When the temperature drops, do you find yourself constantly turning up the thermostat to stay warm? This can get expensive, so here are a few creative ways to stay warm this winter.
Cooking, baking, and bustling around the kitchen keep you warm both because you’re active and the oven or stove heats up the kitchen. You can even benefit from the oven’s heat after you turn it off by leaving the oven door open while it’s cooling down. And of course, you get to enjoy the rewards of your labor when you’re done.
Eat for Warmth
So what kind of food should you be cooking? Experts recommend eating extra healthy fats when it’s cold to “rev up” the metabolism, which, in turn, heats up the body. Spicy food and hearty, warming food like soups and stews also help body temps.
Enjoy a Hot Drink
There’s nothing quite as comforting as coffee, hot chocolate, or spiced apple cider on a cold day. The steam warms your face, and just holding the cup can keep your hands warm. But did you know that there’s even more to why a hot drink warms you up? Researchers have found that there are actually heat receptors (called thermoreceptors) located in the abdomen. So if you feel like that cup of hot chocolate is warming you up from the inside, it’s not just your imagination!
Use a Humidifier
Cold weather can dry out the air in your house. Humid air holds heat better than dry air, so use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Small electric humidifiers are available, or you do it the old fashioned way and boil water in a teakettle on the stove. You can even add a few drops of essential oil to the water to scent your home.
Don’t let that cold air in! Use a draft stopper to keep the cold air outside where it belongs. A draft stopper can be a simple fabric tube filled with an insulating material like batting, uncooked rice, or newspaper. You can even make an under-the-door draft stopper by tucking a pool noodle split lengthwise under the door.
When you have to brave the cold outside, don’t forget your hat and scarf! Hats that cover your ears are warmest. Keep your legs and feet warm by opting for wool socks, boots, and even legwarmers. Dress in layers so if you do get too warm, you can adjust easily. If you find yourself switching from indoors to outdoors often, or feel like bulky jacket sleeves get in your way, try a warm vest. Keeping your core warm with a down or quilted vest helps lock in your body’s heat.
Bring the Heat
Bring warmth with you outdoors by carrying hand warming packs in your pockets or mittens. And when you get home, microwaveable aromatherapy neck warmers can quickly warm you back up.
Get Together with Friends
Hear us out on this one! Scientists call activities that promote a positive social connection – like having dinner with friends or your family or going on a date – psychologically warm activities. And when you experience psychological warmth, your perception of physical warmth increases. So while they may not actually change your physical state, those “warm fuzzy feelings” you get when you spend time with the people you love may make you feel warmer.
Whatever you’re doing to stay warm, make sure you’re staying safe. If you use space heaters or your fireplace to help heat your home, keep anything flammable (bedding, rugs, furniture) at least three feet away from the heat source. Don’t leave fires unattended and always turn off heaters before you leave the house. Stay warm, and remember that spring will be here soon!