Tips for Beating the Cold

Whether you are ready for it or not, winter is coming and with it comes some brutal weather. Any New Englander knows how to handle their business when it comes to the cold – or so we think. However, there are some things you may not have considered, or, at least ones you may have forgotten.

Dress in layers – so, this one sounds pretty basic. However, while cranking the heat and lounging in a t-shirt can be tempting, reminding yourself to dress in layers can prevent you from resorting to the thermostat – keeping you warmer and saving you money.

Wear a hat – yes, there was a time when wearing a hat indoors was considered bad taste. However, thankfully, the times have changed. We lose an enormous amount of heat through our heads and the delicate parts of us like our ears are often (excuse the pun) left out in the cold. Wearing a hat can be a huge help.

Check your heating system regularly – sometimes problems can sneak up on you and your home’s heating system is not a place you want any surprises. Make sure that everything is in working order and consistently check that the levels of your heating source (oil, wood, pellets) are sufficient.

Turn off exterior taps – this is an important measure many people forget, but can ultimately save you time, money, and a massive headache by preventing frozen pipes.

Reverse your ceiling fan – another method people don’t usually consider, reversing your ceiling fan will help you pull up cold air and push down the warm air that has risen to your ceiling.

Create a power-outage kit – emergency situations are not a time you should be scrambling. Put together a just-in-case kit with water, flashlights, batteries, matches, low-maintenance snacks, a deck of cards, and anything else you may need in case of a power outage.

Use draft stoppers – this may seem like a simple solution – and it is, but impactful, too. You can even make them yourself with a bit of material, a needle and thread, and some sand. Lay them across the bottom of your doors to keep cold air from seeping through.

Reduce Drinking – it may feel as though alcohol warms your body as you drink it. However, that warmth you feel in your stomach is actually a sign that you are losing heat. Warm yourself up with a tea or a hot chocolate and keep away from the booze.

Soak up natural sunlight – as the days grow shorter and the sun starts to feel a little like an old friend we should really make more time for, we’ll start to recognize that there’s some truth behind this feeling. Winter makes it harder to get the vitamin d we need. Set aside some time during the week to bundle up if you need to and sit or walk outside so you can get some real natural sunlight time.

Moisturize – the colder season means the dryer season. It can be easy to forget about moisturizing. However, dry skin is not just uncomfortable, it can also cause cracking and open sores that could become infected. Drink lots of water. Always use a natural moisturizer and opt away from heavily scented ones. Keep lip balm nearby you at all times and be wary! Some of the brands actually contain chemicals that make your lips peal.

Exercise – one of the best (and cheapest) ways to warm yourself is to simply start moving. You’d be surprised how little movement it takes to warm up and a little extra heat is only one of the many benefits.

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