This year, perhaps due to the colder than normal start to winter, I have been feeling the effects of it more. I am more prone to nosebleeds in addition to dry, itchy skin. My system feels more sluggish and the grey wintry days make it harder to get excited about leaving my nice warm bed. Although once I am out and about, it does feel quite nice to move around (and with my shiny new red boots, I couldn’t care less if it never stops raining!).
If you have an underlying condition such as a yang or qi deficiency, you may feel the cold more. If you are yin deficient, ironically you may feel “false-heat” symptoms which definitely are not desirable when the winter air is already so drying on the system. But not to worry! Even if you can’t get yourself to an acupuncturist right away, there are still some things you can try to help you along.
1. Put a bowl of water on your radiator.
This adds humidity to the room which is very important when the heating sucks all the moisture from the air.
2. Air-dry your clothes inside.
Same concept as above while also taking advantage of the heating you’re paying for anyways.
3. Don’t take long, hot showers.
As tempting as it may be to stay in the shower for longer, hot water depletes the skin of its protective oils thus making it dryer.
4. Add honey to your drinks, or just have honey in a glass of hot water (add lemon if you want).
According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, Honey is a good lubricant for internal dryness (that’s why it can aid with a dry cough or itchy throat, and constipation). It’s also not terribly strong and potent, so a glass of it a day is beneficial.
5. Have some houseplants in your living room and kitchen.
Houseplants help remove pollutants from the air, which is great when closed windows mean low ventilation. They don’t need as much watering in the winter and so misting them with a spray few times a week is sufficient, which helps with the humidity in the room. Also on an emotional level, there is nothing as nice as getting a waft of jasmine when it’s so grey and dreary outside (yes, my jasmine plant is blooming).
6. Don’t forget to moisturize!
Nothing is as horrible as dry cracked skin. You might find it helpful to exfoliate your hands once a week to help them absorb the cream better. Don’t forget to carry some moisturiser with you so you can use it at work after you’ve washed your hands.
Spring is on the horizon, there are just a few more weeks before we can shed our coats and embrace the hayfever, but we until then we’ll still have to protect ourselves from the effects of winter.
Photo credit: Iain Watson via flickr
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