I don’t know about you, but my car has been objecting to starting a lot this year. I know, that’s partly on me because I park outside and I don’t have a heater block, but wow… it’s been cold! Really, that’s the root of the problem. In honour of this weekend’s deep freeze, I have some tips:
- Get a good coat. It should be able to handle the freakishly cold winds without feeling like you are outside without a coat on. I have a serious adoration for a good hood that you can hide your face in as well.
- Dress in layers. A single layer is more likely to let cold air in and hot air out. If you have a bunch of layers, you are more likely to keep your body warmth in and cold out. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a base layer and then a couple sweaters, a jacket, and a vest on top of that.
- Keep your feet warm. I don’t know about you, but when I get cold feet, it’s all downhill from there. This is the time for warm wool socks and slippers. If you are heading out, good winter boots that are water-resistant, have a non-slip tread, and are well-lined are a must!
- Protect your hands. I love mittens. Little ones, big fat ones… and all the ones in between. It is hard to do things when you have cold hands, so don’t let that happen.
- Keep your head warm. Find a warm hat, something to keep the wind off your ears! Winter in Canada might not be the best for making a good fashion statement, but frost bite just isn’t funny.
- If you are going out, make sure you have your car well prepared. While I’ve never run out of gas, I’m terrible for keeping my car gassed up as much as it should be. That’s not all you should have if you are going out though. You want to have water and a spare blanket with you as well as have a good window scraper at a minimum. Maybe you have CAA, but that doesn’t preclude having jumper cables. If you should end up stuck somewhere, make the exhaust is free of snow.
- Get a good snow shovel and some de-icer. You want to make sure that you aren’t a prisoner in your own home. All kinds of things work to make ice not so slippery, including kitty litter. Salt can be really hard on pet feet. Be careful shoveling. You don’t want to fall and it can be really hard on your heart, especially in colder weather.
- Get your home ready. Remember power outages happen and you will want to prepare for that potential. Maybe you have a generator (and if so, make sure you have fuel for it!). Close doors to rooms you don’t use. Have heavy curtains to help insulate the windows. Have easy to prep food. If you think a storm is coming, charge your cell phone. Know where the batteries are for the flashlight and have a stash of candles and matches. There’s also the option of battery operated candles which are a great and safe alternative if you are worried about having an open flame. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like hanging out in the dark, especially if it is cold. My imagination tends to run away with me.
- Take advantage if you have a fireplace. A gas fireplace is great. No wood to split! But in the cold, I wouldn’t say no to a wood stove either (just make sure it is in good working order. Bats in chimneys scare me, but again, that could just be my imagination). If you have a gas fireplace, make sure you know how to safely light the pilot light.
- Eat filling comfort foods that warm you from the inside. The crock pot is a great invention. Soups, chili, stews… not much fuss and great warm results.
- Enjoy some warm drinks and stay hydrated. I’m not sure that hot chocolate can make the cold weather go away, but it certainly can’t hurt! There are lots of other options, including coffee, tea, and hot cider. Also, drinking enough water is always important. Being dehydrated doesn’t just happen in the summer.
- Book a trip somewhere warm. While this isn’t exactly coping with the weather, escapism is a technique as well! Just make sure that you only come back once the weather is looking better again.
Last, but not least, don’t lick anything metal! The person who stays warm and free from illness gets the last laugh! And any day now, it will be spring. Crossing my fingers will make it so, right?