While much of the world enjoys the holiday season making snowmen in winter, we must cope with hot, dust-laden winds by day and cold, dry winds at night. Yes, the Harmattan season is here, at least for those of us outside Lagos. This season usually occurs between the end of November to the middle of March, but this year seems to have taken a little longer, with rain in parts of the country last weak.
I appreciate Harmattan season; laundry dries faster and our Nigerian roads become accessible. However, visibility is poor, flights are often cancelled, the sun is scorching and atmospheric humidity is low, causing health conditions associated with our respiratory system and dehydration. Abuja is currently covered in Hamattan Haze and as I write this my nostrils are painfully dry and my lips are cracking.
To survive this season, here are a few tips and must-haves:
1. Water Bottle
Dehydration is the most common problem this season so it’s smart to always have a bottle of water with you even if you will be indoors all day. If you don’t take away anything from this article, remember this: DRINK WATER!
The nights are getting as cold as 9°C and tea is a great way to stay warm. Although I’d much rather have hot chocolate in this circumstance, tea is lower in calories with medicinal properties. It also comes in a variety of interesting flavors depending on the brand. Twinnings is a favorite but our Lipton will serve.
This is the oldest cheapest way I know to prevent painful cracked lips and feet this season. Keep a tub in your hand bag or car, or wherever it will be most accessible. However, keep an eye on it occasionally. The weather can get quite warm and melt it.
4. Shea Butter
I’m no expert on skincare routines but our local Shea Butter is great for the skin this season. Applied immediately after a bath, Shea butter helps seal in moisture and protect your skin from drying out all day.
This local mentholated balm is great for nasal congestion and chest cold. Just make sure to wash your hands after applying because it’s hot. If it gets in your eye or any other sensitive part of your body, you will have a hard time forgiving yourself.
6. Warm wear
As I said before, temperatures fluctuate during the day and fall at night. It’s time to get those cute cardigans and comfy sweaters. I particularly like turtle-necked jumpers. Socks are also a good idea for sleeping this season.
7. Shoe Brush
Going out is a challenge this season because shoes become dusty and downright embarrassing very quickly. Like umbrellas in rainy season, I think it’s necessary to keep a small shoe brush in your bag. I do.
8. Sun Protection
During the day, there are hardly any cloud to protect us from the dangerous UV rays from the sun so please wear sunglasses, hats and proper clothing to protect you from sunburn.
If you have any helpful tips I missed, do share them below in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!
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