Winter. The air is cold and dry. We’re not getting a lot of sunlight. How does winter affect you? Winter can accentuate depression, anxiety and, as a result, body-focused repetitive behaviors (BFRBs) like skin picking, hair pulling and nail biting.
If you feel depressed in winter, be sure you are not deficient in vitamin D, which can play a big role in seasonal depression and other health issues.
Cold and dryness in the air can make the body cold and dry as well. In the ancient Indian medical system of Ayurveda (still useful today!), excess cold and dryness in the body causes anxiety and related conditions like insomnia, and presumably increases our picking, pulling or biting behaviors.
What can we do to warm up and moisturize? Firstly, be sure you are eating appropriately for the season. Avoid cold, dry and light foods. Favor more substantial, warming and grounding foods. No smoothies or salads! Yes to soups and stews. Eat your vegetables cooked in the winter. Cut down or eliminate sugar, which has an extremely “light” energetic quality and can greatly aggravate your BFRB.
Take warm baths (by candlelight if seeing your naked skin will trigger your skin picking) or try abhyanga, the Ayurvedic practice of self-massage using warm oil. Put some sesame or almond oil in a small closed container and heat it in a pot of water on the stove until the oil is warm but not too hot. Then, standing or sitting on an old towel, begin the massage at your feet. Do long strokes on the muscles and circles around the joint areas. Work your way up, and end by massaging your scalp and oiling your hair. Sit quietly for a few minutes with your eyes closed to allow the oil to soak into your skin. Relax and breathe deep slow breaths. Focus on lengthening the exhales; this will help your body and mind relax. Use a paper towel to blot excess oil, then take a shower with soap and shampoo.
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Love and support,
p.s. Have you downloaded my free “Freedom Kit”? It comes with a written and audio report, “Why you pick your skin and how to finally stop,” a video on “how to stop skin picking urges in two minutes flat,” and my “Live Free” newsletter in your inbox each month. Learn more here.