Monday, November 1, 2010

Pretty Things: Winterize Yourself Inside and Out

originally posted on Curly Nikki on 10/22/2009:

When your inner and outer energies radiate in harmony, you are blessed and spiritually magnetic. ~Jasmine Heiler

As the temperature drops and the layers of clothing increase, every woman must go through a change in their beauty routine to prepare for the cold months ahead. If you know like I know, a beauty routine is not just about creams, oils and powders. If you don't have a regimen for inner beauty as well, your skin will not glow and your hair will not shine with the true brilliance that comes from a healthy spirit. Periodically, it is essential to connect with your body and soul to seek out your hidden needs and develop a plan to meet those needs. The change in seasons presents an ideal opportunity to do just that. With the many responsibilities and challenges that women face, Lord knows that if we don't slate this time to care for ourselves, our needs will quietly fall by the wayside along with our peace of mind and eventually our feminine allure. Call me greedy, but I need to maintain my peace AND my allure in order to feel like my freshest most super-charged self!

So, how do we maintain a warm and glowing aura through the long, cold winter? Below I have provided some tips to help you prepare the goddess that you are for the upcoming season.

SKIN
Winter skin requires more TLC because of dry air and low humidity. Use a moisturizing soap and remember to exfoliate because dead skin cells are even more abundant on dry skin. Using an oil-based moisturizer, lather yourself from head to toe daily when you are still damp from the shower to lock in the moisture. At night, anoint your feet and sleep in a pair of footies to stay soft through the winter. Use a humidifier at night to create a dewy environment for your skin and hair. Your nasal passages will also thank you.

HAIR
Winter brings harsh winds, wool coats, sweaters and hats i.e. torment for your precious locks. It's up to you to be proactive about preventing seasonal damage. Line your wool hats with silk or satin to avoid breakage. When you are wearing a wool sweater, where your hair pinned up or in a bun. Avoid leaving the house with wet hair that could freeze in the low temps and cause serious breakage. Easy on the hots! Heat styling makes the hair more susceptible to damage from the cold and wind. Speaking of wind, protect those tresses. Wear your hair up or under a hat to avoid the tangling that results from the wind going blow for blow with your hair. Condition, moisturize and protect. Opt for the thicker, creamier deep conditioners. Use moisturizers that truly absorb into the hair like coconut and avocado oil. Implement protein and/or henna treatments to strengthen your hair against the elements.

!Biased Plug ~ Winter is a great time to start transitioning! If you've been toying with the idea of growing out your relaxer, go for it. Winter air is dry and the winds are unforgiving, so the weather lends itself well to protective styles like braid-outs, twist-outs and roller sets which are ideal for transitioning to natural ~ End Biased Plug!

BODY
The winter blues are partially caused by the body not producing enough serotonin, the hormone that affects a person's state of mind. When you exercise, your body produces more serotonin and thus improves your mood. If you don't currently have an exercise routine, start off with low impact exercises, such as tai chi, yoga or deep breathing. Yoga, especially, has been shown to be very effective in dealing with depression because the focus and concentration help you reconnect with your mind and spirit in such an enlightening way. Many people think they could never do yoga because they are not flexible. I would argue that the beautiful thing about yoga is that each pose has a variation that is appropriate for your level of flexibility and strength. Find a beginner's class and get your downward facing dog on. One of the disciplines of yoga is no judgment, so don't worry about anyone staring or snickering if you can't hold a pose.

SPIRIT
Winter depression or "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that tends to occur (and recur) as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. It is believed that affected persons react adversely to the decreasing amounts of light and the colder temperatures as the fall and winter progress." ~Medicinenet.com.Light things up! Increase the amount of light in your home and wake up earlier to spend more of your waking hours in the daylight. Like exercise, light also stimulates the level of serotonin in the body. With night falling so early in the winter, it's no wonder that our disposition begins to mirror the darkness. Journal your thoughts and feelings and take action if you notice a trend towards melancholy feelings. Make time for quiet meditation and prayer. Do some soul searching. Reflect on where you are right now and where you want to go. Let go of past mistakes and look forward to new opportunities. Allow the beautiful evolution of the seasons happening around you to inspire a beautiful evolution inside of you.

MIND
Don't let the winter blues sneak up on you! Do something interesting and creative, even if you think it's outside of your character. Keep yourself busy with activities and adventures. Sign up for that cooking or art class that you've been wanting to take. Find a book that challenges your way of thinking. Further your education. Take on a new challenge at work. Make it something that scares you a little bit. Find the personal value in stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself. When your mind is consumed with something new and exciting, you have less time to be preoccupied with sadness and doubt.

Have you given thought to how your routines will change for the winter? Please share your tips with us below.

2 comments:

Chic Mommy said...

I still love this post, a year later. Such great advice. I actually just got 2 new scrubs this past weekend, and I have been using my socks with the aloe vera in them to sleep at night. My skin is going to be so happy!

I'm not sure if I can say that I suffer from SAD, but I do find myself adversely affected by the cold weather and lessening of daylight. These are good reminders to keep myself fed with positive things to combat any sadness that tries to creep in.

GG said...

oooh! aloe vera for my feet! making a note. I've been enjoying my cozy sweaters and blankets and trying to focus on the things I like about the season. When I really think about it, there really are more things I like than don't like.

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