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Community health (general,concerns,etc)

Winter blues

As the days get colder I find myself becoming more and more unsatisfied with my appearance. Not only is it harder to feel good about my body but the rest of me seems to be suffering as well. I know this isnt really a diet question but does anyone have any tips for keeping up skin, hair, spirits etc and beating the winter dullness?

Sun. Dec 4, 10:31pm

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I know what you mean that you feel like crap in the winter. I haveSAD and what helps me is ........well, there really is not cure all but i try to do little things that i know will make me feel better in a short time. These are not the best habits for myself but they are little things that help me out when im feeling blue.
A few of my favorites are: Walking my dog, holding my cat or bird (yes, i have a min farm, lol), eating a weight watchers mini cake,going tanning for a short period of time, having a mini glass of red wine, sitting in a sunny spot of the room with a good book almost always helps as does calling a good friend. If there is no sun at all, i try to keep myself busy, in fact very busy in an effort to not think about my body or how im feeling that particualr day.
I want you to know that you are not alone and this does get better :)
Best of luck!

Sunday, December 04, 2005, 10:39 PM

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Buy an oil-free moisturizer that's specifically made for faces (Walgreens carries some, it doesn't have to be fancy) and a leave-in conditioner or oil serum for your hair (I use Thermosilk spray leave-in conditioner and a serum from Modern Organic Products, both in larger quantities than is recommended on the bottle!) After you shower (a nice steamy one, with a loofah and yummy-smelling body wash!) take the time to lotion your face with the oil-free, THEN the rest of your body with regular lotion (you don't want the oil from the regular lotion on your hands when you touch your face), and use the conditioner on your hair BEFORE you comb it out - it'll reduce snags. (I use leave-in conditioner in addition to the regular kind in the shower. If you have thin/greasy/not overly-dry hair, my suggestions probably aren't for you!) Taking the time for your body should make you happier with it.

Also, buy a humidifier and use it in your room at night, you'll wake up feeling less dry and gross, particularly if you have a window- or wall-heater (not central air) or if you notice a lot of static in your home (another sign of dryness!)

Buy some good tea, and make yourself a big cup of it and curl up with a blanket and watch your favorite TV show or movie. Light a fire if you have a fireplace.

Learn a new winter-time activity, or dig one up from the past. Ice skating, skiing, snow-shoeing, sled-riding, making snow angels, anything! Doing things that you enjoy that are also active will make you love your body too!

Buy some peppermint-scented candles - they remind me of the holidays, and smell so good!!!

Monday, December 05, 2005, 10:47 AM

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beating the wintertime blues

What works for me is if I am successful in getting my butt out the door into the snow and cross country skiing. That'll keep me above the blues, and know that *each day I'm making progress* -- focus on the progress.

Monday, December 05, 2005, 11:53 AM

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great comments! I second all of the above & add l'occtaine cuticle moisturizer. Their hand cream is great too but the cuticle stuff is amazing. I've used just about every oil & cream on the market & this one is the best by far.

If you have acces to a steam room...use it! One of your friends may have one at their gym, see if you can get a guest pass.

Monday, December 05, 2005, 11:56 AM

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Home spa recipes

You can do some really nice things for yourself with about $5 worth of ingredients from the grocery store. My favorites:

2 T of kosher salt (not the regular stuff...must be the big grains)
1-2 T of oil (I like olive...any kind works)
1-2 T of honey

Mix this all up so you get a scrub, then rub it all over yourself. Great for smoothing away the dry scaly winter skin, and the oil leaves you feeling smooth and soft.

Face scrub

1 T of baking soda (the stuff you put in the fridge to absorb oders)
1/2 t of vinegar (for oily skin)
1 t of water

Add the water to the baking soda and mix. Add the vinegar - the mixture should foam up. Smooth gently over face and rinse. This leaves your face feeling smooth and gets rid of the bumpies!

Some of the best skin advice I got was to avoid long hot showers or baths. Water is actually very drying, especially in the winter. So treat this as a treat, not an everyday occurence. Also, I only soap up the "necessary" areas - pits, groin, face, feet, hair. Soap is very drying, in spite of what the advertisers tell you. The rest of you isn't that dirty anyway, so avoid the soap.

Monday, December 05, 2005, 12:41 PM

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I must have the world's oiliest skin. In the winter it's acutally manageable! However as oily as my skin is the scrub recipe and face wash recipe noted above work great! They leave everything soft, silky and not irritated as some of the harsher cleansers or scrubs can do. I use these in a steamy shower and then follow up with a toner.

