Locked down? Yes, I know that’s the absolute last thing you want to hear about in 2021, but the reality is that many are still experiencing this due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is hoped that with the introduction of vaccines that this approach would be far behind us, but the reality is that COVID-19 is not our only threat in these beautiful Virgin Islands. We cannot turn a blind eye to the possibility of another lockdown. Hurricane season is right around the corner, and anyone who experienced Hurricanes Irma and Maria understands the varied concept of being “locked down”. With prior lockdowns across the Virgin Islands, we were unprepared, and very few can say that they came out unscarred, especially in the personal care department. Salons, spas, and gyms were all closed, leaving many at a loss about managing their personal upkeep. This time we need to better prepare ourselves for the worst. Here are a few tips and tricks to keeping yourself maintained during lockdown if ever we were to relive such a time.
Yes, a lot of hair treatments can be done at home; however, if you are not confident in your DIY abilities, there is no point in staining your sink or burning your scalp for the sake of looking cute on your couch. I do think, however, that keeping your hair and scalp healthy is attainable from the comfort of your own home.
The first step is easy, cleanse your hair and scalp with your regular shampoo and stick to your usual hair washing schedule. How often one washes their hair differs with hair types. Someone with curlier hair can go longer without washing their hair than a person with a straighter hair texture. This is because the natural oil that our scalps produce has a harder time traveling down more curly or kinky strands than it does straight hair strands. This causes straighter textures to have an oiler appearance, requiring more frequent wash days.
Whenever you do, wash your hair. Washing your hair helps to remove dirt or oil. Note that by washing, you are also removing moisture from your hair. Here is where step two comes into play as moisture now needs to be reintroduced into the hair follicles. This can be done with a store-bought conditioner, or you can have some fun experimenting with some DIY hair mask recipes. Keep in mind that these recipes often include edible ingredients, so don’t go too crazy; the last thing you want to do is waste all your food on your hair during a lockdown. Here is a simple recipe to get you started! This avocado hair mask moisturizes the hair and promotes hair growth.
Lastly, this step is catered more towards my curly kinky brethren. As mentioned earlier, curlier textures have a more challenging time reaping the benefits of their natural hair oil, thus leaving their hair dry, and keeping your hair hydrated in between wash days is extremely important. An easy trick to accomplish this is getting a spray bottle, adding water, and some of your favorite carrier oil. Spray this mixture on your hair a few times throughout the day.
A simple shave will keep things neat enough, but if you are accustomed to your spa visits and the lockdown has you missing your routine wax appointments, an at-home sugar waxing session may be just what you need. Sugar waxing is a natural chemical-free method of hair removal that is gentler on the skin than traditional waxing. To make your own sugar wax at home, you will need the following:
1 cup of granulated sugar
¼ cup of water
¼ cup lemon juice
NOTE: Work your way up to the bikini area. DO NOT ATTEMPT THE BIKINI AREA FIRST!
In times of stress, we all have things that comfort us. Eating is the coping method of choice for many individuals, hence the phrase “comfort food”. It also happens to be the entertainment method of choice for quite a few people, including myself. Now I can’t think of a more stressful and yet boring situation than a lockdown. Finances are being threatened, news outlets evoke feelings of anxiety and anger, the Wi-Fi is overcrowded and slow, and Netflix only has so many shows. It’s not a fun time, and so the kitchen is frequently visited.
It wouldn’t be as bad if the meal choices were healthy, but let’s be honest, comfort food typically includes lots of cheese, carbs, sugar, and grease. So here’s my suggestion, while out on your pre-lockdown panic shopping bustle, throw some healthy options in your cart. Grab some fruits and veggies, get a few healthy snacks, and put down the soda. Since the healthy options won’t be everyone’s first choice, you have a better chance of them being on the shelves when you get there. (I can’t promise you the same for the toilet paper).
Also, remember to keep your body moving; and No! … menial activities do not count. Try to get some exercise for at least 10 minutes a day. It could be as simple as stretching for a few minutes when you wake up in the morning or using the extra time to start a whole new workout challenge with scheduled workout plans. Exercising will get your blood pumping and release endorphins to help lift your spirit. Adding more scheduled activities into your day will also help distract you from the situation at hand and give you a sense of normality.
The last and most important thing to remember is to protect our mental health if we’re ever to enter another lockdown. As stated before, this is a very stressful situation to be in but try not to let it consume you. Do things to keep your mind busy, such as starting a new hobby or revisiting an old one. Use the extra time to learn a new skill or work on improving the one you already have. Reach out and talk to people, whether that may be via a voice or video call. Remember to step away from the news sites and the people around you and take some time for yourself. Find a quiet spot in your house (put on headphones or earplugs if necessary) and allow your mind to rest. Meditation is a great way to relax your mind though it requires some practice to get its hang. Try this to get started!
With these tools in hand, you are ready to face any future lockdowns and come out relatively unscarred. You may even come out looking and feeling better than you did going in. In the end, if another lockdown does unfortunately occur, the most important thing to remember is that this too shall pass, and you will get through it!