It’s already March and winter is still here, snow and all. At least here in Finland. I don’t know about you, but somehow I always expect at least some hints of spring at this time of year. Wishful thinking, I know:-)
I’ve put together my personal survival guide for cold months. So, whether the cold you’re facing is outside, or the common cold has been bothering you, I hope you find this useful.
1. Bottled dose of sun
It seems like a tough job to get a healthy dose of sun and keep optimum vitamin D levels. Even people in sunny California might have a deficiency. Vitamin D is super important because it participates in multiple processes in our body. It supports bone and teeth, healthy immune system and affects up to 2,000 different genes.
Additionally, vitamin D is useful for healing the gut, especially for people with autoimmune issues who seem to be frequently deficient. Vitamin D also protects against acute respiratory infections like colds and flu according to a recent study by University of Queen Mary London.
2. Relief for the common cold and flu
There’s nothing like trying to desperately get some sleep when your nose is so blocked that you’re barely gasping for air. If you can’t leave your house and have nothing much around, trying steaming (inhaling steam).
Boil 1-2 l of water, pour it in a ceramic bowl or a cooking pot. Put it on a protective cork trivet or similar and get a big towel. Cover your head and spread the towel so it covers the bowl. Now that you have this little tent, inhale and you can stay there until it no longer gives off any steam. If you have some essential oils lying around, you can add a few drops to the water. I like to use organic essential oils by Balm Balm*, for example lavender*, peppermint*, eucalyptus*, rosemary*, frankincense* etc.). When you finish steaming, it’s the perfect time to apply your favourite cream, oil or serum because the skin is nicely moist and open. You’ll feel renewed.
I also recommend getting Golden cup balm or similar. It lasts very long because you only need tiny amounts and it really opens the nose. It’s definitely useful during the night. Just make sure you don’t put it near the eyes or on broken skin. It will burn like crazy. I often put it on the tip of my nose. It’s also great for some headaches. In that case you apply it on your forehead.
Golden cup balm contains: Methyl Salicylate, Camphor, Menthol, Peppermint oil, Eucalyptus oil, Cajuput oil, Clove oil, Cinnamon oil and ointment base (contains liquid and hard paraffin). It’s not completely natural, but you really don’t need much of it. Some people might experience sensitivity to methyl salicylate, camphor and menthol – redness, itching which should disappear after washing it off.
For a completely organic alternative, you can try Easy Breathe Balm* by Herbfarmacy which you can also apply on the upper chest to get more relief.
3. Keeping yourself warm
If you’re struggling to keep your limbs warm despite having woolen socks on, try a gel or balm containing chili extract, or cinnamon oil. I use a gel called Thermolka made by a Czech company which contains hemp extract, chili extract and is great for sore muscles and joints. It feel like having an electric blanket on. There are similar gels and other warming balms available. You can also make your own.
4. Staying cozy and warm on the inside
A nice cup of tea and spices like ginger, cinnamon belong to winter for a warming reason. My new favourite tea has been a delicious blend by Beauty Brews* with rooibos, apple, orange and cinnamon. I also love pretty much any tea by Pukka.
Get cooking and cozy. Try some curry recipe. Read those books you’ve been planning too. Bad weather takes the pressure off to be outside, so spend some quality time with yourself and your loved ones. Pick up those projects you’ve been putting aside. Cosy fluffy blankets and movie time are always a great option too.
5. Enjoying winter glamour
With all the layers necessary to get through the cold weather, it’s sometimes hard to feel beautiful. Having a nice coat, scarf, gloves and accessories can make a big difference. It doesn’t have to be cashmere, although that is a nice investment. You can also feel beautiful thanks to pleasant scents. There are some wonderful natural perfumes by Pacifica*. I love their Mediterranean Fig* and Hawaiian Ruby Guava* solid perfumes and plan to try more from their range.
Don’t forget to protect your skin. There are some nice creams without high water content that you can safely apply on your whole family like Egyptian Magic cream or Weleda Skin Food* and Weleda Weather Protection Cream*.
For a review of the Egyptian Magic cream, visit my older post here.
*affiliate links – more info