I like to get a pedicure with some incredibly cheerful color! Then whenever I see my toes they look like summer :-) It reminds me of running around in little tanktop and shorts with barefeet, and I want to look GOOD in the tank top and shorts!

Monday, December 05, 2005, 1:27 PM

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I'm not sure from your question but maybe it's more than just a cosmetic lift you need. If you really are suffering from mild SAD be sure to get out in the the light every day for at least 20 minutes - not tanning, just good light exposure to the outdoors. Even under clowdy skies, the outside light is so much more than what we have in even a well-lit room. Try using full-spectrum bulbs and if you need serious light there are lots of devices on the market that can help. Good luck!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005, 7:49 AM

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I'm not quite sure I know what SAD is, but from your comments, it sounds like a seasonal down time. Is this right? i always say i am allergic to winter! Lol! I NEVER get outdor activity in winter months, I hate the cold, just can't handle it! So I know I need more excersize, but I just feel so drained of energy! I will CRAVE fresh air, but the cold outside keeps me inside! I like the pedicure idea, maybe I will give that a try. I also take a vitamin B75 complex. My pharmasist said it's sunshine in a bottle! She was quite right! I take it year round, and it especially helps get me through the winter. I would love to hear more suggestions as well! Good luck to all!!

Saturday, December 31, 2005, 3:26 AM

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I am a counselor/psychologist and can tell you I suffer from this too. I live in the northwest and believe me when I say the lack of light gets heavy. You have already recieved a lot of good advice. I want to add one more idea here. I installed full spectrum lighting in my kitchen/eating area and it has made a ton of difference for me. When I am home I spend a fair amount of time in this room preparing meals for family and etc. It doesn't cost much; the bulbs are available at any home improvement store. Pick a room that you spend time in and give it a try. Also - I have heard from my naturopath that many people have good results from the light boxes and light visors. Hang in there.

Sunday, January 01, 2006, 2:21 AM

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Cheap solution and good for you!

Make sure that you're taking your EFAs (essential fatty acids) and consider using coconut oil - great as not only a dietary supplement (curbs my appetite and elevates my mood within minutes) but it's also great for your skin. For many women, taking EFAs regularly helps alleviate (or prevent) PMS symptoms, too.

I never could tolerate winter and now that I've maintained an 80# weight loss for over 2 years, I'm always freezing. Three layers of fleece does not feel sexy!!, so it's very important to care for your physical self - love the spa ideas above - so that you can work on positive feelings during these cr@ppy months.

I also resolve that it's worth it to me to spend a few extra hundred dollars from November - April to actually turn the heat up when I need it.

Sunday, January 01, 2006, 9:18 AM

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Love the light!

OK this column is interesting to me because I live in the South and we are currently wearing shorts BUT I have a real problem being in a house that does not have alot of light. I agitates me. I recently got married and my husband does not turn on alot of lights( Miser). I am constantly turning something on or opening the blinds because it is too depressing and Calm. Drives me crazy!

Thursday, January 12, 2006, 2:38 PM

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I bought my hubby a full-spectrum light and the 2 of us use it when we are on the computer. I am hoping it helps, because, in the winter, he tends to want to sleep alot... It hasn't ever been diagnosed, but I think he probably has SAD, because he tends to get really quiet and doesn't want to get out much.

Last winter, we tried snowshoeing-- getting outdoors on the snow shoes was a lot of fun, and a pretty cheap activity! (Sam's club sells some for about $75 a pair, including the poles and a handy carry bag.). Unfortunately, there has been no snow in Michigan, so we haven't been able to go out this winter!!!

I like the idea of the full-spectrum light in the kitchen--we spend lots of time there... Do you know if they make them for flourescent bulbs? How expensive are the bulbs???

Thursday, January 12, 2006, 5:47 PM

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Get outside

I think I have a mild case of SAD. I find that getting outside really helps!!! I try to do some form of exercise outside at least three times a week. I really appreciate the suggestion of the full spectrum bulbs...I had not tried those yet but will. Most importantly...take care of yourself! Overeating/drinking only makes you feel worse! And hang in there! The days are getting longer!

Friday, January 13, 2006, 8:29 AM

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Love the Light

Explain to your new husband that you will be happier thus he will be happier with more lighting. It is worth the little bit more you spend on electric bills.

Friday, January 13, 2006, 8:33 AM

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