10 Wellness and Slow Living Practices
Updated: Jun 10
By Dominique Del Col
Holistic Wellness Educator and the Founder, Herbalist, and Formulator behind Tidelands House Stillroom and Wildwood
As a herbalist and holistic wellness advocate, here are some of the essential practices that I love!
Morning Movement: I start as the sun rises every day by moving through a simple and nourishing yoga and stretching routine to open and awaken my body. I often lay on an acupressure mat to increase blood flow and circulation or recline quietly in a heart-opening pose with sturdy wooden blocks supporting my shoulders and neck as I breathe deeply into my belly and down to my toes. These slow movements are incredibly refreshing and soothing to the nervous system. The perfect self-care practice to help you feel rooted and peaceful as you begin your day. Depending on how my day is planning to unfold, this ritual might be 10 minutes or 60 minutes, but it always feels marvellous!
Holistic Oral Hygiene: Following my morning yoga practice, I hold and swish a spoonful of raw, unrefined organic coconut oil in my mouth for about 10-20 minutes. I follow with a quick tongue cleanse using a solid copper tongue scraper to initiate gentle mouth detoxification based on an ancient ayurvedic practice. Then I use my natural-bristle bamboo toothbrush with cool ceramic filtered water, rinse with pink salt brine in a mason jar in my bathroom, then use a biodegradable silk dental floss or water flosser to access any hard-to-reach spots. Dental care is a crucial aspect of whole-body wellness, and I always feel so much better when I attend to the needs of my oral microbiome.
Clean Skincare: Simplicity, non-toxic formulation, and earth-consciousness are the pillars of my skincare ethos. I use a locally made herbal soap bar for hand, and body cleansing and a similar bar formulated for hair to wash my locks - no packaging, low waste, and a short, clean ingredients list are a huge draw! For more nutrient-dense, targeted facial care, I have been gravitating this season towards our studio-crafted Thé Sauvage Wild Greens Facial Serum, with Mer Celtique Marine Dew Drops Serum Booster and Terrain Sage Cellular Repair Concentrate Facial Balm. Then, it's a generous drizzle of Reishi Boréale Sun Defence Body Serum for golden, sundrenched days. I'm ready to greet the day with a quick splash of cool water and these nourishing formulas! Face and Body Dry Brushing is a wonderful Ayurvedic skin care practice that is also truly worth exploring. It helps encourage detoxification by increasing blood circulation and lymphatic drainage and unclogs pores while gently exfoliating. In addition, it stimulates the nervous system, which helps boost energy and leaves you feeling invigorated while encouraging supple and glowing skin.
Good Salt: I garnish with a small amount of Celtic Sea Salt for every meal. This damp grey salt is harvested in France and contains vital trace minerals from the ocean waters, which microorganisms, algae and plants have transformed into organic nutrients. As a result, Celtic Salt is one of the most bioavailable salts for consumption. It is also delicious and flavourful. For a speedy adrenal cocktail, add a pinch of Celtic Salt to a glass of equal parts coconut water, tart cherry juice, and a scoop of collagen powder of choice.
Wild Herbals: We buy local produce and herbs from small, organic, biodynamic farms and keep a sweet little garden bed for medicinal plants and culinary spices. I adore a few droppers of our house-made La Serre Daily Vitamin Tonic. A slow-crafted herbal extract rich in nutrients and minerals for nourishing vitality, derived from our cottage-grown garden with Nettle Leaf, Peppermint, Wild Rosehips, Holy Basil, Skullcap, Red Raspberry Leaf, Dandelion Root, Astragalus Root, and Lemon Balm, along with wild coastal seaweeds. For an added phytonutrient boost, I also add fresh herbs to everything from tea to salads to hearty warm dishes. Garlic Mustard Pesto with Calendula and Borage Flower Salad? Yes, please!
Non-Toxic Cleaning: We cleanse our entire home to a sparkling finish with only pure white vinegar, baking soda, biodegradable plant-based soap, diluted castile soap, and often simple lemon with sea salt. An excellent tip to enhance your cleaning vinegar solution is to infuse it with citrus rinds, flower petals, and dry or fresh herbs. I'll often have a sealed jar of plain white vinegar with a medley of things like tea leaves or Meyer lemon peels sitting on the kitchen counter, awaiting the completion of a two-week infusion, followed by a quick strain through cheesecloth and distribution into glass spray bottles for effortless, fragrant housekeeping. It is the perfect formula for most surfaces and smells magnificent!
Pure Sunshine: Every day, I seek the sun without protection and sunscreen for a short period. Ideally, in the morning or late afternoon, as the sun is not as intense as midday. I sit quietly and allow as much of my body to be exposed as the temperature allows, with shoes off and toes in the rich, loamy soil. Just 10-20 minutes in pure, radiant sunshine can be the equivalent of downloading 10,000 IU of Vitamin D directly into your body from the most natural source! I use a 'physical sunblock' or zinc-based sunscreen when I need additional protection, avoiding the use of chemical-based sunscreens as they can be detrimental to our wellness and our environment.
A Soothing Cup: Every day, make yourself a warm beverage and sip it slowly, inhaling the aromatic steam as you welcome the fragrant, delicious nourishment into your body. It can be hot water with lemon, a cup of your favourite herbal tea (I gravitate towards nutrient-dense moringa leaf with wild mint and roasted dandelion root with chicory) or a rich, dark roast coffee with a drizzle of creamy oat mylk or raw A2A2 milk. Take the time to enjoy it. Don't rush. You deserve this space.
Reducing Interference: Turn off your wifi router at night. Nearly all of us have a Wifi router in our home these days - which makes connecting a breeze! However, Wifi routers also emit Electromagnetic Frequency radiation (EMFs) around the clock, which can disrupt our sleep, reduce our cells' ability to absorb healthy and crucial nutrients, and shed toxins and free radicals. The simplest solution to this concern is to turn off your router before you head to bed and turn it back on in the morning or when you next need to access the world-wide-web. We use a simple, inexpensive plug-in timer to automatically shut down our router from 11 pm to 8 am.
Rooting in Nature: I always find a few moments to reconnect and commune with Nature each day. Exposure to the majesty of Nature makes you feel better emotionally and spiritually. It also contributes to your physical well-being, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine - the three major stress hormones. So, stand outside with bare feet, breathe deeply, and reflect on those who came before you and your bold journey ahead. A strong nature connection encourages cellular healing at the deepest level!
Dominique Del Col is a Holistic Wellness Educator and the Founder, Herbalist, and Formulator behind Tidelands House Stillroom and Wildwood. She has spent nearly two decades immersed in the ancient medicinal practices of traditional herb craft and natural wellness. You can find Dominique in the peaceful stillroom of her stone cottage studio in the heart of Wellington County, Ontario. A precious space where tenderly dried tea rose petals and wild marshmallow roots are slowly infused in oils warmed by the sunlight streaming through whitewashed windows encased in ancient stone. When she is not in her studio, Dominique enjoys reading tattered old books by candlelight, visiting the local farmers market in search of the perfect jar of raw honey, tending to her small flock of heritage hens, and foraging in the forest with her young daughter, husband and two dogs.