MUSE - Jaclyn Cave, Naturopath, @jaxcave | www.jaclyncave.co
Photography by Jaclyn + her partner Leslie
What inspired your career change from being a buyer in the fashion industry to naturopathy?
I always find it tricky to answer this question as I really adored my work in that industry, at the time. I think I just grew out it, and no longer felt like it served me and my interests as I got older.
I did a yoga teacher training course on the weekends when I was working as a buyer, and I think this was the gateway drug to studying herbal medicine. It felt more fulfilling and interesting to me then what I was doing for work at the time.
Since you started your journey in naturopathy from studying to now running a successful practice and helping thousands of people with their health, what advice can you give people who pivot careers? What kept you thriving, passionate with your clear vision in sight and how did you overcome challenges along the way?
What a great question. I’m not so sure I’ve helped thousands but hopefully one day! I’m not sure it’s life changing advice, but when you pivot, I think you have to go all in, 100%. No half-halfs, what ifs, could I do both, it doesn’t seem to work unless you fully commit. Which is scary, but is also rewarding, and gives you your satisfying answer. If you’re not prepared to go hard how will you be successful in said new career?
I kept going because that was my only choice it felt at the time. I was infatuated with learning about herbs, nutrition, disease-manifestation, and all other modalities that come along with the area I now practice in.
Studying was really challenging, mostly due to the self-pressure I put on myself to ‘achieve’. Having a beautiful support network is key, and other people in the industry to hash out and troubleshoot your problems with is extremely helpful. This goes for anything, really!
What a year 2020 has been. Generally speaking what are some tips to combat stress with diet or certain practices you would recommend during stressful times socially and politically or when people go through transitions and big phases of change?
Yes she’s been a whopper. The biggest health ‘hack’ for stress is sleep. Without proper, restful, enough-hours sleep, all the right foods, supplements and herbs in the world are not able to make you feel well again. Most people I see in clinic need to prioritise their sleep routine and optimise their sleep hygiene. You are aiming for 7 – 9 hours depending on the life stage you are in, with a wind-down routine of about 1 hour that involves no screens, stimulating activity (I’m talking about exercise here) or stressful conversations. Find what works for you – breath work, meditation, having a bath, diffusing lavender, journaling, a cup of Chamomile – this is a very individual time so trial different things and see what impact they have on the quality of your sleep. I like to do some legs-up-the-wall and read fiction – this combo gets me everytime.
I am obviously bias, but I believe that eating the right foods and nutrients is key for a healthy nervous system. Learn to cook! It is the ultimate form of self-care and self-respect. It doesn’t have to be Ottolenghi every night, start simple, roast some veggies, google how to make scrambled eggs, buy a beginners cookbook, just start. I loved seeing the whole world nurturing their sourdough starters this year! A definite silver lining.
What is something pivotal you’ve learnt in 2020?
The importance of rest. Although I’m still very much learning, I’m not sure I’ll master this in my lifetime. I’m very much a do’er so I have to try quite hard to not do so much and just be a little more. Human being instead of human doing, and all of that. My partner is a very grounded human so that also helps keep me calm and still (some of the time).
What is inspiring you at the moment?
I find the ladies I work with just so wildly inspiring. I work at Halsa Health in Surry Hills, and those women are so admirable. I leave every conservation feeling so inspired, enriched, optimistic, educated. I never really thought I’d work somewhere where I really admire my boss and co-workers, so I still feel in awe about it sometimes.
I’ve always been fascinated by the importance of ceremony and ritual with self care. What does this look like for you?
For me self-care is a daily non-negotiable and it is mostly the simple things that keep me sane. Being in nature is my go-to here – whether that be a stroll in the park, an ocean swim, bushwalk, walking my sisters pup, most things outdoors I am fan of.
I do enjoy the more planned self-care activities too – seeing a film or having a sauna are lovely rituals – but these are less frequent and probably even more special because of this! I think self-care has a bit of a reputation as it’s often misconstrued as indulgent or boring or ‘only meditation’, but to me self-care is doing something I enjoy that doesn’t involve multi-tasking or work.