You begin to sneeze and sniffle from a runny nose as the temperature plummets in the early morning and night.
Your skin turns flaky and dry, your lips have chapped and you are showing signs of depression. You have turned into a couch potato and you feel hungrier than ever; you tend to gorge on foods adding kilos. Yes, winter is truly here and you surely need some self-care to feel and look good this season.
SKIN AND HAIR WOES
The dry winter air can make your skin dry, flaky and scratchy. Your lips chap, your soles crack. Soaps containing glycerine, vaseline, lanolin, vitamin E oil, milk or honey can help retain moisture in the skin. According to a research, putting baking soda in your bath water can help soothe the winter itch.
Drink plenty of water to get that shine back onto your skin. And do not forget to make use of sun screen 15 SPF or more to protect your skin from the UV rays, especially during the hot sunny day. Winter air can give you `bad' hair days. The dull frizzy hair makes you look so unkempt! The dry skin on the scalp causes exces sive flaking resulting in infection or dandruff. The hair tends to become brittle and keeps breaking off.Scratching can cause bruises on the scalp. Experts advice a hair wash twice in a week using a mild shampoo with lukewarm water. Eating foods rich in protein, vitamin A, B1 and B12 help in improving skin and hair health. An intake of foods full of antioxidants, help in building up the defence mechanism in your body and stall the ageing process.
ALLERGIES AND COLD
The cold weather comes with all kinds of allergies that can trigger or worsen asthma and other respiratory illnesses such as cold, cough, bronchitis or those pesky irritants such as dust mites, pet dander, smoke, gas fumes and many more.You tend to catch a cold, cough, sore throat and even mild fever. The cool winter air can give you headaches too.Painkillers help relieve pain. The best way to prevent winter headache, is to protect your head and ears from the cool air. The dry winter air can irritate your nasal passages and throat causing pharyngitis or sore throat. The dry scratchiness and painful swallowing in the throat makes you feel miserable. An unresolved common cold may even lead to sinusitis; inflammation and infection of the sinuses. Dry coughs and bronchitis are common during this season and can be irritating. Colds are generally self-limiting.However, OTC nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications can help soothe muscle aches and pains. Antihistamines can help in allergic coughs. Cough syrups, decongestant nasal sprays, etc, help relieve the symptoms. Salt-water gargles, sucking on throat lozenges, drinking plain warm water or with honey and lemon, help.
Interestingly, certain foods may get you through the cold and cough with ease. Spicy foods may just be a remedy for a stuffy nose. Sipping on hot soups with pepper may clean your sinuses. Hot tea can even soothe a sore throat besides relieving a stuffy nose. Scientists have put chicken soup to test and they say that it does relieve cold and flu symptoms. The chicken broth does help relieve nasal congestion when you have the flu symptoms - cough, cold and fever.
Intake of vitamin C, an antioxidant in the form of citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, green peppers, can taloupe, parsely, turnips, apples, guavas, potatoes, etc, help boost your immunity.When you have cold, wash your hands often, cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.Get plenty of rest for your own good and also to reduce the chances of infecting others.
THE BLUE MOODS
Winter depression medically termed as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can make you feel low, depressed and sleepy during the day. You turn into a loner and crave for starchy foods. Severe cases may need antidepressants, cognitive behavioural therapy and artificial light treatment.Indulging in a hobby, keeping busy and exercising can certainly help.
Avoid fried foods, cakes, candies and sweets. Instead gorge on hot soups, veggies, fruits, nuts, protein-rich foods and plenty of fluids such as hot chocolate, herbal tea, green tea, broths, juices and smoothies not too cold.
Consume complex carbohydrates as in potatoes, pasta, brown rice, which help raise serotonin, a chemical neurotransmitter in the brain thus improving your mood. Get a good night's sleep. Control your room temperature and make use of a humidifier. Do not be a couch potato.Aerobics, walking, jogging, yoga can put you in good shape Arthritis can flare up in the elderly. They need to remain bundled up in sweaters, shawls and woollen caps. Young children too need to be kept warm Try not to get stressed this winter as stress weakens the body's immunity.