Every season has its unique characteristics and qualities. And summer is no different. Though many people, including myself, adore the sunshine, warmth & comfort from the season of summer, there are some challenges that also come with the super intense days of summer.
Namely bugs & the sun.
These two factors – the increase of BUGS and the SUN during the summertime need to be carefully managed to maintain a healthy, happy life. I adore being outside but with these hot, humid & sunny days the little critters that so love to suck my blood come out to play as well. This can seriously put a negative twist to an otherwise glorious afternoon. Have you ever had your BBQ fiesta called to an end because the mosquitoes came out to play destroying the peace of the moment? Well, I know I have and I have had enough! Now some HOLISTIC & HEALTHY options on how to manage these critters so we can all live in harmony.
How to Manage Critters
Though pests are said to be decreasing due to the climate changes, this is not the case in all places & spaces for sure. Just ask my boyfriend who is subject to nasty bug bites that swell into small eggs and annoy him endlessly for days. These recipes were created to help protect him from these critters as much as myself. Non-toxic and natural these can be used on kids and pets safely (though I always advise testing small areas first to confirm no allergic reactions).
So how best to manage these critters that can destroy your love of being outdoors in the warmer months of the summertime? Here are my healthy home-made bug repellent recipes which you can easily & affordably make yourself today.
If you LOVE to be outside, but the bugs all seem to come to you for, then this is going to be your best friend! A simple solution to making being outside no longer torture from the beasts that will draw your blood and make your experience a little less.
This is best to be mixed in small quantities and used up, then make fresh when needed.
Essential oils you can choose from include
One spray bottle
Apple Cider Vinegar (or distilled water)
You mix a ½ cup of witch hazel, a ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and (45) drops of your essential oils (up to 3 mixed together 15 drops each one)into your bottle, gentle roll it to mix together each time you are using this.
It can be used on your body, including your face (be careful and close your eyes!) as it contains nothing harmful and in fact, this mixture is great for your skin. Keeping a small bottle in your beach bag, in your car, and on your garden terrace are sure-fire ways to make you are always prepared to protect yourself against the little pests that can make you run back indoors which is exactly what you do not want to do! Stay outside with this helpful recipe and enjoy!
Re-apply liberally, as needed as it is can’t harm or hurt in any way.
OPTION. If you just can’t find the time to make this home-made recipe bug repellent right now, here is an alternative that I love. BUG AWAY roll-on by Rocky Mountain Oils with citrus & citronella & wood tones, is perfect for everyone in the family including your kids.
Essential Oils are a natural way to make your life healthier.
Garden Spray-natural pesticide
I am a gardener-in-training. I have always loved the idea of gardening but I have been a city dweller most of my adult life, so when I moved to Spain, gardening became a new hobby and adventure for me.
This year, however, I seemed to have all my hard efforts set back from little critters that seemed to be eating up my lovely plants.
So I did some research and gave these recipes a try so now you can too!
Essential oils you can choose from include:
Add peppermint oil for ants, spiders or fleas.
Cotton Balls or strips of cotton cloth (repurposed old T-Shirts is what I use)
Or Spray Bottle with distilled water*
NOTE: (*distilled water is free of minerals and salts because it has been boiled into steam and then cooled to become water again.) It is a nice-to-have for this recipe but it is not 100% necessary. Ordinary tap water is just fine too.
For general care, you can create your recipe with 2-3 of your essential oils (10 drops each) and mix with a cup of distilled (or tap) water, then either dip your cotton balls or strips of your old cotton cloth into the mixture and place these in the areas that you care about. I have placed them into the rim of the planters for my flowers that were infested with ants and within a few days them all but seemed to have disappeared.
OPTION. If you simply want to have the scent diffused into the air, a simply diffuser will make sure this is done! Check out this PRETTY DIFFUSER to do the trick. I use my diffuser all the time for a variety of reasons and removing the chances of critters is one of them!
Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.
How To Manage Sun Exposure
We are given so much information about what is good for us and what is bad for us that it can easily lead to confusion & overwhelm. The controversy about whether sunscreen is good for you, or whether we have been applying toxins to our bodies is still under debate and I can’t tell you I have the ULTIMATE answer. But I can share my own thoughts since I now live in a town by the sea so sun exposure is a hot topic here.
