But I don't like to complain about the cold, because pretty soon I'll be complaining about the heat. And that's way worse.
Since it is still winter--I believe the good old groundhog saw his shadow, blessing us with 6 more fun-filled frigid days of it--I thought I'd talk about some ways to make it through the uncomfortable changes cold weather bestows upon us.
DAZED & DRIED OUT
Chapped Lips - I use vaseline lip therapy or chapstick, always keep your lip soother of choice handy for applying after eating and drinking or any time your lips are in need of love. And make sure the kids apply it too - some like it, some don't. Watch out for the fun flavors--kids tend to lick it off and spread the dryness around their mouths, making things worse...
Crackled Skin - Lotion may be something you regularly keep on hand (get it?) But in winter, it's a necessity. Apply every time you wash/sanitize your hands. And gloves are great when cleaning to keep hands from getting wet unnecessarily. But sometimes that's not enough. Many of my friends give me suggestions, but nothing seemed to work. I get EXTRA dry skin patches in cold weather that no over-the-counter lotion will cure. To prevent this, I apply lotion several times a day. But when the extra dry patches appear, usually on hands or feet, here's what my dermatologist suggested:
- soak areas for ten minutes (I can't sit still for ten minutes, so I don't last that long...)
- pat dry, leaving some moisture on skin
- spread skin with thick coat of vaseline (I have a prescription salve, but vaseline does the trick just fine when I run out of it)
- cover with plastic gloves or seal with plastic wrap
- best to do overnight
This is a pain in the butt, but it works for me. I've had to do it almost every winter. Surprisingly this year, I've kept the patches at bay. But I can't let my guard down. Best Advice: Stay on top of your regimen--do what works for you!
Brittle, Staticky Hair - Best Advice: Wash it less! And if you can't stand going a day without washing your hair, try dry shampoo. I hear tell it's great: from my hair dresser to teenage girls--reliable sources! And if there's any way you can let it air dry, try that too. The less heat on hair, the better.
CONGESTED & CONTAGIOUS
The Fearsome Flu
ON THE OFFENSE (heading off the invasion):
- Wash hands! - those harbingers of bacteria and viruses - most importantly before you EAT! (and don't forget the lotion)
- Eat healthier - this time of year, you need those vitamin backup soldiers!
- Sleep! Hardly anyone sleeps the recommended amount of time, go for an extra hour a night. It could save you from being bed-ridden for a few days.
- Be alert to the warning signs - Crankiness, sneezes, sore throat, lethargy. As for myself, I can taste it when I'm about to be sick. Take Zicam or Cold-eeze immediately! I dread the day the germs figure a way to outwit those meds.
ON THE DEFENSE (dealing with infestation):
- Sanitize - Use wipes & sprays in infected areas and continue to wash/sanitize hands. Some say that overdoing it with the sanitizer can leave you more vulnerable. That's why I limit myself to after anything gross & before eating.
- Quarantine - Sick people need to stay in their room until they feel better or are fever free and no one uses their bathroom (the healthy ones get to use the master bath, ugh) In my house, if they need to come out, they have a designated sick chair that no one else is allowed to use until it has been decontaminated.
- Nourish - If the sickies feel like eating, fill them up! If they don't, they need electrolytes and clear liquids and chicken soup - it's still the number one sick people food. After a stomach bug, ease into eating - nothing greasy, heavy, or spicy.
- Cleanse - This is my least favorite of the unfavorables. Cleaning up after - washing all linens, surfaces, clothes, and spraying anything that can't be put in the washer or wiped. Wear gloves!!