Bloody Noses: These can occur due to nasal dryness from the dry air of indoor heat and the dry air of the cold winter in this environment. Drinking lots of water to keep the nasal membranes moist. If needed a small amount of Vaseline. Once they occur, pinching the ends of the nostrils together will help to stop the bleeding. Rubbing an ice cube on the roof of the mouth will help to slow the bleeding down. Lying down is not recommended at this time.
Dry Skin: The dry winter air can cause skin to become dry and tend to flake or become itchy. This can lead to small tears in the skin, which is our primary defense against invasive germs. Drinking plenty of water and using a moisturizer can help. Using a moisturizer with aloe or vitamin E is best. Avoiding harsh soaps is key at this time of year. Taking a bath in Epsom salts can help to moisturize and soothe the skin.
Winter Blues: This time of year, sunlight is a valuable commodity. Get at least 20 minutes a day if possible. Our bodies rely on sunlight for Vitamin D, so if you can not get the minimum of sunlight each day, consider the use of an oral Vitamin D supplement after speaking with the doctor. Get exercise and develop something of interest to you such as a hobby, reading or social interactions which will help to stave off the winter blues.
Healthy Diet: Winter is typically a time for comfort food. So warm and yummy! Make sure that you keep an eye on portions and get plenty of exercise to offset the additional calories that comfort food typically contains. The top 5 health foods to eat in the winter are pomegranates, potatoes, dark leafy greens, winter squash and citrus fruits.
Dry Hair: Use a deep conditioner at least once a week during the winter to provide you hair with a good moisturizing treatment.
Humidifiers: Using a humidifier will help keep the air in your home from becoming too dry. Make sure to change the filter regularly and clean it weekly to discourage the growth of bacteria.
Holidays: Seeing family and friends over the holidays can be fun, but can also be stressful. If you are traveling, make sure you leave with plenty of time on your hands to avoid feeling rushed. Plan ahead for lots of other travelers on the road too. Stock extra food, water, and blankets in your car in the event you may need them, such as traffic or breaking down. Know your ‘visiting limit’ and plan accordingly. It is important to get lots of sleep and nutritious foods during this period of time. It is easy to get tempted in to tasty treats or staying up late to enjoy social or family gatherings or holiday activities. Remember to find the meaning in each holiday that is most important to you and your family.
Sleep: We tend to feel tired in the winter when the air is cold and the sunlight is less because it disrupts the body’s ability to produce melatonin. Melatonin helps to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Try to set the thermometer at a cooler temperature for sleep, get some sun and don’t eat 4 hours or so before bedtime.
Clothing: Wear layers and dress warmly as the weather can turn on a dime here in New England. Layers give you more flexibility in terms of the weather so you can be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has to offer!
Be Warm and Be Well!