5 wellness tips for winter

Winter is here and the drop in temperature can take a toll on our hair, skin, health, and weight. This season you will most likely change your wardrobe, but it’s a good idea to do the same for your body and health. Here’s more,

Hair

You can do protective hairstyles that will prevent having your hands in your hair all the time. You can do short-term styles such as buns, twists and braids and keep them in for a week or two. This season, make use of the LOC method to lock in that moisture.

Skin

It’s best to make use of a cream which is typically more moisturising during winter. Look for a cream that specifically targets dry and sensitive areas on your skin, such as Vaseline Dry skin repair body cream or use any cream of your choice and double up the protection by adding a body oil such as magnolia tissue for that extra kick. Although creams feel heavier on the skin, they do a much better job at protecting our skin.

Mental Health

Maintaining your mental health during winter is important in supporting your overall health, safety, and wellness. Don’t be ashamed to reach out to your support system and talk with those you trust when you feel like you’re struggling. Be open and discuss your concerns and how you’re managing them. These interactions can be virtual by reaching out to organisations such as SADAG, which can help build up your emotional and mental resilience.

Weight

In winter we are most likely to eat more because of the cold and the need for comfort. It’s important to balance this by drinking lots of water and keeping nutrients high by eating vegetables and healthy fats. It’s a bonus if you’re a lover of green tea as the antioxidants are an added boost for your skin and weight.

It’s important to start adapting your physical and mental regimen to the season, that way when the temperatures drop and rise your body will be ready for it. Share your wellness tips down below.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

4 wellness accounts to follow on Instagram

Health and wellness influencers can help inspire and guide us to boost our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Here are 4 wellness accounts I love!

Sugarfree Sundays

Image via Facebook

Sugarfree Sundays is a page ran by Max, a graduate BSc and entrepreneur. She’s the founder and CEO of Macro Mixes, a company providing high protein, sugar free and calorie-controlled baking premixes, and porridges. Sugarfree Sundays is a great page to follow if you want to quit sugar, but still want to enjoy baked goodies and treats.

Queen Finxa 

Image via Food24

Zandile, also known as Queen Finxa, is a consumer and food sciences graduate who shares easy and unique recipes using indigenous fresh ingredients. She’s on a mission to change the belief that Sorghum is only good for making beer and porridge. She shares her recipes on her page and encourages her followers to share their attempts at her recipes, so be sure to join her community if you’re looking for a fun and interactive way to cook healthier.

Obakeng Makapane

Image via Glamour

Obakeng is a plant-based fitness entrepreneur who started a ‘working out from home’ series during lockdown. All you need to exercise with her is yourself and common household items! She shares her workouts on her page, so you can do them at any time that you want. Trust me, her posts will get you moving!

Ophela Mhlauli

Image via Opera News

Ophela is the perfect example of how perseverance, consistency and hard work is the winning recipe to getting your dream body. By sharing her body transformation pictures, Ophela keeps you motivated to begin your own transformation journey and shows you how it’s possible. Follow her for lots of fun workouts and meal ideas.

2022 can be the year you re-discover your relationship with wellness, physical and emotional wellbeing. With uncertainty still in the air, it’s good to take some time out and get to know yourself again. These influencers are passionate about wellness, and they use social media to share helpful resources and guided practices to kick start your wellness journey. Enjoy!

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

Improving your mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

It’s safe to say that most of us are feeling overwhelmed. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on feelings of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Here are some ways to improve your mental health during this time.

Recognise your anxiety as completely normal

With the loss and many inconveniences COVID-19 brought on, it’s normal to experience occasional anxiety. In fact, most professionals say that this kind of anxiety is a normal and healthy function that alerts us to threats and helps us take the measures to protect ourselves (such as social distancing or vaccinating).

However, severe anxiety can be dangerous to your mental health, and if you or your loved one experiences severe anxiety, please reach out to SADAG or Lifeline for free telephonic counselling.

Learn healthy coping mechanisms 

It’s important to adopt healthy coping mechanisms during this time. With social distancing and the isolation it brings, you can easily adopt bad habits without realising it. Thankfully, there are many healthy coping mechanisms you can try out.

Other distractions include:

Learning a new skill, such as baking, painting or dancing.

Taking a free course online.

Learning a new social media skill, like editing, content creation or photography.

Catching up on your favourite series.

Learning more about yourself.

Find new ways to connect with your loved ones 

We all need contact with other people. Human connection is essential for our wellness and health, especially during these times.

Although COVID-19 regulations advise us to limit our contact with friends and family, we can still find time each day to maintain virtual connections by texts, phone calls, WhatsApp messaging, FaceTime and similar apps.

Unplug

It’s important to create clear distinctions between school/work and non-work time (work/life balance). Try to unplug after work hours by taking a walk, cooking, spending time with family, journaling or any other activity that relaxes and refreshes your mind in a heathy way.

Following COVID-19 regulations, being kinder to yourself, maintaining connections with loved ones and practicing self-care can increase your ability to better cope during these uncertain times. It’s not easy Choma, but with a healthy mindset, we can conquer this virus as a country.

For more information, visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za/

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

Using social media to benefit your mental health

There’s a lot of negativity on social media that can negatively affect your mental health. But don’t deactivate all your social media accounts just yet, I’ve got some tips on how you can use social media so that it can positively affect your mental health. Here’s how.

Use it to follow mental health and wellness inspiration

Social media apps like Facebook and Twitter allow you to control the kind of content that you want to see and engage with. You can choose to follow pages that are encouraging and you can follow mental health professionals who can give you tips on how to take better care of your mental health.

