2 weeks ago

How Are You Feeling Today? Do You Have That #AvocaFeeling?

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Finding and celebrating daily rituals and little pleasures that keep us afloat …

Connectedness, joy, comfort, authenticity and Irishness – that’s what we feel when we think about Avoca, its stores, its beautiful, carefully selected things to buy, its extraordinary food and its wonderful people. We call it the #AvocaFeeling.

In a new series, we meet some of the brilliant women who create, live and breathe the magic of Avoca, and some of Avoca’s firm friends and fans, who are legion all over Ireland – and the world!

We’re also asking you, our reader, what makes you feel happy, connected and at peace with the world (particularly now, when the world feels tilted on its axis). What gives you that #AvocaFeeling? It might be baking your favourite Avoca scones, a cup of coffee with a pal, curling up on the sofa beside the fire, a hike up a mountain or a walk in a forest, your morning yoga practice, a delicious dinner (with wine), or rediscovering an activity you enjoyed as a child. In tough times, we need daily or weekly rituals … please share yours!

To share what gives you that #AvocaFeeling, email us on [email protected] or share a picture or video on Instagram, make sure to tag and follow us @theglossmag and @avocaireland so we can see your entries. We will share some of our favourite stories on thegloss.ie over the coming weeks…

The happy swimmers were photographed on Greystones beach: cosy Avoca throws did a good job of warming them up after their swim!

THIS WEEK: THE JOY OF SEA SWIMMING

This week, June Curtin of Snámhai Sásta, a growing group of happy swimmers all over Ireland, describes how she and her fellow swimmers find comfort, joy and connectedness in the water, gaining strength from one another.

“I set up Snámhai Sásta (Happy Swimmers) to celebrate the joy of living, swimming and comfort that comes from the ritual of sea swimming.

Despite living right beside the sea my whole life, I only properly discovered the joy of sea swimming and its healing powers at the age of 47! Over the last 18 months, I have adopted a daily dip in the ocean as part of my routine, and I absolutely love it. As a child I took it for granted that the sea was on my doorstep, but I fully appreciate it now. I find that even if I go away for just a few days, I plan my trips so they are near the ocean!

I set up the Snámhai Sásta in June 2019 after I lost my beloved husband to suicide. At the time, my two children were 5 and 9, and it was a very sad and difficult time for our family. The years that followed were very difficult too, and with caring for my children I had come to completely neglect myself. I was suffering badly from stress and anxiety and anything I tried to alleviate it – like going to the gym, walking and yoga – didn’t work for me.

I really do believe in the benefits of daily rituals. The camaraderie as we plunge into the freezing cold water each day is infectious!

One day, as I was sitting having a coffee and looking out at the beach at Spanish Point (the same ocean I’d been looking out at my whole life!) I said to my mom that I was going to go for a swim the next day. Something which might surprise people is that I can’t actually swim, and quite rightly my mom pointed this out! At this stage though, it really was sink or swim for me, and I was motivated to keep going by my two children.

The first morning dip felt truly incredible, and it was as if I left all my troubles at the shoreline. I thought others might feel the same, and that’s how Snámhai Sásta was born. I set up an Instagram page @snamhaisasta where I promoted the benefits of sea swimming both mentally and physically, and invited people to join me. On Day Two there were only two of us swimming, but from there it has since grown to 700+! [The Snamhai Sasta In-stagram account now has 12,000 followers.] On Snámhai Sásta’s first birthday, people came from all over Ireland to join in, and it was a really inspiring day.

I really do believe in the benefits of daily rituals. The camaraderie as we plunge into the freezing cold water each day is infectious! For me, it’s the mental benefits more than the physical, and it has grown to be something I really look forward to each day. I love meeting new people who come down to join us, and looking around at all the happy, smiling faces when we’re in the sea.

Snámhai Sásta welcomes people of all ages, shapes and sizes. We don’t care what size your swimsuit is, if you’re a man or a woman – everyone is welcome to join our group for a dip at Spanish Point. The day of the Avoca shoot, we absolutely loved having a swim with the creative team after all the hard work was done. What a way to end a workday! It is a truly amazing thing to share with others, and it’s such a joy to see so many people enjoying something so simple that costs nothing. I got the #avocafeeling that day as we made new friends and enjoyed an incredible dip in the ocean together after a creative and fun day shooting! In my experience, our group creates friendships that last a lifetime, and we make amazing memories each day we get into that water. If you haven’t tried it yet, I urge you to. I promise you won’t regret it!”

Follow June @snamhaisasta

Get that #AvocaFeeling

This Saturday, October 10, is World Mental Health Day. To mark the day, and as part of the Walk in My Shoes Live mental health campaign running all week, AVOCA will be hosting a complimentary virtual yoga class from 11am-12pm, on their Instagram Live platform @avocaireland. The class will be hosted by AVOCA staff member, Rachel Lenny of Earth and Purpose Yoga, and will focus on mindfulness and mental wellbeing, through a vinyasa flow practice suitable for all levels. A welcome opportunity to breathe, stretch and connect. Join us and start your weekend with a feeling of wellbeing – that #AvocaFeeling.

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