Pool parties, watching the sun set from the beach, swimming in open lakes, walking barefoot in the grass – we love it all.
So when winter sets in and those warmer days seem only like a farfetched dream, most of us catch the winter blues. We avoid going outside. We forget those blissful afternoon walks. Instead, we curl up at the fireplace all day, and it soon becomes a habit.
It’s true, getting through this chilly season can be difficult. We thought we would compile a list of winter survival tips to lift your spirits and help you live life to the fullest until tulips and hyacinths start to come up. Ready?
Obtaining your survival gear well in advance could increase your chances of surviving the cold. Snowstorms bring with them power outages, for instance, so be ready with, an emergency power backup, new batteries, flashlights, canned foods, and warm blankets.
Investing in quality thermos flasks will also help keep your beverages hot during those long winter hours. This will be particularly helpful if you love to bring a hot cup of tea or coffee on the go.
Buy warm clothing too. Insulated jackets and pants would be a great place to start. If you plan on partaking winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, be ready with waterproof snowboard/ski boots. Don’t forget a pair of mittens too; these won’t keep your fingers separated from each other and that alone will keep your hands warmer than when in gloves.
Other items you may want to throw into your winter survival kit include important medications, baby and pet supplies, spare car fuel, a snow shovel, and an alternative heating system. Also, if you have purchased any new equipment, learn and practice how to use it beforehand.
Layer Up For Extra Warmth
One of the most essential winter survival tips is dressing for the weather. Multiple layers will always be better than one thick layer.
Layers trap air between them. When your body generates heat, this air is warmed up, providing insulation against the cold.
Start with a light base layer to wick perspiration off your skin, followed by a mid-layer to provide insulation and an outer layer to keep water and elements out. Layers are a great way to regulate temperature, as you can add or get rid of them when it gets colder or hotter. If you have kids, have them wear one more layer than what you are dressed in to keep them warm.
Keep Yourself Busy
‘All work without play makes Jack a dull boy’, they say but we say, ‘all sleep without play makes winter much colder’. Get your kids and play hide and seek or indoor bowling or go outside and create a snowman.
Staying active increases your heart rate and keeps warm blood flowing throughout your body. It also brightens your mood. Don’t overdo it though; if you soak in sweat, this moisture will drain heat away from your body.
Whether you are confined indoors or bouncing on the snow outside, do your activities at a moderate pace. Avoid overheating by taking off some clothing layers. Slow down or take a breather once in a while to avoid burnout.
Get Your Daily Dosage Of Vitamin D
Locate that spot in your backyard where the sun rays hit the hardest and enjoy the warm bath as the sun penetrates your skin. Even better, pour yourself some Jack Daniels and grab a good novel and you are practically on the beach.
But how about those days when the sun doesn’t show up, you may ask? Of course, there will be many of these days but that doesn’t mean you should miss your sunshine vitamins.
Foods like salmon, tuna, oatmeal, and even oranges are an amazing source of vitamin D. Including these into your diet will compensate for those gloomy, cloudy days and provide your body with the quality sun vitamins it needs.
Listen To Music
Music is an important element when it comes to surviving the cold. Having the ideal winter playlist for the days you are stuck inside your home and feeling demotivated can turn those days around. Just draw the curtains, serve yourself a coffee, and let the hope-bringing tunes fill your home.
Crank up the songs that remind you of spring and let the musical healing begin. Music will lift your spirits, fight boredom, and bring your lost morale back.
Have your playlist ready before winter. It would be best to involve every member of your household in this activity in order to come up with the perfect songs for the entire family.
Fight The Winter Blues
The cold season can be an isolating time for everyone. It doesn’t cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for nothing.
If you don’t have anything planned to keep yourself busy, consider taking charity work. You can visit elder or children care homes or just find a local activity to keep you occupied.
This is also a great time to hang out with your friends. Sometimes we spend too much time locked up inside our homes that we shut others out of our lives. Well, it’s good to spend a little time alone, but don’t be a stranger. Meet up with a friend for coffee when the kids retire to bed or plan a night out with your boys.
Meeting up with other people for communal work or friendly conversations builds lasting companionships and makes the dull winter days fly by.
Shrink Your Space
If you live in an area that experiences severe snowstorms that cause frequent power outages, one of the most effective winter survival tips is always having a backup heating source. You don’t need something complex or one that heats the entire house; if your heater is able to keep part of the room warm, then you should be okay.
To get the best out of your heater, consider shrinking down your living/sleeping/eating space, or any other area where you will be using the heater. Shut any rooms you feel you can live without and keep going in and out to a minimum.
Don’t be afraid to set up your camping tent inside. It’s an excellent way to create even much smaller pockets of warm air. If you don’t have a carpet, consider laying down blankets under the sleeping bags. This will prevent the cold air on the surface of the floor from seeping through the sleeping bags.
Stay Fueled Up
As we mentioned earlier, one way of surviving the cold is staying active. Our bodies need energy to keep going and produce heat, hence you must keep yours fueled up if you hope to stay warm.
Have enough granola bars, nuts, energy gels, and any other high-calorie foods in the house and pack a few whenever you head out in the snow. You need to stay hydrated too, so have a sufficient supply of drinks and beverages at home.
Speaking of, avoid drinking cold beverages when you are outside. If you are not planning to bring a coffee maker or an outdoor stove with you, prepare your coffee at home and carry it in a thermos. If you have extra space, you may even pack a thermos of hot water, just in case.
Keep Your Head Covered
Did you know that you lose up to 87% of your body heat through the head whenever you leave it uncovered? That’s right and that’s why it is important that you keep a hat on whenever you go out in the cold.
Before you rock your ski helmet, have something underneath to keep your head insulated and dry. Ideally, you should do your clothing in layers and your hat is the easiest layer to get rid of if you start getting hot. And given that your head is where most of the heat is lost, sometimes a hat is the only layer you would need to add or peel off when the body temperature changes.
Check Your Car Regularly
Before winter gets too severe, check your car especially the battery, oil, windshield wipers, and tires, or have a trusted mechanic do it for you. This will help you feel more confident and secure on the road.
Also, make sure to spray the windshield with a solution of vinegar and water to prevent ice from building up on the windows of your car. Spray the door jams and windshield wipers too with non-stick cooking spray to prevent ice from accumulating on the blades and freezing the doors shut.
Never pour hot water on your car windows to melt ice; it ill just crack them. Instead, use vinegar and water solution to help melt the ice quickly. Also, take caution when starting your vehicle. Examine the car first to make sure the radiator and exhaust pipe grills are not clogged. Don’t leave your car unattended because if you do and the coolant doesn’t mix properly or the radiator gets frozen, you may overheat and damage the engine.