You can access spaces of social support

Some non-profit organisations like SADAG, offer mental health support by posting content that can help you cope with a mental illness and stay mentally healthy. You can join groups like these online and be a part of a community that helps to build each other. You can even help them reach more people by sharing the groups and raising awareness about their online existence.

You can connect with people you can relate to

Social media can help you socialise with someone who is not in your social circles, even someone who is a million miles away. This allows you to connect with people you can relate to and who can help you feel understood, accepted, and loved. This is good for your mental health because when you surround yourself with people who value and understand you, you can speak your mind without feeling judged or misunderstood.

You can express yourself or raise awareness about what matters to you

Social media gives you the platform to speak your mind and express your thoughts. When done right, this can be good for you because you can engage in healthy, fulfilling conversations with your followers and get things off your chest. If you like, you can even raise awareness about a cause that you’re passionate about and help bring about change. This is definitely good for your mental health because it will also boost your self-esteem and make you feel proud of yourself for contributing positively to society and bringing about change.

Being on social media means that you need to be careful of the kind of content you follow and the kind of people you allow into your life. This can help you make sure that your social media accounts contribute healthily towards your mental health and are safe for you. Remember to minimise the amount of time spent online so that you can enjoy other things that make you happy offline.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

Five foods to beat the winter blues

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting colder, the nights longer and the air dryer. Often winter can get you feeling down. Your body goes through a bit of strain during the colder months, trying to keep warm, trying to get rid of colds and flu and generally lacking energy. If your immune system isn’t up to the task, you’re likely to catch the latest winter germ roaming around. Staying healthy during winter isn’t just about washing your hands and keeping a safe distance from sick people. There is a lot more to it and maintaining a healthy diet will definitely boost your immune system. Chomas these tips on what foods to eat to should help you kick the winter blues.

Fish

Fish contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are said to boost the immune system and improve your mood. Omega-3 fatty acids are also known as healthy fats and play an important role in regulating cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are also said to reduce inflammation throughout the body which usually occurs when you have a cold or flu.

Leafy Greens

There’s a reason why Popeye is so strong and happy. Leafy greens such as spinach contain high doses of vitamin C. Vitamin C also has immunity boosting superpowers and has high antioxidants which increase levels of energy and are said to lower anxiety. Other foods in this category include kale, cabbage, lettuce and broccoli.

Oats

Starting your day with a bowl of oats every morning increases energy, immunity and plays a part in stabilising mood. A special fibre called Beta-glucan is found in oats, barley, and yeast, which does wonders for protecting your body against colds and flu during the winter season.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt is said to contain “healthy” bacteria also known as probiotics which support a healthy digestive system. As well as supporting the immune system. A daily dose of yoghurt is not only healthy but is also said to shorten your spells of cold or flu.

Apples

The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t a myth. Apples have more than one health benefit. Apples contain a soluble fibre which boosts the body’s immune system and are an excellent source of energy. Apples are also high in vitamin C and in antioxidants which are beneficial for glowing, beautiful skin. Another benefit that apples provide is that they make your teeth whiter.

See how easy it is to equip your body to raise its weapons during the winter months? Most importantly it is essential to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get an efficient amount of sleep.

Stay warm, stay healthy and stay happy this winter!

Health and Exercise Tips for beginners

January is the month where we all rethink our unhealthy December decisions and decide to get back on track. And that’s perfectly fine. What better time to start achieving your goals than the beginning of a new year?

So if you’ve decided to start working towards a healthier life but not sure where to start, simply read on for helpful tips chomas.

Start slowly

If you haven’t exercised in a long time or if you’ve never exercised before, it’s a good idea to start off slowly and then increase the pace of your exercises as you go along. The reason for this is, being a bit unfit at the moment, you might actually get tired more easily and the strain of exercising might make you feel like quitting.

Start with a ten minute walk every day and then slowly increase the time every week.

Even when it comes to going on a diet, try not to force yourself to go on an extreme diet. Start by cutting unhealthy things out of your diet, perhaps one week at a time. If you’re worried about giving in to cravings, replace your unhealthy snacks with something healthy but tasty. So instead of chips and biscuits, eat fruit and yoghurt, for example.

Find a fitness buddy

Don’t you find it easier to accomplish things when you’re doing it with someone else? When it comes to going on a journey toward a healthier lifestyle, having someone to go through it with you will definitely help. So get one of your friends and start exercising (even just walking or jogging) together. Share diet tips with each other, have weekly challenges and encourage each other to keep going.

Get fit through sports or hobbies

When you think about exercise you might immediately think about doing push-ups, running or lifting weight. For some of us, this doesn’t always sound like fun. But fitness doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Why not try taking up a sport you might enjoy? Join your school’s sport team or start your own after school sports team with your friends.

You could also enjoy doing things you love that will keep you active, like dancing, bike riding or swimming.

Keep track

It helps to keep track of what you’re doing to your body so that you can monitor your health changes. Take note of the times you’re making unhealthy choices and the possible reasons for them. Are you more likely to make unhealthy choices when you’re stressed or when you’re with your friends? Do you eat more when you’re bored? Taking note of this will help keep you aware of your habits and lead to you changing them.

Also keep track of your healthy habits. If you can keep a journal of your diet and weight so that you can see the effect of your health choices. You can even ask your doctor or another medical professional for health tips that are specific for your body type.

Stay Positive

Lastly chomas, remember to maintain a positive attitude towards your health goals. Making the decision to be healthier and take care of yourself better is always a good one so never stop trying. If you feel like you’ve backslid into old habits, simply start over. Believe in your ability to achieve your health goals no matter what.

Do you have any health goals you want to achieve this year? Let me know in the comments.