08 Nov, 2018

How Does Winter Affect your Mind and Body?

Cold weather can wreak havoc on your skin, thanks to the strong winds, a drop in humidity levels, and the intensity of central heating. All of which strip the skin of its moisture.

On top of that, with the cold comes the chance of increased blood pressure, additional strains on the heart and, of course, the likelihood of catching a cold or the dreaded flu.

Moreover, the cold weather can alter your mental health, with the NHS anticipating it can affect as many as 1 in 15 people between September to April.

Read on to find out how to protect mind, body, and skin during the colder months.

Give your skin a boost

When the weather cools, and the air gets dry, it’s important to take steps to lock moisture into your skin, so you don’t get dry and chapped.

The way to achieve this is by stepping up your skincare regime. Winter is not the time to skimp on skincare, and your usual light lotion might not be adequate.

In the morning, opt for a rich cream, such as the Elemis Daily Moisture Boost, and at night choose a hard-working moisturiser such as Elemis Overnight Matrix, a wrinkle-smoothing, decadent night cream. Or, the Murad Overnight Detox Skin, which detoxes your skin as you sleep.

Woman applying moisturiser on face
Once a week or more, apply a rich mask that contains collagen. Collagen is a wonder ingredient that helps to heal redness and dryness brought on by the cold, plus it gives the skin a boost of much-needed moisture.

This time of the year is perfect to protect your skin by getting a facial. Spa Experience offers a range of facials.

Particularly effective during the winter months is the Biotec facial. This soothing treatment uses 5-in-1 advanced bio-electric technology that works in synergy with your skin’s bio-electric field to gently resurface the skin and give it the boost it needs. All this leaves you with revitalised, glowing, and, more importantly, protected skin.

Protect your chest

You may expect an onslaught of cold and flu infections this winter, so we recommend you take our 6 steps to boost your immune system:

  1. Concentrate on getting the right nutrients.
  2. Take steps to stay hydrated.
  3. Get plenty of rest.
  4. Consume plenty of vitamin C during the winter, as well as other potent antioxidants, most of which can be found in fruits and vegetables. (Top tip: opt for produce that’s rich in colour, as the deeper the tone, the higher the number of antioxidants!)
  5. Stay Warm. The drop in temperature during the winter can affect your body’s ability to fight off infections, so be sure to keep your house well heated and get out the snuggly blankets!
  6. Consider visiting a thermal spa to give your body a boost of warmth and relaxation.
Couple keeping warm by the fire
Follow these steps and there is a good chance you’ll get through the cold winter months without as much as a sniffle.

Don’t neglect your arms, legs and feet

Cold weather does more than dry out your skin and make you chilly—a far greater concern is that it can narrow your arteries and blood vessels, in turn restricting blood circulation and reducing oxygen to your heart.

Because of this, your heart is forced to beat faster to circulate blood through the constricted vessels, and, as a result, there is an increase in your heart rate and blood pressure.

Blood circulation is essential not just for now but for later in life, as high blood pressure often leads to heart failure. Therefore, it’s crucial you do everything you can to ensure your blood is circulating as it should and to look out pins and needles, the dreaded tell-tale sign of poor blood circulation.

Heart-shaped sign in front of sun

How to provide proper blood circulation

  • Exercise is an excellent way to get your blood flowing. Try for at least 30 minutes of reasonably vigorous exercise.
  • Go for regular massages during the winter. Massage is a great way to stimulate blood circulation and the lymph vessels, so be sure to book yourself a massage (or three!) this winter.
  • Go for regular massages during the winter. Massage is a great way to stimulate blood circulation and the lymph vessels, so be sure to book yourself a massage (or three!) this winter.
  • Try and drink more water, as dehydration leads to poor blood circulation.
  • If you’re a smoker, it may be time to stop, as poor circulation is one of the most damaging side-effects of tobacco.

The winter blues

It’s not uncommon to suffer from the blues during the cold winter months. And while scientists are unsure what causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the official name for the winter blues, they all agree that there are steps you can take to escape the winter relatively unscathed.

Woman with cat

  • Get out in the sun as much as you can and allow as much natural light as possible in your home, as sunlight is a natural mood booster.
  • As well as helping with blood circulation, regular exercise has been found to treat mild to moderate depression, so make regular workouts a habit.
  • Don’t keep yourself hidden away just because it’s chilly! Seek out friends who make you feel good about yourself, which will give your mood a natural boost.
  • Eat well. Poor nutrition can make you feel sluggish and down while eating a balanced diet will ensure you have all the vitamins and micro nutrients you need to keep your mood elevated.
All this may be a lot to consider, especially since winter can be one of the busiest times of the year, especially with the run-up to Christmas but it’s important to take care of yourself. Plus, you’ll be so much better off when Autumn finally comes around. Why not take advantage of some of the fantastic spa promotions so you can emerge from winter feeling and looking fabulous.

@2016 Spa Experience. Spa Experience is a registered trading name of GLL (Trading) Limited, Company Registration Number 04234158 which is a subsidiary of GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), a charitable social enterprise and registered society under the Co-operative & Community Benefit & Societies Act 2014. Registered address: Middlegate House, The Royal Arsenal, London SE18 6SX

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