In a country like the Philippines, there are always so many reasons to love the ber months. Aside from Halloween, the ber months also usher in every Filipino’s favorite time of the year: our extended Christmas season. Especially during the late months of November and December, we Filipinos can always look forward to cooler weather and chillier gusts of wind that serve as constant reminders that the most wonderful time of the year has indeed come upon us. Mornings in your condo will become just a little cozier with a cup of hot chocolate or spiced coffee to compliment the cold air. These months have always been and will always be a magical time. But there are things you need to know about ber months that aren’t quite as filled with magic.
As festive and cheery as these months are, dealing with the colder, and often unpredictable climate which comes with the ber months always proves to be tricky business. Aside from ushering in different kinds of festivities, these months also invite a slew of illnesses and diseases, thanks to the changes in the weather. In times like these, condo living, especially for those living with an interactive community in a condominium, becomes a little bit of a challenge. While this is indeed the season to be jolly, it’s also very much the season of communicable diseases and seasonal allergies. How can you guard yourself from contracting untimely bugs and illnesses from your neighbors and community members? How can you keep yourself in the pink of health in a time when contracting disease seems to be a common trend? Here are some important notes on the causes, symptoms, and common cures of ber month illnesses and how to stay healthy during ber months!
Stop those Dust Demons!: Allergic Rhinitis and Sinusitis
Allergic rhinitis is one of the most commonly-contracted illnesses that come with the changing of seasons. In fact, recent surveys have confirmed that the ailment is more common that we’ve previously thought. Even if you don’t immediately feel their effects, there are so many allergens like pollen, various flora particles, and house mites, that are swirling in the air at this time of the year. If you’ve recently been experiencing a constantly runny nose, teary eyes, as well as random sneezes and coughing, you might just have allergic rhinitis or sinusitis. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to treat this. Always keep a few tablets of antihistamine handy, especially when doing outdoor activities. For a more natural, DIY treatment, try taking some oregano extract (from boiled leaves) and soothe skin rashes with organic materials like coconut oil or aloe vera.
Don’t Leave Home Without that Inhaler: Asthma
To more susceptible people, the allergens already mentioned above can lead to something much more serious and immediate than allergies: asthma attacks. If aside from sneezing and itchiness, you experience chest pains and shortness of breath when exposed to pollen or dust, you might already be experiencing asthma. If you already know that you have this particular ailment, never leave the house without your inhaler! If you are only beginning to suspect that you do, visit the doctor as soon as possible to get the proper diagnosis and the proper prescriptions. Either way, drinking the extract from boiled ashitaba leaves is believed to soothe asthma-related fatigue and breathing stress. If you’re serious about pursuing healthy condo living, try keeping plants like ashitaba, oregano, and Damo ni Maria in your condo. These natural, DIY cures really come in handy.
The Sneezy Season: Colds and the Flu
Everybody becomes most vulnerable to catching a cold during the Christmas season because of the many activities that require us to interact with large crowds during this time of the year. Influenza is actually a highly communicable airborne virus which spreads much faster in closed, but highly populated areas like shopping malls, groceries, and department stores. Don’t dampen your Christmas shopping experience by catching a cold! The common cold shouldn’t stop you from getting the best out of these ber months. To prevent contracting this virus, you need to make sure that your immune system is in the best shape possible even before engaging in activities that will expose you to the large crowds of the Christmas rush. Take daily vitamins and don’t forget to exercise. Boost your intake of vitamin C by eating some citrus fruits for breakfast in place of sugary cereals, and dropping several lemon wedges into a tumbler to infuse your water with nutrients. For more tips on starting your day healthy during ber months, check out these 10 easy condo hacks for your morning.
Don’t be that Croaky Caroler: Sore Throat
Another most commonly transmitted illness is sore throat. This may seem like a mundane condition, but don’t be fooled! A sore throat can be the gateway to a lot of more serious health complications and infections. If your job or lifestyle involves severe changes in temperature (think working in a cold office all day and then having to face the heat of your daily commute), you are especially at risk for contracting a sore throat infection. Once you feel that little scratch near your tonsils, alleviate the pain and the infection with cough syrup or by gargling warm, salted water at least thrice a day. The salt has anti-inflammatory properties that will help soothe that aching throat. Don’t let a bum throat dampen your carolling plans!
Rumbly in your Tumbly?: Gastroenteritis
Getting a rumbly in your tumbly is not always as cute as when Winnie the Pooh talks about it. If you’re experiencing persistent stomach pains, frequent and unusual bowel movement, you might already be experiencing gastroenteritis. This is another very common ailment caused by ingesting bacteria from contaminated food. The humidity of the cold weather makes such contaminations more frequent, so always stay alert and put those leftovers in the fridge to avoid unwanted infections. If you do suddenly meet the misfortune of gastroenteritis, you can calm your aching tummy with a nice warm cup of chamomile tea to soothe the pain. Also, don’t forget to hydrate yourself by taking rehydrating drinks to replenish your system much better than plain water.
No Rumbly in your Tumbly?: Constipation
If frequent bowel movement becomes more common during this time of year, the same is also true for the opposite. Constipation, believe it or not, is also a common effect of the cold weather. Because of the cool and sometimes even chilly season, it is easy for people to neglect their daily requirement of eight glasses of water a day. This affects bowel movement negatively. The good thing is that preventing constipation is very easy. Just remember to never neglect your thirst, no matter how cold the weather is.
Brain Benders: Migraines
Migraines are another inconvenience of the this chilly season. Because of the cold weather, the chances of having some blood vessels in your brain constrict becomes higher and the chances of pain increase as well. In America alone, 28 million people suffer from these brain-splitting headaches, which have been documented to occur more often among women. If you share the same experience, there are many home remedies to alleviate the pain—from massaging your scalp to smelling relaxing oils.
Warm those Joints!: Arthritis
The cold weather can be extra-challenging for those of us in the DMCI community who are a little more advanced in age. The colder months are also the season for creaking and aching joints, especially for people with arthritis. A chilly climate is definitely one of the triggers for this specific ailment.The cold weather enlarges the tissues in joints and, as a result, the swelling puts pressure on nerves and causes excruciating pain. Prevent this from happening by making sure that you stay in warm clothes and that you exercise consistently so as to encourage blood flow and decrease pressure build-up on the nerves.
Not Quite Out of the Woods Yet: Dengue Fever
Though the peak of the rainy season has already subsided, dengue fever is still a very real threat against your health during the ber months. As we already know, dengue-carrying mosquitoes like to nest in areas with stale water and unkempt surroundings. As these conditions can still occur and even thrive beyond the rainy season, you should still keep an eye out for these life-threatening insects and protect yourself from acquiring the disease. To ensure your safety against dengue, keep your apartment clean and free of stagnant water. Try using citronella candles and mosquito patches to drive these pesky bugs off. Most importantly, when in doubt, wear long-sleeved clothes to guard your skin against bites. Sport sweaters are trendy this season anyway so why not give your fashion a healthy purpose, too?
These tips for living in cold weather are only the tip of the iceberg. For more condo living tips to improve your daily quality of life, make sure to stay tuned to the DMCI Homes blog. This series of DIY hacks and articles on condo living in the Philippines will help make this Christmas season more magical and disease-free for you, your family, and your community.