A Complete Guide to Self-Care for the Winter Season - The Shishir Ritu of the Hindu Calendar

We experience different seasonal changes in India. This is more of a blessing for us as we get to witness the beauty of nature as each season changes. Now that we have entered this cold season after half a year of hot summer, let’s learn more about Ritucharya in Shishir Ritu. This ancient practice is all about how after a season changes our regime also changes. 

The winter season in India is also known as Shishir Ritu. As the coldest month of the year, it begins after late autumn. It will begin on 22nd December 2022 and end on 21st March 2023 this year. Two Hindu months fall during this season: Magaha and Phalguna. This cold season marks the onset of severe cold and dryness. As a result of excessive dryness & dehydration, Kapha Dosha is aggravated and Vata Dosha is imbalanced.

According to the Ayurveda understanding, there are specific changes that occur in the environment when a season changes. To maintain harmony with Doshas and avoid specific skin and body problems, some lifestyle changes are recommended during this time. For this cold season, there are some rules and rituals you can follow to keep your mind, body, and soul in harmony. Maintaining holistic wellness requires balancing the doshas and the energies.

How Does Shishir Ritu Affect Your Body?

Due to the aggravation of Kapha and Vata doshas during this dry and cold season, it can be a bit challenging. It is extremely cold and chilly in winter, which results in moisture loss. In addition to feeling lazy during this season, we also want to be in hibernation mode. This is why winter is characterized as a Kapha & Vata season. 

Here are some of the changes our body experiences during the winter season:

  • Your body may experience physiological stress when it is cold. Therefore, your body will be able to handle these stresses well if it is healthy. 
  • This time of year, your body feels lethargic due to the aggravation of the Kapha dosha.
  • When it is coldest, your skin is most susceptible to drying.
  • People become more depressed in winter because their brains are more sensitive to low temperatures. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  •  When it is coldest, your skin is most susceptible to drying. 
  • It is common for skin to become dry and patchy in the winter. In addition to that, redness and cracks in the skin can result from this. 
  • The cold wind outside dries out the scalp and causes dandruff and itchy scalps. Hair loss can also be caused by increased dandruff. 
  • Split ends can also be caused by dryness. This can also cause many other damages to hair like breakage, and dead & frizzy hair. 

Diet You Should Follow During Shishir Ritu

The cold temperature outside leads to the retaining of heat by the body and this results in a better digestion capacity. Also known as Jatharagni, our digestive capacity is much stronger in the winter and this helps in digesting heavy foods like meat, dairy products, fats, poultry products, and more. 

Here are some suggestions available on the types of food that one should consume in winter:

  • In cold and dry weather, sweet, sour, and salty foods are ideal.
  • Bitter and spicy foods increase body dryness, so it's best to avoid them.
  • The consumption of milk, ghee, butter, and other milk-related products is recommended.
  • Sugarcane-derived sweets, such as jaggery, should be consumed.
  • Grains and products made from grains like kidney beans, black beans, and rice are suitable for this weather.
  • Diets that are rich in dry fruits and products made with wheat are recommended.
  • Avoid consuming cold drinks and include hot drinks like ginger tea in your diet.
  • People who consume non-vegetarian food should include meat that provides good energy in their diet. 

Take Care of Your Skin & Hair During Shishir Ritu

You need to be more careful with your skin and hair during winter. Some shifts happen in the temperature of our bodies during this cold season that leads to more allergies, dry skin, and hair, and other body & skin issues. Therefore we have products that you can include in your skincare ritual to reduce all your skincare problems.

Creams - VILASA Elbow & Foot Therapy is one of the best products that you can buy during this dry season. This therapy Cream contains Organic Certified ingredients that repair cracked heels and dry elbows. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is not only beneficial for the feet but also the elbows. The natural oils present in the cream hydrate and nourish from within. This cream improves skin texture and provides skin repair to give smooth and velvety skin, regardless of whether you have cracked heels or wrinkled elbows.

Body Butter - VILASA Mridu Body Butter and Kashmir Body Butter exude deep nourishment. A blend of three oils is used in Kashmiri body butter: manjistha, almond, and aloe vera, and Vitamin E is added to Mridu body butter. Body butter is used to provide nourishment, especially in the dry winter season. You can get up to 24 hours of silky smooth skin when you apply it on dry skin areas.

Face Oil - VILASA Restoration Daily Face Oil is a good choice for daily skin care because it is 100% natural and created with an Ayurvedic formula. It is also possible to include oils such as apricot, almond, jojoba, walnut, etc., in the skincare ritual, as they give the skin a healthy glow while replenishing it overnight. One can use VILASA face oils, available for a variety of uses, as part of their winter skincare routine. 

Hair Oil: VILASA Keshwardhak Hair Oil is an excellent choice for enhancing your hair growth for long & strong hair. Winter causes the scalp to become dry and itchy. As a result, this hair oil is ideal for soothing dry and itchy scalps. It also reduces hair fall and promotes hair growth and also fights dandruff accumulation & improves scalp health. 

Important Lifestyle Changes In Shishir Ritu

To stay healthy during winter, it is important to balance your lifestyle. Keeping up late at night, irregular meals, stress, and other habits that can affect the immune system should be avoided. For your immune system to function properly, you need a rhythm in your body.

As your body also requires enough rest periods during winter, a routine is crucial for balancing Vata and boosting Kapha. Exercise can be the start of your day; maybe yoga, then you can take a walk in the sun and engage in some uplifting activity, then at night you can go to bed early.

The Kapa dosha is dominant at certain times of the day. If your energy level is high, it's ideal to practice some activity or workout. It is therefore best to practice yoga in the morning between 6 AM and 10 AM. 

It is important to maintain a strict diet routine and eat the food at proper intervals. One should not skip meals and eat a heavy breakfast and lunch, and dinner should be light. If you follow a regime, this will help you to reduce Vata and keep your body warm naturally. 

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When you immerse your senses in rejuvenating experiences, when you connect with your inner power, you acquire the inspiration to chase your dreams. New possibilities open up, and a deep calmness gravitates you to take the world in your stride.

Thinker @ VILASA