Christmas can be a stressful time for many of us. Shopping for gifts, planning events, coordinating deliveries, prepping feasts, travelling and making appearances can leave us to feel a little snowed under. Neglecting the pillars of self-care often leads to exhaustion after the holidays rather than feeling well-rested. Not only does this lead us to fatigue, but it can cause damage to our hair growth cycle as well! Luckily, we're here to help! Keep reading for seven simple ways to help keep you happy this holiday season.
1. Eat Healthy Food
Food is no doubt a central feature of holiday celebrations. With so much yummy treats floating around, the temptation to let yourself go is at an all time high! However a lot of festive snacks have poor nutritional contents, so they don’t give the body what it needs to function at its best. Fresh vegetables, grains and fruit help the body get what it needs to perform well so make sure you're nourishing your body.
2. Drink Water
We’ve all been there, buzzing in and out of the shops, forgetting to hydrate, feeling tired and opting for a sugary caffeinated drink. Although tasty and energizing, drinks with high sugar and caffeine content actually dehydrate the body. Tea can be a better alternative to coffee, but it can still be dehydrating if it contains caffeine.
Drinking water is definitely an important aspect of self-care — after all our bodies are made up of 60% water! Water keeps us hydrated, meaning that our cells function at optimum level. Afro hair needs as much moisture as possible and the best way to hydrate it is from within. By drinking more water, we are allowing the scalp to stay hydrated.
3. Get Enough Rest and SleepLet’s face it, in the holiday season we’re often having such a good time out or catching up with our friends and family that time flies by. As a result, our bedtime gets later. This has a negative effect on our body, as sleep is recovery and rejuvenation time for our cells (including the cells on our scalps!). When we get quality sleep, our body relaxes and goes into repair mode. It also sends messages to the cells telling them that there are no stress factors, allowing our skin, nails and afro hair to grow abundantly.
4. Go for Walks and Enjoy the Crisp Winter Air
Not everyone enjoys being out in the cold, but getting out for a jog or walk in the crisp winter air is a great way to stay in check with your self-care. When we stay inside to keep warm, we are often breathing in recycled air, which is not stimulating to the brain. Being outside and moving your body improves blood circulation; taking toxins away from the scalp and stimulating Afro hair growth. It has also been proven to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being, which has a double impact on hair growth!
5. Make Time for Yourself
Use the holidays to reconnect with the things you love doing most. Like to read? Put your feet up and let your mind wander, you can even put a treatment in your hair at the same time. Into your yoga or the theatre? Book a class, or a show and get out there and do it. Get a massage, paint if you like painting, don't be afraid to do some solitary activities. More often than not, when we are involved in activities that we enjoy, we walk away feeling rejuvenated. Relaxation lets our bodies perform the best they can, meaning our hair follicles even benefit!
6. Plan Your Shopping
If you haven't clocked on already, busting stress is a huge factor for self-care and afro hair care. In fact, all our cells are impacted by stress, that includes skin and hair cells. Stress produces hormones which can deter cells from working properly, putting off growth. Planning shopping time can reduce stress and can help us keep focused on what we've gone out to buy.
Money is a cause of stress in most of our lives and during the busy festive period finances can get spread very thin! Set yourself a budget for gifts, outfits and going out. When our bank balance is healthy our thought processes often follow suit, meaning less stress and healthier body.
7. Spend time with loved onesLast, but certainly not least, spend time with people who love you. Give and receive hugs from people you like and you'll be filled up with oxytocin which is a hormone that helps us feel good. When we feel good we are relaxed and our bodies function at their best. It's times like these when our cells are most effective in growth and replacement, meaning stronger hair growth!
From time to time we need to be reminded that the festival season is a time to give the gift of time to family, loved ones and ourselves. In the same way, we often forget that healthy Afro hair takes a holistic approach and self-care is central to this practice.
What is your favourite self-care habit?
If you need help learning about how to care for afro hair, our blog posts are here to help you out.
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