are a few tips that we’ve found helpful to reduce allergens and to improve our overall health and wellbeing:

  • Invest in a HEPA air filter to better purify the air inside your home.
  • Vacuum furnishings, sofas and sofa cushions, carpeting, mattresses, and floors regularly. If possible, vacuum daily to rid your home of dirt, dust, bugs, pollen, and allergy-causing culprits. Seal and dispose of the vacuum bag and contents immediately when you’re done. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, whenever possible.
  • Use protective covers for your mattresses and pillows to keep allergens out so that you can breathe easier and get a better night’s sleep.
  • Wash bedding and clothing in hot water and dry in the hottest dryer setting possible.
  • Let the sun shine in to kill bugs but cleaning is still necessary to rid the home of allergens.

So, with some thorough cleaning, decluttering, and preventive measures, we hope these tips can help you breathe easier all year round.

Thank you for being kind to your body!

Come by our Crafts in Chelsea Spring Festival!

Crafts in Chelsea Spring 2014 Festival

 Join us at our Crafts in Chelsea Spring Festival! This event is a collaboration between Etsy New York and PS11, where proceeds help to support the school. Come by and enjoy some family-friendly events and shop jewelry, home decor, bath and body and more!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

10:00am – 4:00pm

Crafts in Chelsea Spring Festival

West 21st Street (btw 8th & 9th Avenues)

New York, NY 10011

Naturally Susan’s at the Queens Botanical Garden’s 4th Annual Arbor Festival!

Queens Botanical Garden

Join us for a fun-filled day at QBG’s 4th Annual Arbor Festival.

Enjoy a variety of activities for all ages including a petting zoo, arts and crafts, live music, facepainting, tours, food and craft vendors, consultations with tree and compost experts, and a beer tent!  

Sunday, April 27, 2014

11am to 6pm

Queen’s Botanical Garden

43-50 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355

The Designers at The Fashion Center’s Emerging Designers Trunk Show

The Designers at The Fashion Center’s Emerging Designers Trunk Show

The designers at our Emerging Designers Trunk Show March 7, 2012

From Left:

* Liz (www.EtcModernVintage.com)
* Susan (www.NaturallySusans.com)
* Ryan (www.FashionCenter.com)
* Emily (www.EKammeyer.com)
* Rachel (www.NonaERose.com)

Photo courtesy of Liz Teich and The Fashion Center