It’s that time of year: The temperature drops, the snow starts to fall, and you have a runny nose in about five seconds flat. The colder months of the year can be beautiful and serene; they can also be laden with the flu and common cold. There are ways to stay healthy and happy, though, during that rough time of year. Here are just three suggestions!
1. 1.) There’s More to Keeping Warm than You Think
If you’re spending time walking outside—say, on a college campus, for instance—there are certain precautions you need to take, because a typical winter jacket simply isn’t enough. You need to protect yourself from all angles. Clothing companies make thick jackets that are literally floor-length. With the wind chill sometimes making it feel even colder than it is, a jacket like this becomes incredibly necessary!
It’s not just about what you wear, though. You can go out and buy small heating packs that you can stick in your shoes/boots, gloves, pockets, wherever! They’ll often stay warm for several hours, and they’re pretty inexpensive, as well.
Also remember to protect yourself from the neck up. Scarves are crucial, because letting the cold get down the neck of your jacket all but guarantees illness. Hats and headbands are great to protect your ears, which really need it since the skin is so thin and delicate. Want to go one step further? Buy a face mask that leaves only your eyes and nose open to the elements.
1. 2.) Watch Out for Intense Temperature Changes
We all know that nothing feels better than stepping into an extremely warm room after being out in the freezing cold; but this isn’t necessarily the best idea. Oftentimes, you’ll find yourself with a nasty cold not because of the frigid temperatures, but because of the temperature change. Do you notice how a lot of people get sick in the beginning of fall, too?
Stepping into a piping hot shower after being in the cold is risky for the same reason; but this time, you’re also doing a number on your skin. Extreme temperatures are already bad on your skin as is; going from a really low temperature to a really high temperature is even worse.
To avoid this, try to make any changes in the ambient temperature as gradual as possible. For example, if you’ve been outside, try keep the shower warm/borderline hot when you first step in, and turn up the hot water within a few minutes.
1. 3.) Protect Yourself at Night
We all hate that feeling of waking up with a scratchy throat and plugged up nose. Getting sick in the middle of the night is the worst! Luckily, there are ways to avoid it. Did you know that we lose a good deal of our body heat through our hands, feet, and head? This means that it’s a great idea to wear socks to bed when it’s cold out. (It’s also another reason to wear gloves and a hat/mask when you’re outside!)
You may sometimes notice that no matter how high you crank up the heat, your room is still freezing. Cover your windows with plastic and you’ll prevent the hot air from leaving and the cold air from getting in!
Wintertime can be beautiful; it can also be very damaging if you’re not careful. Be sure to prepare for the cold, though, and you’ll feel wonderful year-round!