Six Tips On Surviving This Harmattan Period
Harmattan period in Nigeria is a special dry season that usually comes around November or early December, and can last up to February/March.
During this period, the dry, cold, and dusty wind of the Sub-Saharan trade zone blow into Nigeria, and the effects are heavier on some Northern states which are closer to the Sahara desert.
Here are tips for taking care of yourself during the Harmattan period.
Drink lots of water:
Harmattan comes with a lot of dry air which can dehydrate you faster than usual. An alternative is to consume fruits that have high water content like apples, cucumbers, watermelons, oranges, pineapples, etc.
Apply oily creams:
Harmattan blows dry air that sucks up any water it can find, and your skin is the most exposed to this thirsty breeze of harmattan.
Most of your regular creams won’t last 2½ hours on your skin before drying up during harmattan, therefore, you need oily creams.
A common one is Vaseline which you can get from local stores, but your healthier alternative would be an extra virgin coconut oil extract.
Coconut oil has been confirmed severally to be a long-lasting moisturizer because their thick layers can withstand the dry breeze of harmattan, and keep you as shiny as fried plantain all day.
Keep your home warm:
You can warm up your home by turning off he Air Conditioner, fan or setting up a charcoal fire.
However, be careful with fire because the harmattan period makes everything dry and very easy to ignite fire disasters.
Get a handkerchief:
Always leave your home with a handkerchief to protect your mouth, nose, and eyes when the dust gets heavy. Your handkerchief can also come in handy for cleaning your feet and the tip of your trousers.
Don’t forget your lips:
Lick your lips as often as possible to keep them moist, and avoid dry cracks. However, it is better you get a lip balm, moisturizer or coconut oil instead because saliva on your lips will dry up within minutes.
Adjust your wardrobe:
The harmattan period comes with cold mornings, hot afternoons and cold nights. Knowing what to wear at each time of the day can save you many inconveniences.
Wear heavy clothes to beat the cold morning but choose them wisely because you’d have to remove/change them during the heat of the sun in the afternoon. Wear loose-fitting clothes that allow for air circulation. If appropriate, wear dark shades or put on a hat or face cap to save your eyes from direct sunlight. Wear heavy clothes and socks to bed. Keep your blanket close because it gets even colder through the night.
In conclusion, road trips are advisable for travelers than taking flight because of the misty atmosphere, however, drive safely.
If you have chronic health conditions like asthma, sickle cell or allergies, always keep your medications close in case of emergencies.