A Dry Christmas
December 9, 2007 6:55 AM   Subscribe

I live in a humid / semi-tropical area where it never gets cold / snows. I have been here for 7 years and am very climatized. Now, whenever I go home to Michigan for Christmas, I get extremely 'dried out'.....my head feels dehydrated. I also get extremely tired / lethargic, and my internal thermometer gets thrown out of wack. What is going on here, and what can I do to alleviate the symptoms so I can have an enjoyable Christmas?
posted by jasondigitized to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
Do you still dress appropriately for the weather? My brother always hated the cold and moved to California as soon as he could. When he comes home he over dresses. He goes out, sweats, gets a chill, wears even more clothes, repeats.

I'd drink lots of water and take a few short walks outside each day to get some sun. You can re-acclimate. And wear a hat, even before you get cold.

There's not much to do about the lethargy. I think we all feel it to some extent.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:08 AM on December 9, 2007

Yeah, I moved from Georgia to the cold north and had quite a lot of trouble adjusting. What works for me is getting at least 30 mins of sunlight a day (despite the cold brrr....), having lots of lamps, sleeping with lots of clothes on under a down comforter, exerciser, and a humidifier. I'm also considering a HEPA filter to deal with the bad air from the heater and a light box so I can get sun even when it's dark and cold.
posted by melissam at 7:12 AM on December 9, 2007

Dehydration. Drink a lot of water.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:06 AM on December 9, 2007

I'm pretty sure there's no other way around it, other than drinking lots of water. I used to go from Seattle to Iowa for christmas. It wasn't pleasant. Even if I was constantly drinking water, I was still dehydrated, because my body never had time to adjust.

Sometimes I thought it would have been easier to have an IV...
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:33 AM on December 9, 2007

For that dry-head feeling, try breathing steam in the mornings--boil water, pour in bowl, put head over bowl with towel covering you, and breathe a good 5-10 times, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Throw some dried sage in, if you feel like you're getting a cold. I was horribly dry in the mornings last winter, after moving from TX to NC, and the sage-steam thing helped enormously. Also good for the skin.
posted by paleography at 8:49 AM on December 9, 2007

Oh yeah, like others are saying, dehydration inside the body is a problem too. Tea does a double duty fixing that and providing some steam to breath in.

Sometimes I also like to visit the local greenhouses at the botanical garden too. The rainforest one is perfect for me.
posted by melissam at 8:54 AM on December 9, 2007

My husband and I would always get the same feeling when we drove from St. Louis to visit relatives in Nebraska.

You might want to have a humidifier going in your room while you sleep, or even just a pot of water simmering on the stove during the day. This should raise the humidity level in the house.

As others have said, it's important to drink a lot of water, too. That helped us.
posted by Ostara at 9:02 AM on December 9, 2007

When I was in school I'd go from (rainforest) Hawaii to freezing arctic in Alaska, oh the dryness! It was baaaad, so bad I'd just start breaking out the moment I stepped off the plane. Slather your face/arms/hands in lotion, it'll help a lot. Lots of water and try to eat a little better than you normally would, fruit helps a lot with energy levels.
posted by Craig at 9:53 AM on December 9, 2007

Don't forget that the act of traveling will dehydrate you, too. So don't wait until you get there to start downing the water--on the plane or in the car, keep it coming! Yeah, you'll have to pee more but you'll have a good head start. Once you arrive, keep it up. I'm always ready with an arsenal of chapstick and lotion. The last time the hubby and I visited the fam, we had to keep going back to the store to get stronger and stronger chapstick--finally ended up with one made by Neosporin.
posted by wallaby at 1:46 PM on December 9, 2007

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