Surviving the Harmattan: 5 Essential Tips to Remember


Just when we thought we had seen the last of it this season, the Harmattan returns like a movie villain that just won’t stay dead. Not that anyone prefers the blistering heat of the sun or the incessant rain of the rainy season. But there is something about Harmattan that leaves us longing for its eventual departure. Maybe it is the dust and overall lack of humidity.

Whatever the reason may be, it is clear that the cold winds are here to stay, at least for the time being. So we might as well look on the bright side and make the most of it. After all, it is not every day that you get to take your laundry off the clothesline a mere hour after hanging it out to dry. And if you’re having a hard time appreciating its perks, then here are some tips to help you stay one step ahead of the Harmattan.

1. Stay Warm

A couple hidden beneath the bedsheets

This is a bit obvious, but nonetheless important. Harmattan is not the time to be strutting around shirtless, or going out wearing skimpy clothes. It is a time to put on that sweatshirt or hoodie you’ve had gathering dust for months in the corner of your wardrobe. And if you don’t own one, then you should pick one up as soon as you can. This also applies to your bedtime; be sure to cover up with a duvet or blanket, or as many layers of bedsheets as you need, and maybe you just might avoid waking up with a blocked or runny nose.

2. Stay Moisturized

A woman moisturizing her hands

There is nothing that signals the harshness of Harmattan better than seeing everyone walking around with chapped lips. The good news is you don’t have to be one of them, not if you ensure your lips are moisturized with some lip balm, as often as you need to. This goes for your skin and hair as well; at the very least, make sure your face, hands and any other part of your body that is not covered by clothes is adequately moisturized. And for those of us who haven’t come into contact with body lotion in years, it is time to put that aversion aside and look presentable for a change.

3. Stay Hydrated

A man drinking from a bottle of water

The average person requires about 8 glasses of water a day, or at least that was the number I got after a quick Google search. And that is on a regular day, so it only makes sense that you would need to up that number during the desert-like conditions of Harmattan. But drinking water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated; you can also pick up one of your favorite beverages, be that an energy drink or a hot cop of cocoa. Just be prepared to take more bathroom breaks.

4. Stay Clean

Cleaning agents in a bucket with gloves

Imagine having guests over at your house and the first thing they notice is how your furniture is covered in a fine layer of dust. Not the best look, no matter what season we are in. This is why it is doubly important to ensure that your humble abode is kept clean and pristine during the Harmattan. So make sure you have all the right tools in your arsenal, and get to work at making those surfaces shine.

5. Stay at Home

A man lounging in front of the TV with a bucket of popcorn and remote in hand

While this might not be an option for everyone or in every circumstance, it still bears adding to our list of tips. If you don’t need to step out of the four walls of your house, then now is a good time to stay at home. I mean, even airlines cancel flights due to low visibility during a Harmattan haze. So what diehard excuse do you have? “But what if I need to go out to pay some bills?” you ask. “Or get something to eat?” Well, as fate would have it, we have just the app for that.

And those are all the tips we have for surviving the Harmattan. Do you have any additional tips to add to our list? Let us know in the comments section below.