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During the cold winter months, it’s fun to bundle up in your coziest hats and sweaters and sip some tea in front of a roaring fire. But all the grey skies and cold temps can have an effect on even the most chipper of us all. The winter months are the perfect time to schedule some extra pampering services like a massage or facial. Outside of the salon, there are also many ways you can keep those grey skies at bay. Sola stylist Stephenie Cook of Stephenie's Healing Hands gave us a few of her ideas to help combat the winter blues.

1. Use essential oils in your bath or as a body spray.

Cook recommends lemon, orange or peppermint essential oils to refresh and stimulate your mind. Make sure to purchase only dark essential oil bottles, which do not allow light to break the oil down. Add just a few drops to your bath water or to make a spray, Cook suggests “you will also need a carrier oil to put the essential oil in like olive oil. It’s also good for the skin. Put about 5 drops of essential oil in a tablespoon of olive oil and put in a 8 oz. bottle with distilled water. Tap water will not do. Shake well before you spray it. One to two sprays will do. Anything more is over kill.”

2. Eat raw nuts.

Easily found at your local Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, munching on raw nuts is an easy way to pep yourself up. Cook recommends cashews, almonds and hazelnuts and also sunflower and pumpkin seeds. She explains that raw nuts “helps convert sugar into energy which can help you avoid that all too well known crash in the middle of the day.”

3. Book a hot stone massage.

Hot stone massages are a fantastic choice in the winter because of the heat element involved in the treatment. While Cook doesn’t feel there’s a specific massage for cold weather to provide more energy, she does see an increase in clients requesting hot stone massages “because it warms their body while easing their tense muscles.”

4. Lather yourself in Biofreeze.

Often used by massage professionals but also available for retail purchase, Biofreeze is a pain relieving gel which helps soothe sore muscles and joints. In the winter months, Cook says she does see a rise in her massage clients requesting Biofeeze and she herself is also a fan; “I try to stretch everyday and keep my body flexible to help fight off the never ending discomfort of arthritis or smother it with Biofreeze when it does creep its way in.”

5. Increase your Vitamin C intake.

Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant and is a common remedy for fighting off the winter sniffles. It’s always smart to increase your vitamin C intake in the winter months and Cook recommends “citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits and tangerines packed with vitamin C which helps boost the immune system.” Another option is Emergen-C powder, which can be added to orange juice or water.

6. Savor the healing properties of eucalyptus oil.

A strong, fresh and woodsy scent, eucalyptus oil can be applied directly to the skin after being diluted. If you feel the hints of a winter cold creeping up, eucalyptus vapors can be very beneficial in treatment. As Cook explains, “eucalyptus oil is used to help relieve symptoms of the common cold and the vapor acts as a decongestant when inhaled. It’s also good for sinus congestion in the spring.”

7. Pack in the protein.

Cook recommends “lean meats which are full of vitamin B12. They help to energize and combat insomnia and depression.” Stay away from processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs and deli meats, which will not have the same healthy properties.

Another protein option, Cook suggests, is “the all mighty protein packed egg which contains energy-enhancing minerals like zinc.” How does Cook try to curb her own winter blues? “For myself, I try to maintain a positive attitude. Less worry means less stress, which is the number one killer today. Stress breaks your body down and makes it less capable of fighting off things like the common cold. I get a regular massage which helps sooth my sore muscles while helping keep my mood boosted and keeps my immunity strong.” How do you keep yourself energized and stay healthy in the winter? Share with us in the comments below!

 
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