Hi Sexy —
Winter can be hard in the sex industry. The holidays are often a huge mental, physical and financial strain. As cammers, our bodies are our business. Since we’re self-employed with no paid sick days, staying healthy is a vital part of the job. This month, we’ll look at ways to take extra care of our bodies. Next month, we’ll focus on our mental wellbeing.
Avoid getting sick
- Wash your hands often. Make a habit of washing up every time before you eat and after you come home from being out in public.
- Get your annual flu shot. The vaccine can prevent you from getting sick and reduce the severity and duration of your illness if you do contract the flu virus. I know it’s no fun, but look at it this way: After a week as a feverish snot monster, flat on your back and unable to move, how many shots would you volunteer for in order to feel better again? I’m betting a bunch. Nothing beats not getting sick in the first place.
- If you do start to feel yourself coming down with a sore throat or the sniffles, vitamin C and zinc lozenges are clinically proven to fight colds and flu. The sooner you take them, the more effective they are, so stock up now. Have them on hand at home and in your car, purse or backpack.
- If you get sick, rest. Relapsing is incredibly hard on your body. You can get twice as sick for twice as long if you don’t fully recover.
- Once you start to feel better, get back to your normal routine gently. Your first few days back at the gym, keep your workouts light and brief.
Get your exercise
One of the big challenges of winter is inertia. Most of us do a significant amount of incidental walking when it’s nice outside. Spending time indoors can contribute to feelings of loneliness and depression and is linked to a host of physical health complications. We have to make conscious choices during the cold months to get up, get out and get a move on.
- Set yourself an exercise schedule, whether it’s going to the gym or joining a Zumba class, and stick to it.
- Take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever you can.
- If you’re engaged in sedentary tasks like reading or writing, make sure to move every half hour or so. Do a few quick stretches, take a brisk lap around the house or do the twist for 30 seconds.
Medical research has shown that reduced sunlight can disrupt our internal clocks and reduce serotonin and melatonin levels in our brains, which can contribute to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as the “winter blues.” Fortunately, we can take simple steps to get more light.
- Sit by a bright window several hours a day. Even if the sky is overcast, research has shown morning light is especially effective at curbing depression.
- When sidewalks are snowy and slippery, we tend to spend all of our time outside looking down. Whenever it is safe, look up at the winter sky as much as possible.
- Full-spectrum light bulbs bring sunlight indoors. They make interior spaces appear warmer, brighter and more inviting than regular bulbs and can stimulate your brain, alleviating SAD symptoms.
Everything in moderation
One of the hardest challenges during the holidays is temptation. Every way we turn is all that naughty food and drink we’d normally push away the rest of the year. Here are a few tips to help you consume more mindfully:
- Eat healthily most of the time. When you do splurge, save your calories for the foods you truly love.
- Mind your portions. There’s no need to feel guilty about enjoying high-calorie foods in moderation.
- Don’t show up hungry. A salad or a high-protein shake before holiday meals means you can nibble on tasty delights without eating to feel full.
- Drink plenty of water. Not only is it good for your immune system, but it also helps keep you feeling satiated. Often, our bodies confuse thirst with hunger.
- An excellent rule of thumb is to drink one glass of water for every glass of wine or cocktail. This curtails nervous drinking. Many of us overindulge at parties because we’re shy, and drinking gives us something to do.
Summer is all about sunscreen and hydration. Winter months are all about staying healthy, active and balanced to keep your body — and your business — in top shape.
Until next time, be sweet to yourself.
Check out Lola’s advice in “Staying Healthy on Cam this Winter (Part 2)” right here.
Lola Davina is a longtime veteran of the sex industry and author of Thriving in Sex Work: Heartfelt Advice for Staying Sane in the Sex Industry, a self-help book for sex workers now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and wherever else ebooks are sold. Contact her at Lola.Davina@ynotcam.com and visit her on Twitter at @Lola_Davina, on Facebook and on Tumblr.
Image of Lola Davina courtesy Pat Mazzera.