Hot chocolate, flu, flu-shots, coats, boots, hats, scarves and the list goes on and on. It’s that time of year again, winter. As soon as the weather turns cold, it reminds a lot of us that the holiday season is getting close and you get to spend time with your friends and family. On the other hand there are some of us who begin counting down the days to spring because you absolutely hate the cold, dark winter. Regardless if we love or hate it life goes on, therefore we develop our various strategies to help us get through the cold months. As an “island girl”, it was quite a change moving Toronto in late autumn. As the days got colder and colder reality started to sink in, everything I was told became real, Canadian winters are cold! Even though I was mentally prepared for the move, it took me a while to physically adjust to the drastic change in climate. I was shivering all the time and had bouts of migraine headaches. I turned up the heat in the apartment to levels I’m now ashamed to mention and took far too many hot (not warm!) showers in one day. I learned quickly that I needed to change my way of thinking in order to cope with the colder months. Instead of complaining and staying indoors as much as I could, I decided to embrace the changes that came with winter and living in a new country. I found joy in shopping for new clothes and shoes. I accepted that hats, gloves and scarves were now a new part of my outfit ensemble. I eventually embraced the change and began to cope. Having lived through three winter seasons, I’d like to think that I’m now somewhat of an expert in preparing for winter. If this is your first experience living through winter or you just hate it as much as I did, here are a few things I now do differently to cope with the cold season.
- Find winter activities to engage in. You are less likely to complain about being cold if you have something fun and exciting to do with your free time. Try ice skating or skiing; do fun indoor activities like bowling.
- Protect your skin. The cold weather can be very brutal to your skin. The moisture will dry out easily because of being indoors with the heat on or being outside with the cold harsh winds. Moisturize your skin with a body lotion or cream after you shower. If you don’t like to, or have time to moisturize after a bath, you can use the Nivea or Jergens in- shower body lotion. They double as a shower wash and moisturizer, leaving your skin smelling amazing and soft for a full 24 hrs. If you have sensitive skin like I do, then try the Aveeno body wash and skin cream.
- Don’t neglect your lips. Your lips can become dry and cracked during the winter months, which can be very painful. Use a lip balm to protect your lips. Blistex is my favorite, it is small enough to carry in your purse or pockets so that you can reapply throughout the day.
- Uses a hand cream/lotion to moisturize your hands. We sometimes easily overlook them while they are left exposed almost all the time, making them susceptible to becoming dry. Carry a small hand cream in your purse to moisturize your hands after you wash throughout the day.
- Keep your feet moisturized with petroleum jelly. I lather my feet with Vaseline at night and wear a pair of socks to bed; over time it helps to prevent dry cracked heels and leave your feet feeling soft.
- Protect your hair and scalp. The extreme cold weather combined with the consistent heat used to keep your homes warm, over time can cause your hair to become dry and brittle. Use a nourishing shampoo and conditioner to wash your hair. You can also wear protective hairstyles and use hair moisturizers to keep your hair shaft from drying out.
- Boots, hats, gloves, scarves and coats. Wear appropriate winter clothes to keep warm when you go outdoors. Buy clothes and shoes that are specifically designed to protect you from cold temperatures. When you go shopping check the clothing tags for information detailing the various degree of temperate protection that each item will give. Invest in a good pair of water resistant/proof boots. Layer your clothes and wear thick socks to keep your body and feet warm.
- It highly recommended getting your vehicles checked or serviced by a reputable certified auto mechanic, to ensure they are fit to be driven during winter. It is definitely worth the investment to purchase snow/winter tires. They are specifically designed for use on snow and ice providing traction that can prevent your vehicles from slipping off the road. Remember your safety always come first.
- It’s always summer somewhere! If you have the option of choosing your vacation time, save it for the middle of winter. Enjoy the summer months in your city and travel to somewhere warm during winter. Relax in the sun (with your sunscreen on) and forget the cold. The break will get you ready for the last leg of winter while you wait to say hello to spring.
Do you love or hate winter? How do you prepare for the cold season? Leave your comments below.