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East Village, London

With 25 acres of parks and wetlands, East Village is a place to breathe the air and get active. Even our gigs and gatherings take place outdoors.

Elephant Central, London

Perfectly placed to make the most of the city, yet with a character and community all of its own.

New Maker Yards, Manchester

The buzz of two great cities. The cool calmness of the canals. A place to live, work, meet friends.

6 steps to surviving winter (whatever tier you’re in)

1. Eat yourself happy

Make sure you’re on your A-game this season, in skin, body and mind by taking time to think about what you’re putting in your fridge and in your bod. Winter months call for immune-boosting superfoods, warming dishes that are satisfying and utterly de-lish. Build up your amour with do-good foods.

Start your day with satisfying warming oats (packed with B-vitamins and magnesium), sprinkle with honey, blueberries, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon for extra NOM and OOMPH!

Get a good serving of dark winter greens (vitamin C). Kale and spinach can be washed-chopped and added to pretty much any soup/stir fry/curry/frittata – or whack a handful in your blender with your daily juice ingredients. If you mean business, try a nob of fresh ginger and a sprinkle of turmeric too.

And while it’s darker and we spend more time inside, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D (oranges, mushrooms, red meat and oily fish). The NHS recommends we all take a daily dose of 10 micrograms, for bones and to help with our PMA (positive mental attitude) try one of these supplements.

 

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For delicious home-cooked meals for busy (‘normal’) people follow @flossiesaunders #foodwithflossie

2. Smell yourself to better health

Cowshed room diffusers, £30; candles, £38.

Smells have an effect on our mood and mindset. They have the ability to conjure memories and ‘transport’ us to another place or time. Get a whiff of a perfume you wore when you were a teenager and feel that pang of teenage angst. Smell the washing powder your parents used… and be transported back to home. The power of smell is a wonderful thing – just look at the aromatherapy industry. This ancient art of using different essential oils to help us feel better is comforting us right now and will be throughout winter and beyond.

Whether you turn to pure essential oils, see Aromatherapy Associates, Neal’s Yard and TIsserand; or essential oil infused candles and body products, see brands like Cowhsed.  You can use essential oils to enhance your environment and your mood. Transform your home with woody scents like sandalwood for its calming effect or look to citrus scents when you need to be sharp and focused. Supercharge a bath* with oils like bergamot and black pepper, this masculine combo is the perfect medicine for tired, post-gym muscles. Or help yourself get off to sleep with the scent of wild lavender** – and that’s just scratching the surface. There are hundreds of essential oils.

Neal’s Yard has a handy website to help you navigate essential oils and their friendly staff are great to answer all of your questions.

* never use pure essential oils directly on your skin or in your bath, essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil like almond or coconut oil first (both widely available).
** Wild lavender has a higher lavandin content which is better for relaxation and sleep.

Try these: Tisserand, Roll-On Wellbeing, £15. Neal’s Yard Frankincense collection, starts from £14. Aromatherapy Associates, Revive & Deep Sleep shower oils, £11 each.

3. Invest in a restorative massage

Massage is good for the body and mind.

The professional therapists at FIX know a thing or two about the importance of selfcare. ‘You only have one body to walk around in, so you need to look after it,’ says Luke Selby, Osteopath and Clinic Director at FIX, East Village.

FIX certainly isn’t a spa, it’s a performance and physical health clinic with a team of friendly, multi-talented therapists all under one roof. Massage is just one area of expertise and the team offer the full range, from relaxing deep tissue to sports and remedial massage, acupressure and stretching, as well as catering to specialisms like lymphatic drainage and pregnancy massage; the team also treat specialist issues, elderly patients and children.

From a soothing massage session to finding the route of a particular pain or niggle, the team are able to listen to your needs and will suggest the right treatment for you. FIX also offers physiotherapy, osteopathy, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, counselling, pilates, yoga and coaching for runners, to make sure you come away feeling satisfied.

‘Our therapists bring a wealth of knowledge to the treatment room,’ says Luke, ‘and massage can be a great part of anyone’s self-care routine.  Massage boosts circulation, helps to reduce aches, pains and improve joint mobility.  It’s also great for our mental health and wellbeing. Taking time to look after ourselves and relax is always important but now, maybe more than ever,’ adds Luke.

FIX’s East Village and London Fields clinics are open 7-days a week and the accommodating team are on call to help you find the very best therapies for you and get you booked in.

* Additional robust hygiene and screening procedures have been put in place to ensure the clinic is safe, fully Covid-compliant but still remains super comfortable for all clients.

4. Join a Book Club

Always been meaning to read more books and join a book club but just haven’t had the time? Well Shelter’s online Book Club makes it simple.

For just £4.99 a month you’ll get two book recommendations every six weeks, one recommendation is from Shelter around the theme of social justice and the other is chosen by the Book Club members around any theme.

There’s access to the online community of members to discuss the books as you read them and then at the end of the six week cycle there’s a virtual book club meeting (usually on a Thursday evening) where you can get involved in open discussions and have your say and all from the comfort of your own home.

You’ll also get exclusive access to author question and answers, plus discounts and promotions on products. There’s also absolutely no pressure and you can dip in and out however it suits you. It’s a fantastic way to get back into the swing of reading again, to meet like-minded people online and all the while making a huge difference to Shelter charity, that works to help homelessness in the UK. See you online!

5. Say yes to fancy booze

If you aren’t dry-monthing, why not pre-order some lovely booze for the weekend (because you’re worth it).  Over lockdown, alcohol companies saw a significant spike in online orders, as we all tried to placate ourselves and entertain ourselves at home. If you’re out and about less, spending a little more (and really not much more) on better weekend treats makes sense.

Beer lovers need to acquaint themselves with the fantastic family run SevenBro7hers brewery, based pleasingly close to New Makers Yard, this family run business by, you guessed it – seven beer loving brothers – know all there is to know about good beer, making  their very own IPA, lager, ale and stout. Order your beer-packs for home and all new customers will get an instant 10% discount. While the boys are busy brewing beer, their savvy-sisters are distilling very good limited edition gin over at Sis4ers Distillery.

For wine, check out Moscato life and be inspired to quaff this sweet sweet nectar by London based husband-and-wife duo/Moscato connoisseurs, who launched their company earlier this year. For all of your artisanal Italian wine cravings, see Passion e Vino, based in Shoreditch-heartland. This divine little enclave = wine shop + bar that also serves yummy traditional plates sources little gems from small producers and delivers them nationwide (NEXT DAY) – chin, chin!

6. Get hands on

Interiors inspirations: This velvet and tassel light courtesy of Oliver Bonas. Make your own Harris Tweed lampshade, with this handy Etsy starter pack. Be inspired to get hands-on by these crafty sisters hailing from across the pond.

Want to entertain yourself, learn something new and have something to show at the end of it? Everyone’s making lampshades, don’t cha know. Not only featured in the Sunday Times Style Magazines HOTLIST, the New York Times also dedicated a whole feature to lampshade pimpin’. And the good thing is, however good you are or aren’t with your hands, there’s an entry point for all of us.

Whether you buy a basic shade and get painting or you craft a pretty epic Tweed-ensemble thanks to Etsy’s all-you-need making packs. The best part is it can then take pride of place in your home and be a conversation starter among all of your followers on the ‘gram (because let’s face it we’re probably not having visitors over this month) OR, you can give it to a beloved as a thoughtful Xmas gift.

Either way, taking time to focus fully on something that isn’t work or the news gives your brain a well-deserved break. AND all the while you’re upskilling. Win-win. Enjoy and do share your makes with us by tagging @simplygetliving on Insta!