If you think the big chill has hit hard this year, then you best brace yourself for what’s to come – because apparently Earth is headed for a mini ice age!
No, the apocalypse isn’t upon us – yet. However, according to a new study which claims to produce “unprecedentedly accurate predictions” of the suns activity, in 15 years time we will be faced with ridiculously cold winters that are said to freeze the River Thames which is the longest river in England. No biggie, right? Wrong.
Researchers at the University of Northumbria have warned that solar activity will fall so much (60 per cent to be exact) that between 2030 and 2040 a phenomenon called Maunder Minimum will occur, which is a period of time where the sun’s activity is lower than usual.
So what’s the cause, you ask? Scientists believe that it’s due to fluid movements within the sun converging in such a way that will make temperatures dramatically fall come 2030. According to a presentation by professor Valentina Zharkova, the result will be similar to freezing conditions between 1645 and 1715, wherein the first Maunder Minimum happened.
“[In the cycle between 2030 and around 2040] the two waves exactly mirror each other – peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the sun,” she told the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno.
“Their interaction will be disruptive, or they will nearly cancel each other. We predict that this will lead to the properties of a ‘Maunder minimum.'”
In England during this mini ice age, River Thames frost fairs were a thing after it completely froze over for seven weeks making it passable by foot. While that sounds delightful in theory, the reality of it was bitterly cold.
Best get preparing, ladies!
Images via Time and The Telegraph
Got a nasty case of the winter blues? Fret not, sister – help is at hand here, so put down that bowl of ice-cream and Game of Thrones DVD box set.
The winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a mood disorder which causes people to experience depressive symptoms in the winter, or in some cases, summer. Although why you’d ever be unhappy about warm weather is beyond me, but then again, I am a proud Queenslander.
Winter blues is a well-known phenomenon, particularly in the northern hemisphere where the poor peeps go for long periods without seeing any sunshine. Lack of direct sunlight (and consequently vitamin D) is known to cause depression. In Australia, we don’t have that problem to the same extent, but it seems people increasingly feel sad or depressed during winter – why?
Mental health experts say this could be due to physiological factors, for example: being in enclosed rooms (to keep the warmth in) leaves us more susceptible to catching colds and flu, leaving us feeling miserable. And there are psychological factors at play too, such as not going out and socialising as much when it’s colder, leading some people to feel lonely and isolated.
So, what can you do to ward off the winter blues? Here are five quick fixes:
- Little Miss Sunshine: The obvious one – get your coat on, baby, and get outside to catch some rays in the warmest part of the day. For Vitamin D will boost both your mood and your health. The “sunshine vitamin” is good for strong bones and teeth, fights disease and helps you feel sexy, vital and alive.
- You gotta keep moving: Winter is no excuse to stop exercising and start carb-loading as if your life depended on it (bugger). Get a personal trainer if your budget allows and if your motivation is sorely lacking; join a group exercise class, buddy up with a bestie or hit the weights/cardio equipment at the gym – anything which will boost your mood, give you happy endorphins as you sweat and make you look and feel great.
- Let’s talk about sex, baby: In an ideal world, sex would be a nice way to start the day, if only the likes of tiredness, toddlers and work commitments didn’t intervene. A good, early-morning session with your lover will provide immeasurable health benefits, plus it’s a form of exercise, right? And if you can reach the Big-O – this will instantly put you in a good mood even if it’s crazy cold weather outside.
- Let’s stay connected: Winter is no reason to neglect your close friendship circle and become BFFs with your doona. So, pick up your iPhone and make a date to catch-up with your friends – cocktails for all! Surround yourself with positive people who make you feel happy – not Debbie Downers – ain’t nobody got time for that. Alternatively, join a class, go to a library and/or a café – being around other like-minded people will boost your well-being.
