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6 Simple Steps to Healthy and Beautiful Hair and Skin During Winter

6 Simple Steps to Healthy and Beautiful Hair and Skin During Winter

It’s winter time, and our hair and skin are feeling that winter blues. Wind, cold air and exhaust fumes negatively influence both our beautiful skin and our luscious hair. In order to keep your glowing skin and shiny hair in top condition, you’ll need to adjust your grooming routine to the winter season. These 5 steps are the most important in your mission to stay healthy and fabulous during winter.

1. Fight skin dryness with moisturizers

Whatever type of skin you have, it will become drier in winter, which will lead to various skin problems. As it will be dry and sensitive, it will be prone to cracking. To prevent cracking and dryness, you need to moisturize your skin. If your skin is dry and sensitive, you have probably found the right moisturizer for you. However, during summer and spring we use water-based moisturizers, which won’t work in winter. You need to adjust your skincare to the season if you want to keep your skin healthy. In these winter days, you should use oil-based moisturizer, because oil creates a protective layer on the skin, which will protect you from external factors such as smog, wind, and cold.

Except for external factors, your skin can become more sensitive and dry due to aging. It’s perfectly normal, and everyone is going through the same process. Make sure you take a good care of your skin, so it can stay elastic and soft for years to come. If you have some changes on your skin such as age spots, scars or even sunspots that you don’t want to keep as a memory of a wild summer vacation, you have probably considered skin bleaching, which will make your imperfections less visible, or even make them disappear completely.

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2. Don’t use curling and flat iron

Nowadays, we all dye our hair, and use curling and flat irons. Throw wind and cold into the mix, and you’ll get the worst combination of negative factors that your hair won’t be able to endure. No matter what products you are using, it is simply impossible to keep your hair healthy while attacking it with so many things that are damaging it and making it dry.

Therefore, as it is winter, and our hair desperately needs to become shiny again, you should focus on keeping your hair moisturized. To prevent breakage and split ends, try leaving the irons aside for the season, and change your hairstyle so that you won’t have to use them. On the other hand, if you really need to use a flat iron, make sure you are providing your hair with all the right vitamins, and keep it moisturized.

You can make various homemade masks for your hair, which you can make by just taking a few basic ingredients from your kitchen. You should also include a thick moisturizing conditioner with a few key ingredients in your daily hair care routine. The products should contain humectants and fatty acids, as they hold the moisture in your hair, which is essential during this romantic season.

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3. Put an end to your bad habits

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, but bad habits are actually ruining your health slowly, and your skin and hair will be the first to go. Smoking and drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages will certainly lead to hair and skin dryness, and make them both sensitive. Therefore, the best solution is to quit smoking, and have just one glass of wine instead of the whole bottle.

Another bad habit is lack of hydration. The only way to keep your skin hydrated and avoid dryness and redness is to drink enough water throughout the day. Instead of a soda, take a glass of water, and your body will be thankful. Not so hard, is it?

4. Start healthy diet

Vitamin C is definitely your best friend during this cold season. Firstly, it boosts your immune system and secondly, it improves the production of collagen, which keeps our skin elastic and healthy. Great sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries and leafy greens.

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Except for vitamin C rich foods, you should also consume food that contains omega-3 fatty acids, which will benefit both your skin and your hair. They will keep your hair and scalp conditioned, while also making your skin wrinkle-free and more elastic. The biggest source of these fatty acids are definitely walnuts, but they can be found in oily fish, other nuts, olive oil and salmon. Add these to your diet, and you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday season stress free.

5. Don’t stop exercising

As we want our body to be in shape and bikini ready for the summer season, spring is the time for exercising. Moreover, most of us do a good job of staying active during the warmer months, but somehow when winter comes, we all tend to become hermits. Don’t stop exercising, be strong and don’t fall under the winter blues spell.

By exercising you will help your body get rid of toxins more efficiently, which will give your skin that glamorous glow. If you feel like you don’t have enough energy, than get a little help from healthy nutritional supplements, which will provide you with more energy and allow your body to absorb the necessary nutrients it needs to fuel the workouts much faster. This energy boost is very important, as you might become unwilling to work out due to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and feel like you have no energy for any physical activity.

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Also, as exercising boosts the production of endorphins, you will be able to fight winter depression, and finally be happy and satisfied during the cold winter days.

6. Get more sleep

We have heard so many times that we need to get more sleep in order to look pretty in the morning, but is beauty sleep a myth or a fact? Actually, an experimental study has shown that beauty sleep is nothing less than pure science. The study found that if we sleep for only a few hours, we will look unhealthy, whereas well-rested people will look more attractive and healthier.

But how does it affect your skin and hair? When you are tired, your skin is the first to show signs of unhealthy habits. When you sleep for 8 hours, even the products you are using will work better. And no matter how tired you are, always clean your face and never go to bed with your makeup. Also, change your pillowcase more often, because the acne and irritations you have might be caused by that little bacteria nest of yours, i.e. the pillowcase that hasn’t been changed for a long time.

Being constantly exhausted will negatively affect your overall health, and your hair and skin are going to be the first to show signs of damage and fatigue. This leads to split ends, breakage and dry hair, as well as irritable, dry and flaky skin, particularly during the cold and dry winter months. However, it’s not that difficult to keep your body in good health using the simple tips outlined in this article, you just need to be persistent and adopt a few good habits.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Katarina Milovanovic

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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