Cope With The ColdWritten by Tigre Haller
“Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…”
Brrrrrr… winter is most definitely here and a good part of the US is feeling it. You know what that means: shorter days, bitter cold, frosty fronts and some blizzards.
No doubt you will be looking for ways to cope with the cold, especially when you have no choice but to brave the elements.
Or do you?
Read on for some fun tips on how to deal with Mr. Frost and his minions. Sometimes the best way, is to do nothing at all (you’re allowed!)
Hibernation is Fun
Do you ever get the urge to just curl up, snuggle in, and forget about the world for awhile. In a word: hibernate.
You might associate hibernation with warm-blooded mammals like bears, mice and bats. They tend to burrow in for a nice, long winter’s nap to conserve energy and food supplies. Not to mention avoiding the frozen, dark and depressing landscape.
Humans are warm blooded mammals too, so it’s only natural that we would want to do the same.
Is that really a bad thing?
Human hibernation wouldn’t and couldn’t be exactly the same as our animal friends, but we can learn a lot from them:
Create a nice, comfy, cozy, warm nest. Usually that means your bed. Or a sofa. Heck, your living room floor could also work. Why not make a tent with sheets and blankets? Ahhh... childhood memories.
Outfit your hibernation zone with plenty of blankets, pillows a sleeping bag and whatever else will help you to settle in for a long nap. Or just a zone out.
If you have a fireplace get a nice roaring one going. You might even want to toast some marshmallows.
Hot cocoa, herbal tea or other lightly or non-caffeinated drink like mulled wine will help to make you feel warm all over. And help you to relax.
Cocoon your body in fleece, thermal and warm woolly socks. Maybe a nightcap too.
The idea is to get as warm as you can without feeling like you’re sitting in a sauna. Then, slip under your covers, close your eyes, breathe deeply and let your body completely relax into the slumber.
This kind of hibernation will actually help reset your internal clock, restore your energy and clear your mind. You will probably wake up with a voracious appetite, so be sure to have plenty of food supplies on hand.
A great way to stave off the cold is by preparing hearty soups and stews. So yum!
Don’t be afraid of putting on a few pounds, your body needs the insulation and besides, whose really going to notice with all those winter layers of clothes on?
The most traditional is beef stew with potatoes and carrots.
If you don’t do beef, try a chicken white bean chili, or a hearty mix of substantial vegetables like pumpkin, squash, carrots, turnips, yucca, parsnips, sweet potatoes and rutabagas.
One of the keys to making a superb stew, soup or chili is taking things slow and heating them low.
Mmmm...so hearty and fulfilling.
Baking delicious cookies and cakes will keep the house warm and filled with a heartwarming scent. Your tummy will be happy too!
Hibernation doesn’t only mean sleeping. It could just signify that you are staying inside for the day, or two, or a week (or two).
Think of fun activities to do around the house. Get back to an old hobby, pick up a new one, work on a puzzle, make those repairs you didn’t get to during the summer, rearrange the furniture… you get the idea.
How about picking up a few books or watching movies? There’s no easier way to be transported from the winter doldrums then escaping into a rousing book or movie set in hot weather. Or, you might write one yourself.
“Once upon a time, on a lost tropical island…”
There’s nothing wrong with distancing yourself from the cold world for a while. And, hey, if you look like a caveman when you emerge, so be it. All that extra facial hair will serve as insulation against the elements.
Block the Cold
Just like you need to put on extra layers to go outside, your house needs a wardrobe change too!
So, while you’re enjoying the Great Indoors, why not use the time to weatherproof your home?
Apply caulking along window frames, hang heavy curtains or drapes, block drafts coming in from under doorways with door snakes or other buffers.
Be sure to check for any leaky spots and seal them up right away.
Hopefully the roof is in good shape. If not, you should try to at least address any hugely problematic areas immediately. Replacing the roof when it’s cold outside does not sound like fun, does it?
Are your gutters clear and in good shape? If not, you need to get after that.
Adjust your thermostat - there’s a lot of advice about what is the ideal temperature for when you’re home or away. The best thing to do is to check with your utility company for guidance.
If you have a fireplace, enjoy it safely. Yes, dozing off in front of a fire is one of life’s pleasures, but be prudent. Wood burning fireplaces should have a glass or metal fire screen that is large enough to block sparks and rolling logs. Always make sure the embers are completely out before going to bed.
Again, it’s best to check with your local fire department on safe practices.
Time to Frolic
When cabin fever starts to set in, bundle up in layers and good boots, and get yourself outside.
The snow is beautiful to look at and can be a whole lot of fun to play in.
Be sure to check in with your body. How is your breathing, temperature, muscles…
Snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding are always popular and usually accessible. But, what about getting back to being a kid again?
Make snow angels
Build a snowman
Build an igloo or a snow castle
Go ice skating
None of these things need to be Instagrammable. They are for you and yours to enjoy and remember.
We all know winter weather can be a pain. But, with a little foresight, planning and a positive attitude, you can get through it.
Overall, allow yourself to have fun and...
“Let it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow.”