Hi Sexy —
Winter is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking ahead to how to thrive in the cold months by gracefully weathering the cold-and-flu season, social pressures and possible work slow-downs. As cammers, we don’t get sick days and overtime for working the holidays, so the time to plan to make this winter a merry one is now.
Take Care of Your Body
First, start with the basics: Wash your hands often, bolster your immune system with Vitamin C and get your annual flu shot. If you feel yourself starting to come down with a bug, zinc has been clinically proven to shorten the length of the common cold, or even help you avoid getting sick altogether. Keep zinc lozenges and nasal swabs in your car, purse backpack, and place of work so you can grab them the second you start to feel a sore throat or sniffles.
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.
Many of us struggle with Seasonal Affect Disorder (S.A.D.), a general sense of depression or anxiety, from lack of sunlight. Our bodies don’t produce as much serotonin and melatonin, meaning we can also suffer from sleep disruptions in the dark months.
Some simple steps to get more light: If you can, sit in a sunny window for several hours every day. When you go for a walk outside, make sure to look up at the sky. If you live in a particularly sunless climate, consider investing in full-spectrum light bulbs. They bring sunlight indoors and can stimulate your brain, alleviating S.A.D. symptoms.
Finally, exercise, exercise, exercise. Most of us do all kinds of outdoor walking during the warm months. That means we have to put in extra effort to remain active when it’s cold out. Winter is the perfect time to sign up for dance and exercise classes, and they have the extra benefit of keeping us from cooping up and isolating.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
There’s always so much going on during the holidays. Many of us face tremendous pressure to attend parties and family functions, while struggling to put in enough hours on cam. It can be especially tricky if we’re not out to everyone in our various social circles.
Here’s my advice for holiday time management: Make a list of everyone you want to visit with during the holidays. Then, determine the best way to spend time with them. Perhaps grabbing a cup of tea or going to a museum together is a more authentic way to connect than a big holiday get-together. Finally, put limits on your time. It’s fine to say, “Your cookie-decorating party sounds great, but I’m so sorry I can’t be there. Let’s make a date right now to meet in the new year.”
Temptation is another big holiday challenge. Everywhere we go, there are piles of sumptuous stuff we’d never dream of eating the rest of the year. Here are some tips on consuming more mindfully:
- Drink plenty of water. Not only is it good for your immune system, it helps keep you satiated — often our bodies confuse thirst for hunger.
- Eat healthily most of the time, and mind your portions. There’s no need to feel guilty about enjoying high calorie foods in moderation.
- Don’t show up to parties hungry. A salad or smoothie beforehand means you can nibble on tasty delights without having to eat to feel full.
- Many of us overindulge at parties because we’re shy, and drinking gives us something to do. To curtail nervous drinking, an excellent rule-of-thumb is to drink one glass of water for every glass of wine or cocktail.
And did I mention exercise…? Exercise does double duty, not just keeping our bodies feeling better, but boosting our moods as well. If it helps keep off those creeping extra holiday pounds, then you could really call it triple duty…
Take Care of Your Business
October is an excellent month to plan your holiday budget and to set extra money aside for unexpected end-of-the-year expenses.
As you plan ahead, remember that our regular fans are under the same social pressures we are. With everyone’s extra crazy schedules, it’s especially important to be consistent and visible with your cam calendar. Always post your hours and get online as regularly as possible, so fans know when to find you. If you plan to cam during major holidays or have holiday-themed specials, advertise well in advance.
Like the song says, there’s no reason winter can’t be “…The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” — but to truly thrive, it does require some planning ahead.
Until next time, now and always, be sweet to yourself.
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.