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by Erin Weaver

Everyone knows about the importance of keeping a romantic relationship fresh. You could throw a pebble and hit eighty self-help books about healthy love, sex, and romance practices, but what about healthy relationships with your friends? Female friendships are beautiful, supportive, and deep-rooted bonds which can withstand their fair share of ups and downs, but that doesn’t mean you should expect them to take care of themselves. As a farming woman in particular, your friendships can be integral to keeping you connected and engaged in a life away from your home. So why not nurture them by taking some bonding time off the farm and out in the world with your girls?

Being on the road and away from home offers up brand new bonding opportunities for you and your bestie (or besties!). The odd phone call or coffee date can keep your friendship moving, but it won’t provide the sort of deep bonding sessions that strengthen your relationships with your girls over time. Taking a couple of days or a week away gives you real time to spend together, giving you and your friends the chance to discuss more than the standard news and gossip from your everyday lives. What’s really going on in your friend’s life? These longer periods of time together, away from your usual routines, gives you the time to really open up to one another.

And if your friendship has weakened, or you’re working through conflict? Traveling can be a hugely valuable way to heal any wounds your relationship has suffered. Obviously you don’t want to hit the road with a friend you’re currently feuding with, but friendships that are in the recovery stage can really benefit from some time away from the environment where all that conflict took place. Out on your own, you guys can make space to talk through any lingering resentment and spend quality time bonding without distractions like work, family, and third-party friends. A new setting is neutral ground where you can fall back in bestie-love with each other.

On top of all that, it’s just so fun! Traveling with friends is a completely different experience to going on holiday with your partner, your family, or solo. You’ll get the chance to hit up exciting restaurants, try new activities, and make amazing memories that will last a lifetime. How often do you get the opportunity to do that with your girls? If you are lucky enough to be able to take a trip with a friend, don’t miss out on the opportunity for all that quality girl time.

Travel can change you as an individual, but it’s also the perfect way to reconnect with your girls and strengthen those all-too-important female friendships. It’s easy to prioritize romantic partners and family when it comes to holiday time, but think twice about your chosen travel buddy next time you’re going to hit the road. Traveling with your friend might be the best thing that you do for yourself, your bestie, and the bond that you both share.

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Care For Your Hands

by Julie Dees

Just because you work with your hands, it doesn’t mean that they have to show it. Your hands are one of the most noticed parts of your body – second only to your face. They are also prone to advertising your age or even making you look older when they’re not cared for.

Being a farmgirl involves a lot of wear and tear when it comes to your hands. Calluses and scratches from chores and gardening are common. When you combine this with the drying damage from the sun, wind, and water, it’s a constant battle to protect them.

All is not lost though. With our help, you can continue to be that outdoors dynamo AND still have lovely hands to show off and write home about.

Hand-Specific Care

There are several things you can do immediately to start protecting your hands. The sooner you begin following these tips, the better your hands will look and feel.

  • Gloves – Wearing gloves can provide you some of the best protection. Whether you are washing dishes, pulling weeds, or building fence – use the appropriate gloves for the job. When cleaning and using any type of chemicals, always be sure your hands and arms are protected.
  • Brushes – Nail brushes are a must for anyone who works with their hands. Even when you wear gloves, you will still manage to get debris in, around, and under your nails. The soft brushes are also a great tool to help exfoliate the skin of your hands.
  • Soaps – Avoid the use of harsh, drying soaps. There are plenty of choices for gentle, but effective soaps that will also help moisturize your hands while cleaning.
  • Drying – When toweling your hands off after washing, don’t rub the skin. Gently pat your hands dry so your skin won’t tear.
  • Moisturize – Invest in some good moisturizers designed just for your hands. The skin on the back of your hands is quite thin and needs the extra help. There are both day and night formulas available. The day formulas often have sunscreen added while the night versions are usually thicker and more emollient. Give your hands an overnight treat by slathering on the nighttime lotion and then pulling on a pair of soft cotton gloves. When you wake in the morning, your hands will be soft and pleasantly moisturized.
  • Nails – Whether you get regular manicures or keep your nails short and trimmed, you need to develop a care regimen. Keep nail files and trimmers handy for quick repairs. Using cuticle oil daily will help keep the skin healthy and strong around your nails.

Overall Skin Health Care

In the section above we discussed the things that directly affect your hands and what you can do about them. Now we’ll touch on more general things that can impact your overall health and indirectly help your hands.

  • Sunscreen – Sunscreen should become your best friend – because the sun is not. In fact, the damaging rays of the sun can become your skin’s worst enemy. Every part of your skin that may be exposed needs to be protected – including your hands, even in gloves. Excess sun damage to hands in the form of age spots and wrinkles are common.
  • Hydrate – Up your water intake. Your skin can be one of the first indicators of the onset of dehydration. When it is feeling dry and tight, you need to re-hydrate fast. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to reduce this risk. Staying hydrated will help keep your skin supple and strong.
  • Don’t Smoke, Limit Alcohol, and Avoid Stress – All three of these outside influences can have a negative impact on your overall health and that of your skin. Most people don’t realize that smoking dries the skin of your hands as well as that of your face.
  • Exercise and Eat Right – In direct contrast to the three directives above, exercising and eating right can positively impact your entire body and mind. Just as your skin gives you signals when all is not well, it will also glow and show its appreciation when you give it proper care.

Now that you have these useful tips to help keep your hands looking and feeling their best, go out and show them off. While you’re at it, let us know what you do to take care of your hands.

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