Every fall I moan and groan about Texas weather and how I wish cold temperatures would hurry my way so I could pull my favorite sweaters and scarves out of the closet and enjoy curling up on the couch with a throw blanket and a mug of hot chocolate.
Every year I forget how much I hate being cold.
I hate dragging myself out my deliciously cozy bed to get dressed in a freezing bathroom. I hate stiff fingers. I hate having dry, cracked skin. I hate wearing tights. I hate showing up to class/work looking like a porcelain doll with a bright red nose simply because I was outdoors for more than two seconds. I hate having to remove (and find somewhere to put) three layers of clothing once I get back inside.
I used to say, “Psh, I grew up in New England. I’m not like you native Texans. I can handle the cold.” All lies. I always have been, always will be a massive wimp in the cold.So I’ve compiled a few top tips — some of them practical, some maybe not so much — for my fellow cold weather wimps to help us all get through this difficult time.
1. Make like an ogre and layer it up.
This one is pretty obvious but I thought I’d include it because everyone has different layering strategies. My number one rule is camis: a cami or tank under whatever top or dress I’m wearing, every day. It doesn’t sound like a big help, I know, but every layer counts and this is something you can usually do without worrying about the actual appearance of your outfit. The bottoms’ counterpart to this is tights under pants. It can be a little uncomfortable, but makes a huge difference in warmth for those of us who insist on living in jeans.
2. Have a good hot chocolate recipe.
Truly good hot chocolate comforts the soul as well as the body. If I may say so, I make an amazing hot chocolate using Nutella; I’m planning to work out a real recipe for it to share here. I always make it off the top of my head with no precise measurements, but that’s not too helpful for y’all, so stay tuned on this one.
For the 21+ crowd: Play around with adding Irish cream to hot chocolate. Talk about comforting the soul…
3. “Moisturize me!”
(Two pop culture references in one post? Slow down, Katie, that’s crazytown!)
Once upon a time, I was in London for a few days during winter, and something about the air there made my hands horribly dry and cracked like I’d never experienced before. They were actually in pain, it was so bad. I didn’t have a chance to find relief while still in London, but when we got to Edinburgh (after a pit stop in Cardiff), I dragged my companions to a pharmacy in the train station immediately upon arrival, in search of travel-friendly hand lotion. I found this…
…and it remains my holy grail of non-greasy, effective, lasting moisturization to this day. I think I should say at this point that this post is in no way sponsored, acknowledged or probably even known of by Vaseline. I just love this stuff and highly recommend it.
Side note: I also use it at work and it’s a godsend in that situation. I’m a barista and that tends to involve a lot of washing/rinsing things and wiping counters down with damp towels, which gets my hands wet and consequently dries them out (because physics is logical like that). I keep a 3 0z. bottle of this stuff in my apron pocket and use it a few times a day depending on how much I need it.
4. Have a cuddle buddy
Another obvious one…whether they’re with a loved one, a little’un, a bff, or a fluffy four-legged friend, nothing is better in the chilly season than cuddles. ‘Nuff said. Unless physical affection isn’t your thing, in which case, blankets and pillows! And again, pets! I’ve also read that holding a mug of hot liquid mimics the experience of human warmth and that’s why we find tea/coffee/hot chocolate/etc comforting. Maybe that’s sad, but it’s also sort of nice to know. Then of course there’s the loving warmth that emanates from the bottom of your most steadfast companion: your laptop.
This section got a little off track, my bad. On to the next one…
5. Drink your vitamins!
With the cold comes colds. And, of course, the flu. It’s so important during this season to give your body the good stuff it needs to fend off endless sniffling and coughing. The way I often do that is (and again, not an ad): Emergen-C. My dad swears by it and he gets sick approximately once a year, so trust me on this. I can vouch from personal experience as well. Whether I’m in the middle of a cold or just starting to feel it creep into my sinuses, I toss back a glass or two of Emergen-C and start feeling better almost immediately. It even perked me up when I almost definitely had caught viral meningitis from my little brother (not the scary, fatal kind of meningitis, that’s the bacterial one — this was more like a REALLY nasty fever that lasted a couple of days). To be clear, it doesn’t cure your symptoms or anything, just helps your body rally its defenses. You can drink it every day to boost your vitamins as part of your overall health routine, or you can keep a few packets around for case of, ahem, emergency.
And finally…what was I saying earlier about the comforting warmth of your laptop?
6. Hide away from
responsibility the cold with Netflix
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but this show is so delightful…..and since we’ve no place to go….next episode, next episode, next episode!