Summer is slowly coming to an end; the evenings are drawing in, the mornings are chillier and the leaves on the trees are starting to turn from green to gold. That means it’s time to get into some winter self care tips.
Changing seasons can be an exciting time with lots to look forward to.; as we head into colder weather it’s time to embrace chunky knits, hot chocolates, mulled wine and cosy nights spent warm indoors.
But this transition isn’t all smooth sailing; cold, wet weather and lack of sunlight hours can wreak havoc on our mental and physical wellbeing. Here are some tips and tricks to help keep you glowing, inside and out, throughout the colder months.
Winter self care tips:
Cold weather can spell bad news for our skin. Things like cold wind and central heating draws moisture away from our skin making it dry, flakey and itchy. It also disrupts the protective layer on our skin which allows moisture escape and skin to become dehydrated and sensitive. If you suffer from any skin conditions, such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis then you’ll notice these tend to flare up and worsen as the temperature drops.
To protect your skin, hydration is essential. As tempting as it may be to have scalding baths and showers, especially when coming in from the cold, try and lower the temperature; hot water can have an adverse effect on your skin and dry it out even more.
Immediately after showering moisturise your entire body. Favour rich moisturisers that are going to lock in moisture, such as shea butter or coconut oil and make sure you’re moisturising your skin daily. Slough off any dead skin by exfoliating two to three times a week using either an exfoliating scrub, brush or gloves.
Like your body your face needs more moisture in the colder weather. If you don’t already, incorporate oils into your skin routine and make sure you’re using a moisture rich daily moisturiser. Find a good hyaluronic acid; this is great for locking in moisture and can hold up to a thousands times its own weight in water. Despite the cold weather make sure you continue to wear a high SPF; even on those dark gloomy days the sun’s rays can still penetrate through the clouds and damage your skin.
The skin on our lips is thinner and more susceptible to the cold weather which is why we find we’re reaching for the Vaseline the minute the temperature drops. Although Vaseline is a great lubricator try and favour lip balms that are moisturising and protecting as well as being a lubricating barrier. Like the skin on our body and face make sure you exfoliate your lips too by investing in a high quality lip scrub.
It’s no surprise that the drying nature of cold weather will also have a negative effect on our hair. When our hair is lacking moisture it becomes dull, lifeless and prone to damage and split ends. You might find you’re losing more hair in the winter months as damaged hair falls out to allow room for healthy hair growth.
To keep your hair moisturised and healthy invest in a hair mask and incorporate this once a week into your beauty routine. You can also use warm coconut oil; apply this liberally to your hair, paying particular attention to the ends. Leave this on for an hour before rinsing with warm water. Avoid heat styling and going out in the cold with wet hair; both can damage the hair further, causing breakages and hair loss.
The winter months can be difficult on our mental health. Wet, windy, cold weather and dark gloomy days can make us feel sad, miserable and longing for vitamin D.
One in three people in the UK have reported suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter months so it’s important to invest in your mental wellbeing and seek help if you’re feeling blue.
If you find you’re struggling to feel good make time each day to something that makes you happy. This could be anything from snuggling up on the sofa with a new book to treating yourself to a coffee from your favourite coffee shop.
If you’re missing the sun, and booking a holiday isn’t in your budget, invest in a light therapy box. Sunlight does more than give us a great tan; it’s our natural time keeper and helps regulate our body. When our natural rhythms become disrupted we can become depressed, anxious and have trouble sleeping. Light therapy boxes mimic natural sunlight helping to regulate the natural rhythms of the mind and body, reducing stress, depression and anxiety.
As the weather gets colder the desire to stay warm and snug on the sofa can outweigh the motivation to hit the gym but it’s important to keep fit and stay active.
Working out releases endorphins, those happy hormones that make you feel good, helping to reduce stress and depression. Try and spend time in nature; invest in some warm workout gear and the right footwear and get exploring. The mix of physical activity and being outside in the natural world will do wonders for your mood.
Exercise could also great for boosting your immune system hence its one of our winter self care tips. There is some research to suggest regular exercise helps flush bacteria from your lungs and airways helping reduce the chance of getting coughs and colds.
Cold weather can have us reaching for the comfort food; there is nothing more soothing than coming in from the cold and indulging in something hot and stodgy but it’s important to limit how much of this we’re eating. Carb heavy, fatty foods can make us feel sluggish and lethargic which in turn can have a negative effect on our mental health.
A salad probably isn’t what you fancy when it’s blowing a gale outside but make sure you’re loading up on veggies in things like soups and casseroles. Eating well will help boost your mood as well as helping to keep your immune system fit and healthy; something that’s especially important as we enter flu season.
The winter months can be tough on us all but remember they won’t last forever. Try not to wish your life away hoping for better days and instead learn to embrace the colder months. Hopefully these winter self care tips can help make sure you’re looking after your mind and body, nourishing it with goodness, so you can be the healthiest, happiest you.