Winter Health: 4 Ways to Feel Great During the Cold Weather
Winter is almost upon us, and with the cold weather comes a host of other annoyances, from dry skin, to a lack of energy and a wish to hibernate until spring. We get it, but we promise that all hope is not lost! Here are our four tips on how to get through the cold feeling happy and healthy, with an Instagram-worthy complexion and hydrated lips, worthy of being kissed under the mistletoe!
1. STAY PROTECTED
Cold weather can play hell on skin and lips, and it’s too easy to end up looking and feeling chapped. Luckily, it’s simple to winter-proof your skin and lips so that you can continue looking well-moisturised and fresh as a daisy.
Upgrade your moisturiser and try using facial oils—What works during the balmy months of summer may not cut it during the winter months, so consider using light oils which give thorough hydration, without clogging pores.
Try layering a few different lightly-moisturising products, and be sure to exfoliate regularly to get rid of dead surface skin. Whatever your skin type, an emollient cream worn at night can really help protect the skin and heal any damage while you sleep. The ‘Perfecting Night Cream’ by Murad is a great choice.
Protect your lips—A thick, emollient lip balm is your best friend during the cold winter months, but be sure to exfoliate your lips first. An easy way to do this is to wet a flannel with warm water and buff the flakes off using circular motions.
Indulge in baths—Oatmeal baths, and bath milks in general, have been used for centuries as a cure for dry skin, and for good reason! They are wonderfully effective at soothing irritation thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties!
2. SAY AU REVOIR TO MUSCLE ACHES
If you find you’re prone to muscle aches when the cold sets in, you’re not alone! Cold weather can wreak havoc on muscles and lead to all sorts of aches and pains. However, there are things you can do to take the sting off.
Get moving—It’s natural to want to stay indoors and not move much when it gets chilly, but this will only make your muscles ache even more. Try yoga or Pilates for low-intensity work out that helps keep your joints and muscles relaxed and flexible.
Get regular massages—One of the top benefits of massage is that it helps improve circulation and clears the waste from your lymphatic system, which leaves you feeling more relaxed and energetic. To relieve tired, sore muscles during the winter months, treat yourself to a massage or two, you’re worth it!
Use a muscle relief spray—This isn’t just for after exercise, but can be used for when the winter months create tired tense muscle aches!
3. MONITOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Unfortunately, many people find they are more susceptible to depression and a general lack of energy during the cold winter months. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and it generally begins in the autumn months when the days become shorter.
Scientists are unsure of the exact cause of SAD, though many believe that the reduced light in the winter months is partially responsible, as well as the hormone melatonin. Humans have more melatonin in their bloodstream during the winter, and it’s melatonin that regulates hibernation.
Some of the symptoms of SAD are:
An increase in appetite
A persistent low mood
A feeling of sluggishness and a loss of energy
If you feel that SAD is something that plagues you, you may want to consider talking to your GP. However, there are other things you can do to keep SAD at bay:
Seek out the sun—Get as much natural sunlight as you can, and increase the amount of natural light in your home and at work by opening your curtains and sitting by sunny windows when possible.
Get moving—Regular exercise has been found to treat mild to moderate depression, so find an exercise you can manage and do it daily.
Spend time with friends—Whilst you may feel like hiding away from the world, it’s good to get out and spend time amongst loved ones.
4. REDUCE YOUR CHANCE OF MIGRAINES
Change in general, whether it be a change in sleep patterns or hormone levels, can increase the occurrence of migraines in some sufferers, and a change in the weather is no exception.
If you feel your migraines increase during the winter months, fear not! While you obviously can’t change the weather, there are things you can do to hopefully lessen the amount of migraines you get and reduce the effects of the ones that you do.
Find your triggers—First, be sure it is the cold weather that is triggering your increase in migraines. To do this, keep a migraine diary and list each incident, detailing how long it lasts and what happens right before it starts.
Get medicated—Take your migraine medicine as soon as you feel a migraine coming on.
Consider a scalp and head massage like ‘Head In The Clouds’ which relieves blocked tensions and allows time to de-stress.
If you’re suffering from the effects of winter, the chances are your friends are too! Why not consider taking time out and treating them to a surprise spa day where you swap cold muscle aches for soothing massages!