I’ve no idea what the weather is like where you are, but here we’ve had a turn for the colder! I live in Winnipeg, so it’s not like cold is unfamiliar or shocking to me, but the first turn for cold is always a little chillier than you expect. While I’ve brought out my parka and my warmer mittens, the cold stays with you for a bit and you’ve got to do what you can to warm up. So folks, it’s time to get cozy- this is a step by step guide to shut out the cold and stay warm so that you can relax!
As a Canadian who lives in Winnipeg (aka Winterpeg), I feel over-qualified to write about being cold. I routinely have to worry about frost bite and cars dying because the battery froze and pipes freezing (and then bursting) and having to wear so many layers that you can’ t move properly. In my almost thirty years, I’ve learned how to cope and even thrive in an absolutely freezing (absolutely in the temperature sense of the word) and I’m going to share that with you. Seasonal Affective Disorder and even a lack of self care can leave you worse for wear and sometimes not even functioning. Here is how to deal with the cold and make it work for you!
Step 1: Have a Warm Space
Something I learned living in Ireland is that if your climate isn’t that cold, people will keep the heat low or even off in their houses because a warm sweater could do the trick! Well, when it’s -40°C outside that’s not an option- not only can you not live like that, your pipes will definitely freeze and that’s a whole other problem that you don’t want to deal with. So, whether your not you keep your house warm, have a space that you can warm up quickly! A bedroom, a sitting room, a nook that keeps you hidden and cozy. Use a fireplace, a radiator, a space heater, and give yourself somewhere warm to start with. If you are chilled like a Dickens character, staying in a cold space isn’t going to help you at all- you need to have somewhere that you can cuddle up in, but you can also be in normal clothing and feel comfortable in.
Step 2: Warm Comfort Food
Comfort food is something different to everyone, and there is no universal comfort food. However, when it is cold and bitter out, make sure you have YOUR warm comfort food on hand. Warming up starts from the inside out, and you would be surprised at what a difference a full stomach can make on your body temperature. I like to have soup if I’m in a healthy mood, and nachos if I’m feeling like going the junk food route! Keep an eye on your pantry and fridge, and stay stocked- the worst feeling is finally coming in from the cold to realise that you have to go back out into it for some food. (A tip from me to you from years of experience, if you aren’t sure if you do have something or not, just stop when you are out and pick something up. Better to have made an extra stop when you are out than have to go out again.) Also, tea goes with everything. I’m just saying…
Step 3: Warm Natural Fabrics
If we have learned literally nothing else from history, it’s that natural fabrics are best. You are going to want a fabric that will keep you warm but still breathe so that you don’t overheat- going from frozen to sweaty is probably the least pleasant end to this situation that I could imagine. Now, my mom and my sister are huge proponents of wool as knitters but I find pure wool very scratchy and uncomfortable (as natural as it might be). So, my fabric of choice tends to be cotton for warmth- it can be thin BUT it layers well and still allows your body to breathe. If I’m not heading out again for the day (or will be home for quite some time), I tend to throw on some cotton pajamas, as they are comfortable and the perfect level of warm.
Step 4: Just Relax
Trust me from experience, everything seems worse when you are literally frozen. It feels like you stuck and you can’t change anything and like everything is doomed. So, try and let it melt away! (Hopefully literally in the warmth.) I like to burn a candle or light a fire depending on how much time I have and curl up with a book or an episode of something Netflix! Shut out the cold and the world for a little bit, and give yourself some self-care. I like to do a little bit of very gentle yoga (just some cat/cow stretches and child’s pose) to loosen up and release some of the tension, and let go into the warmth. My feet are cold? Fuzzy socks! Legs still un-thawing? Time for a throw! The world seems terrible? Brooklyn Nine-Nine! Will a few hours of basking in warmth really change anything going on out there? Nope, but it can go a long way to getting you to a good place physically and mentally!
How do you warm up from the deep cold and stay warm?