Cloudy days, beautiful sunsets, blue skies and pleasant breezes – and a whole host of hair, skin and health issues to look forward to. It’s that time of the year again, the season that every person in the Middle East looks forward to – Winter! Here are a few well-being tips to keep the cold from biting:
1. When you can’t stop stuffing your face – During winter, our body temperature drops and we feel the need to get warm again – which is why we crave carbohydrate-rich food. It’s not just in your heads and it’s not just because of the holidays. This time of year, it’s easy to let yourself go with candy and bread.
What you should do: Firstly, snack right – have small low-carb, healthy snacks between meals to keep yourself from binging on holiday goodies [soup is a personal favorite]. Of course, stick to your regular exercise regime through these months [you can be late to parties and feel fitter].
2. When dry skin makes your skin looks snowed on– With dry wind blowing throughout the day, your skin turn white and pale, peeling all snake-like [we’re trying to creep you out, yes].
What you should do: Drink plenty of water [always essential]. Another easy (and relaxing) remedy is to mix a few drops of olive oil in a warm bath and kick back to bring moisture back to your skin. A few cups of whole milk in your bath would also suffice. While we’re on the subjects of baths, don’t take a scalding hot shower, tempting as it might be, as it’ll strip your skin dry. If you must, apply moisturizer, or preferably body butter, a couple minutes after your shower to reduce the damage. Wrap up warm to reduce exposure to the cold air.
3. When your hair resembles brambles – The same winter winds leaves your hair rough, tangled and damaged.
What you should do: Olive oil is a saviour in this case as well, and can be applied through with a wide-toothed comb after a shower. Try to wash your hair every other day to maintain its natural oils, and always apply some conditioner. Think about switching up your shampoo to one that specifically treats dry and damaged hair for the winter months. Invest in a furry knit cap and your hair will thank you for keeping it soft.
4. When your nails become jagged knives – Your nails also suffer, becoming delicate, brittle, and susceptible to breaking.
What you should do: Olive oil, again (useful thing, isn’t it?), or lotion containing lanolin will help, and wear gloves to let it soak in! Applying some clear nail polish gives them some protection, and yes, this idea applies to men, as well.
5. When you can’t talk without your lips cracking – Not the best for winter-time cuddles. If you have a significant other you want to keep warm, they’re going tofind you much more attractive if you don’t have bleeding, cracked lips.
What you should do: Get some chapstick. A really good chapstick should keep your lips soft for a couple hours at least. Re-apply it often to keep the chapping to a minimum.
Most importantly, eat a healthy, balanced diet and keep yourself well-hydrated.
Bonus tips: Healthy monosatured fats (they’re the good fats), and omega 3s are essential, even more so during the winter, so eat plenty of fish, avacados, flaxseeds, and nuts. Vitamin C rich foods, like citrus fruits and dark leavy greens, will keep those nasty winter colds away as well aid in collagen production for hair and skin.
Happy cuddle season, everybody. Keep warm with hugs, scarves and lots of healthy soup!