It's that time of the year again. When the weather throws off its summer warmth to embrace the Winter chill. Everything is changing. These days, it's wet and rainy, the temperature is about 5°C on average, and daylight is fast fleeting. This is a signal that I will be spending countless hours on graduate school work in the library, getting too little sleep, and probably gaining 2-4 lbs from my current sedentary lifestyle.
So to remain my fabulous self, my top 10 strategies for the next few months for beautiful hair, skin, mind, & body are:
1. For the body, get back to the Gym. I plan to work out 3 days a week of cardio & strength-training, plus 2 days of Hot Yoga to stay in good shape. This work-out plan cannot be over-stressed. It's the only way to bust that insulating winter fat!
2. For natural hair, it is the season to maintain a steady regime with a good conditioner (weekly) and a deep conditioner (every 2 weeks). I just picked up Organic Root Stimulator's 'Hair Mayonnaise' to use with my heating cap for about 30 minutes after each wash. These same rules apply for relaxed hair which needs an extra dose of conditioning with protein treatments to fortify over-processed strands.
3. I will be reverting to regular autumn/winter hair care regime of frequent scalp massages with olive oil, using a leave-in conditioner like Infusium 23 for moisture, sealing the hair with unrefined shea butter, and reduce manipulating the hair to retain growth and avoid unnecessary breakage/shedding.
4. Don't forget weekly manicures to keep nails & hands looking fresh & classy despite the frostiness outside.
5. Winter hair removal: remember to Pluck/Thread/Wax eyebrows once they grow out of place. Nicely groomed brows frame your face and give you a cleaner appearance. Every month I get my brows threaded by an Indian lady for only $4. Then as the weeks go by, I pluck/tweeze any stray hairs that are growing outside the outline she created.
As for body hair, I use depilatory creams on my armpits weekly. And shave my legs to the winter-drop point just above my knees because I won't be wearing anything shorter than that length anyway. Personally, I don't think there's any point obsessing about female body hair once it gets colder because the tights/pantyhose come out of the closet and the frilly dresses & tube-tops return to the summer vault for storage!
6. Remember to take your Multivitamins. There are some good brands out there like One a Day Women & Centrum. Or even some generic ones are relatively good too. Just ensure they provide you with a good dose of the essentials like Calcium, Magnesium, Folic Acid, the Vitamin Bs & Vitamin D. For my darker-skinned sisters (& brothers) , if you live in a temperate climate, Vitamin D is particularly essential for you because since there's less sunlight with shorter days and longer nights, you can't quite absorb as much Vit. D as you need, so you need to get it somehow.
And for my sisters with heavy periods, try to replenish your body stores of iron after each period by increasing your intake of foods iron-rich such as: spinach, beef liver, iron-fortified cereals, or 1 tbsp of blackstrap molasses.
7. Remember to drink enough water. I don't aim for the 8 glasses a day rule...but I drink atleast 5 tall glasses of water everyday. I remind myself to drink water by making sure that I take atleast 5 gulps of water before I eat anything, even snacks.
8. Make out time to Pray/Meditate at least once everyday. If you don't have a close relationship with God, develop one. Or if you don't believe in God, meditate on yourself & try to grasp at your inner essence. Whatever you do, enjoy stillness and silence. Take time to re-evaluate your life. Ask yourself those deep questions like Who am I? Where am I going? How are my thoughts affecting my actions? How are my actions affecting others?
9. Say 'YES!' to new experiences. You're never to busy to try out something different/challenging/exciting. Dare to explore uncharted territory. Try something you've always wanted to do: you wanted to visit a small-town gallery, Do It! you wanted to rent-a-car and drive to New York, Do It! you wanted to join the rowing team on campus, Do It! One thing I am still learning is that life will never hand you 'special' time, saying "here, this is for you to live out your desires". You have to take it & do it BY FORCE!
10. Ultimately, Stay Positive. Remember to look on the bright side. Don't be too critical or judgemental about people. Don't be too gullible. Don't be too cheap. Don't be too extravagant. Be humble, be sincere, guard your personal integrity, and never stop discovering yourself.
P.S: What are you doing to stay fresh this season?
I took these photos a few days ago
...don't you just love these changing seasons!