As that time of the year rolls round sooner than usual where when you can see your own breath and immediately regret not wearing a scarf when you step outside, Kasia and I have begun reusing some of our old tricks for keeping warm whilst at home all day procrastinating studying. For those of us who live in rented accommodation with not enough money to crank up the heating or invest in insulation, here are some tips and reminders that save you from wasting tons of gas on heating up a draughty, uninsulated flat:
Hot water bottles are life savers at night time. Hug them, put them under the covers to warm your bed, put your feet on them… They’ll keep you warm for hours.
Cover up your feet. My grandma had the ears of a fox when it came to feet….I swear she could tell if we were bare foot in the neighbours house and would yell at us for not wearing socks. And rightly so- if your feet are cold, the rest of your body will be freezing before too long. Put on some socks, shoes or slippers. Even better, socks AND shoes. No socks & sandals please.
Move around. Sitting still at a laptop all day won’t get your blood flowing. Pop outside every now and then for a run or do a few exercises in your room to unfreeze your limbs.
You’ll feel colder if you’re hungry, and warm food heats you from the inside out. My favourites are soup, porridge, apple crumble, or hot pasta.
That being said, the same goes for hot drinks. I sometimes warm my hands on the kettle as it’s heating up, or hug it afterwards to keep myself warm (sounds lame, but it works). Jack Munro suggests keeping freshly boiled water in a thermos to save you reboiling the kettle over and over. genius.
If you’ve just used your oven to make dinner, crack it open for a while after it’s off so that the heat can escape into the room rather than through the fan.
Shower in the evenings. Warms you right through.
Another tip from Jack, make rice socks! Put a handful of rice into a sock, then tie or sew the end shut and microwave it for a minute to use as a heat pack.
It’s obvious, but wear more clothes. layers are good because they trap air in between which keeps you warm. Hats are also good because they stop heat escaping from your head. In the dead of winter I used to wear a beanie to bed and slept like a baby.
Draw your curtains and close your doors to stop heat escaping into larger rooms where you don’t spend much time, like the hallway.
Good luck and stay strong! Though it’s only just beginning, the winter won’t last forever.