My ONE BIG AHA is that I must always use common sense. I try to avoid extremes and work towards a balance. Simple solution, right?
Plus I have done some research on sunscreens and this is what I have concluded: Sunscreens are necessary, but only when you are either in the sun for long periods of time, and the UV is above index 3 otherwise it is a better idea to NOT to put on sunscreen because it will prevent the good stuff – the Vitamin D from getting to us. As a person that has lost more than my fair share of people I love to the big C, I am aware of the documentation about skin cancer and it’s dangers. But also as a holistic person, I do my overall research to take everything into consideration and for ME, the need for Vitamin D is a high priority for my overall health.
Knowledge is power.
A HEALTHY BALANCE IS a KEY TO IT ALL
So again, balance is key to a sustainably happier, healthier and more harmonious life. So, for me, another top tip I discovered in my research mode, though you CAN make your own sunscreen, does not mean that you SHOULD. My personal conclusion is there are too many unknowns with the chemicals required, their reactions together, etc. etc. etc. that I feel it is out of my depth as a novice and non-chemist, that I prefer to NOT make my own sunscreen but rather to SHOP SMART.
My own rules: Buy products that avoid oxybenzone (causing coral death and affects hormones so best to steer clear), and look for these two ingredients: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are probably the most naturally based sunscreen ingredients out there and there are a few options for sunscreens with the above criteria that I am currently trying out this sunscreen from Life Without Plastic (one of my fav companies right now!) which is made with zinc plus is broad spectrum and it comes in a tin case to boot. Win-Win. 50 SPF Zinc Sunscreen LWP
If you have more information and or you would like to share your experiences with me, I would adore hearing from you. CONNECT WITH ME HERE
Finally, I discovered we need to BUY NEW sunscreen every year because it loses its power and goes off like spices and essential oils so fresher is better. Plus HATS are BACK. Wearing a hat too can protect you plus give you an added style that really needs to come back!
VITAMIN D IS SOOO GOOD FOR YOU BUT HOW TO GET IT?
The benefits for being OUTSIDE and in the sun, to your natural doses of Vitamin D in my humble opinion outweigh the negative possibilities of too much sun. It just seems too counterintuitive for me to think that going outside is going to kill us. I think that our current lifestyle trends need to be reevaluated and we need to moderate our lifestyles to have a greater balance with less fear and more common sense. And though I adore the idea of the quick fix by adding supplements to our diet, in fact, there is increasing proof that these supplements, in fact, do NOT work. So back to the basics and natural way to get your Vitamin D is to get OUTSIDE in the right way.
However, I am here to HELP in the case you happen to lose balance and GET OVEREXPOSED
After Sun Skin Soother
I sometimes use this even when I am not overexposed in a harsh way, but just feel the desire to have a little extra TLC to my biggest organ – my skin. Avocados are considered a super food and here it is a super base oil that has soooo many benefits to your skin including reducing signs of aging, relieves eczema & psoriasis, to sunburn relief and generally an amazing moisturizer.
Try it and I promise you will love it.
OPTION: Lavandin. For a lot less money, here is a very cool alternative product that offers an alternative when larger quantities are lavender oils are required. It is a hybrid made from 2 types of natural occurring lavenders with a slightly more camphor scent and it has similar properties to lavender essential oils. Buy LAVANDIN essential oil here
Mix a ½ cup of the avocado oil together into a bowl, and add into it (25) drops of the lavender oils. Add more lavender oil for more severe burns as it greatly reduces the chance of scarring plus provides pain relief against burns. Keeping it in the refrigerator will make it last longer as well as have a delicious cooling feeling when applying it.
I really adore all the seasons for their own unique characters and the changes in which the seasons bring. Even living in the North of Spain we experience a wide change in the seasons and I am expecting this will only increase with the impact of climate change becoming increasingly apparent.
Learning how to DIY your own homemade, non-toxic, eco-friendly and affordable SUMMER CARE KIT is a SUPER SMART step towards a more Sustainable Life.
Wishing you a happy, (almost) bugless and sunny but safe summer.