- Mind, body, spirit: The colder weather is a great reason to try an indoors exercise class like yoga, body balance (yoga, pilates and tai chi) and/or take up meditation. Your mind, body and soul will love you for it and it will bring instant calm and relaxation benefits. I’m doing a lot of yoga and body balance classes at the moment and I’ve really noticed how much happier and more zen this makes me. Repeat after me, ommm…
What do you think? How do you combat the winter sads?
Images via good-kovka.com, hercampus.com
The big chill’s coming, baby, so it’s time to banish those winter blues with a little bit of help from beauty land.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stock up on good-quality products to safeguard your skin against the bitter cold. Two of my favourite ‘green’ beauty brands, Arbonne and Burt’s Bees, will do just that, as well as providing extra hydration and TLC. Here are She Said’s top 5 tips on how you can maintain a healthy glow this winter, sister.
- Switch to a creamy cleanser: A temperature drop can leave your skin feeling dry, dull and cracked. Instead of reaching for your gel cleanser, make the switch to a creamy cleanser which works hard to remove dirt and make-up without stripping your skin of if its natural oils and moisture. Try: Arbonne RE9 Advanced Smoothing Facial Cleanser, $61, which comes in a rich, pearlescent formula and gently washes away make-up and impurities, leaving skin feeling smooth and refreshed.
- Indulge in a weekly treatment mask: Winter skin requires extra TLC and calls for a pampering treatment mask which goes the extra mile. Complement your night beauty cream by treating yourself to a moisturising mask once a week. This will help to banish dry skin and give your face an extra boost of much-needed hydration. Try: Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask, $39.95. This baby will leave your skin feeling as soft and supple as a baby’s bum.
- Nourish your skin overnight: Want to sleep your way to glowing skin? Invest in an overnight, leave-on mask which works the night shift to hydrate, nourish and smooth your skin – all while you sleep! Try: Arbonne RE9 Advanced Intense Hydration Overnight Mask, $84, which replenishes skin with an extra boost of moisture. The soothing and fast-absorbing formula means you can go to bed with this mask on without feeling greasy. Even better, you’ll wake up to a dewy and refreshed complexion.
- Pucker up to a hydrating lip balm: Chapped lips are a definite deal breaker in winter. Keep dry, cracked lips at bay with a moisturising lip balm that works to soothe and nourish so that you can keep your pout soft and kissable 24/7. Try: Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm, $8.95. A big favourite of mine, this low-cost superstar contains moisturising beeswax and vitamin E to keep lips soft and replenished, plus a splash of peppermint for that signature tingle. Love!
- Pamper your hands and feet: Investing in a good skincare regime for your face is a must in winter, but don’t forget about the other hard-working parts of your body as well. Look for rich and pampering creams for your hands and feet to help shield them from the harsh, dry elements of winter. Try: Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream, $24.95. This lovely cream combines coconut oil, lanolin and vegetable glycerin to revive and rejuvenate even the driest, most neglected feet. It’s a winter must-have and smells heavenly to boot.
It?s as simple as this. Your body, unexercised, is like a stagnant pond of hormones. They remain an untapped resource if you just sit there, complaining about how exercise seems like too much effort. And while you?re complaining, you?re probably eating poorly as a comfort mechanism. With winter upon us, it?s very common to sit around more, be less active in sports, we drive more instead of walking and we feel that all our unsightly fatty deposits are safely tucked away beneath our warm woollens. Is that all you want from your health during winter?Beat the winter blues
Don?t underestimate ?the winter blues?. Low energy and lethargy are easily identified symptoms. If allowed to continue unchecked, you could find yourself spiralling into depression. Imagine removing yourself from your winter hibernation, perhaps by taking a short holiday at an island resort. Just being there gives you instant motivation to move your body. You want to go sightseeing, swimming, play golf, dance, and run. You can have that feeling every day if you want, winter or no winter.
So start self-medicating today and you?ll be an addict of the best kind!
By Gina Luca
* Gina is a freelance writer whose passion for talking to people on the Internet provides much inspiration for her writing.