The winter time can be quite harsh on the physical body due to the lack of sun we generate very little vitamin D to support our bones, the cold air dries out our skin and hair, so many more germs lay dormant in places unknown -- it can be a lot! If you live in a region that experiences cold weather I am sure you can fully relate. Last year, I moved to Costa Rica with certainty that I would never return back to experience another winter and boy was I wrong. I returned back to the states in mid-December 2017 and completely missed the fall season. My body had no time to acclimate itself to the 30 degree weather that hit us! Soon enough the color on my skin began to fade, which is normal, but that wasn’t the end. I began to experience intense joint and muscle pains like no other to the point where some days I could barely get out of the bed. One of the days it was so bad I broke down into tears. I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed solutions.
Although my situation was severe, I was able to find ways to bring my body back into balance and to make it through the winter. This winter season I plan on doing the exact same!
1. Take warm/hot epsom salt baths. Epsom salt has the ability to soothe sore muscles. It is good to spend 15-20 minute in the tub stretching hands to touch the toes to loosen back muscles as well as sitting up and twisting the upper body to the left and right looking behind you. Afterwards, a good oil massage on the neck, feet and back can tremendously benefit the muscular and nervous system.
2. Drink plenty of warm herbal tea. Warm water in the body assist the bodies digestive systems so well. Calming herbal teas such as lavender, chamomile and St. John’s Wart soothe the internal organs and balances the nervous system. Tea warms the body from head to toe. Be sure to allow it to steep (try not to ever boil herbs) and cool to a reasonable temperature before consuming.
3. Use humidifier while sleeping at night. The winter air can be very dry leaving the lungs without moisture and you spending much of your energy coughing and perhaps finding it hard to breath fully and deeply. You may find relief when placing a humidifier in your sleeping quarters, especially during the night when you are sleeping. I really enjoyed adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil into my water. It is also important that you are filling your humidifier with purified water so that no traces of chlorine or other heavy metals are left in the device let allow in the mist that you are inhaling.
4. Use Penetrating Oils on the skin and face. Many of use may find it easy and economical to buy a gallon of lotion and be happy, but the truth is, not all lotions penetrates the skin as well as most natural oils do. Many lotions nowadays are loaded with unnecessary chemicals while natural oils derived from plants and already contain (by nature) the essential vitamins needed to maintain the health of the skin. I recommend daily use of oils such as Jojoba, Castor or Olive Oil. These are oils that with penetrate and nourish the skin and also is good for the bloodstream. They are also amazing for your scalp and hair follicles. Now we don’t but lotion in our hair, so what makes it ok to put it on our skin? That's simply food for thought.
5. Exercise Indoors. The winter weather is harsh already so it may not be in your best interest to exercise outside given the amount of germs in the air and too much cold air in the lungs is simply not the best for the respiratory system. Developing a daily indoor regimen to get the muscles and joints moving will help to eliminate stiffness that may want to sit in. This will also ensure that not only the muscles stay strong but your bones as well. Exercising increases the flow of oxygen to the brain and stimulates the nervous system. Take at least 15 minutes per day for multiple reps during your workout. Remember to always warm up before and stretch afterwards.
Winters can be extreme yet if we take care of ourselves they can be quite enjoyable. The key is knowing what to do when you are experiencing the harsher side.