Living in the north can be cold, dark, and daunting at times. Add two years of Covid shutdowns, and limited travel, and it seems like winter will never end! Typically here in Ontario, Canada our snow season starts in November, and ends in March, or April. That’s almost half a year living in cold, dark conditions.
I’ve been working on ways to tackle winter in a more positive way. Here’s what I can share with you.
Winter weather can cause dry, itchy skin. Most of us are over washing, and sanitizing our hands now, which can cause chapping, cracking, and even bleeding on our skin.
Best tip: Keep your hands dry, and moisturized.
When you wash your hands, do remember to dry them properly. Add a quality, natural moisturizer to your hands and reapply often. I love my all natural lotion bar. It really coats my hands and keeps them smooth all day. Last tip, wear mittens or gloves outdoors. I think this dries my skin out the most. Now I keep a spare pair of mitts in my purse so I’m always prepared.
Tip 2: As soon as you exit the tub or shower, apply body oil or moisturizer to seal in moisture. Also, try turning down the heat to warm instead of hot. Why? The heat can cause our bodies to release histamine, making our skin itchy afterward.
Do you find once the sun goes down you get tired? Often I feel like I can’t keep my eyes open and it’s only 8pm! That’s because our bodies are confused with the short days and long nights. Sunlight causes our bodies to suppress melatonin and will usually release a few hours before bed. However, if the sun goes down at 5pm, we are going to be tired earlier.
Best Tip: get outside for a walk and fresh air midday. Get some sun on your skin, and breathe in that fresh air!
Other tips to sleep better in the winter are, turn your heat down at night. Sleep with a heavier duvet, and limit screen time at least one hour before bed. Try to avoid late night snacking, and caffeine after dinner.
It’s true that the winter months can make us feel down, blue, even depressed. Why does this happen? Again, it’s the shorter days, and less sunlight that cause a drop in serotonin in our brains. Serotonin affects our moods, which is why we often feel glum and unmotivated during winter.
Best Tip: get outside at least once a day for some much needed sunlight and natural Vitamin D.
If you’re unable to get outdoors, other tips are, taking a vitamin D supplement, or using a S.A.D light.
If you’re feeling so blue you can’t get out of bed, losing interest in eating, or things that used to bring you joy, please do contact your doctor or therapist. The important thing is to talk to someone, because you’re not alone.
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