Let’s not sugar coat this: plenty of people hate the winter. Frankly, I’m not one of them.
One of my favourite parts of the year is seeing the first snowfall in November or December. To me, that means the chance to go skiing has once again presented itself, not to mention it feels more festive around the holiday season. I’ve been to other places around Christmas time where they don’t have snow. It just doesn’t feel the same. So, personally, I love winter.
But not every Canadian is like that. A part of me doesn’t understand why not, though. If you’ve lived in Canada for the majority of your life then, in my opinion, you should be used to this by now. Yet every year there are always a few people who start a conversation with, “I hate how cold it is outside.” Allow me to be the first to say that you are one of thousands who feels this way, but complaining about it won’t change anything. However, some things will change the situation. Not the weather of course, we can’t change that, but maybe just the cold situation you’ve been presented with. The following is a list of tips and tricks that any average person can do to make themselves a little more toasty during the beginning of the New Year.
1. Don’t Think About It
Sorry if you were expecting Build a Fire as tip #1, but that’s further down the list. Most people don’t even consider that feeling cold is more mental than physical. The simple truth is that it’s entirely possible to warm yourself just by wanting to. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re in front of a computer go online and type the word Tummo into the search bar. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. But the same can be said when it comes to anything going on in the human body.
For example, when you have a cold the last thing you should do is think about the cold. Think about getting better, and sooner or later you’ll find your body getting stronger and fighting off the cold a lot quicker. The same can be said about your body temperature. Close your eyes and imagine a camp fire, either in front of you to warm your hands with or, quite literally, inside of your body warming you up from the inside out. This style of meditation requires a bit of focus, but the results will speak for themselves.
It’s a proven fact that moving around and doing exercise raises your core temperature, so get up and do some jumping jacks! Lift some weights, do some push-ups, anything to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Even just the smallest amount of movement creates energy within your body. Next time you’re standing at a bus stop and your toes are freezing, just try wiggling them for a few minutes. That small amount of movement increases the blood flow and spreads more body heat to those tiny appendages within your boots. Same goes for your fingers. Working out is a great way to stay warm in the winter, and it gets you looking good for when swimsuit season comes back.
3. Rub Yourself
Not that kind! Allow me to clarify what this one means before your mind heads into the gutter. Rubbing your chest creates friction which creates thermal energy in your heart. Your heart then passes your warmed-up blood to the rest of your body and will slowly heat everything else that it’s being carried to. Don’t worry about your legs or arms, they’ll get taken care of in a short amount of time. Next time you start to feel the chill of winter creeping up, just give yourself a quick rub and you’ll feel much better.
4. Build A Fire
I had to throw this in sooner or later. If you can’t heat yourself up on your own then turning to fire is always a healthy alternative, as long as it’s contained. If you’re one of the lucky people who owns a fireplace then you can stay inside and get nice and toasty all day long. If not, building a fire pit is actually easier than you think.
Dig a hole in the ground and line it with some non-burning material like stone, brick, or any other solid objects that won’t catch flame. Then put in a couple of large sized logs as your base. If the ground is too frozen from the snow, then simply build a contained area out of the same material instead of digging it.
The bigger the fire, the more logs you’ll require. Next, get some branches and snap them up to stick around the logs so that they’ll evenly catch flame. Small sticks are required after the medium ones, so snap up an enormous helping of tiny twigs and scatter them around the other pieces of wood. Finally, a heaping helping of paper is always a good way to make sure the fire catches right of the bat. Newspaper sheets tend to work best but any crumpled up pieces will paper will still get the job done. Shove the paper deep within the base of the fire pit so that it starts burning from the middle outwards, that way your fire will last as long as possible.
5. Read a book/watch a movie:
Two of the easiest things to think of, though this tip has more of a broader message. If nothing else works for you and you just don’t feel like going out into the snow, Don’t! At the end of the day that only one who can make you go outside is you, so if you don’t want to go out there then just don’t go out there. Stay inside, read a book, watch a festive movie, or watch a tropical movie and think about how nice it would be to be there. Brew some hot chocolate or warm tea, get bundled up in a blanket and then curl up on the couch. Or just stay in bed all day and trap the warmth with you. There are plenty of ways to stay warm while indoors, I just don’t have time to list them all.
Hopefully one of these tips will help you survive the winter season and, for those of you that just flat out don’t like winter, get back to the time of year you do like. Or just move somewhere in the world where it doesn’t snow, that’s an option too.
As for us who enjoy seeing snow out there, have fun while it lasts and try to hit the slopes, or make a snowman, or have a snowball fight. It won’t last forever so embrace it while it’s here.