Basic tips to stay warm in winter
Somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten the basics of staying warm, or haven’t enforced them.
Our mothers and fathers knew them; so did our grandparents.
But the simple, logical ways to keep a body and home warm in late March, June, July and August appear to have gone out with cassette tapes and VCRs.
We can Google it, talk about it with good friends over a hot cuppa and agree that our mothers were actually right (mostly), but we’re not always doing it ourselves – or passing it on.
So, before turning on any heaters, take time to go through your warm-up checklist:
Some measures may take some forward thinking, others a good recipe and a bit of wool.
In your home, slow-cook a curry or casserole in the oven – it will warm up the hub of your house for a few hours.
Have knitted or crocheted blankets on hand to wrap up in front of the television or at your computer desk, or to throw on the bed.
You can even have one at work if you feel the cold.
Even better, take up one of these woolly crafts at home to keep your knees warm.
Place a woollen underlay or blanket on top of your mattress.
Make sure all your curtains are thermal backed – you can buy them ready-made from many stores.
Pull the drapes as soon as it starts to get dark outside, to keep the warmth in.
Open the curtains in the morning to let the sun heat the house naturally.
If you’re building a new home, make sure you have lots of windows on the north-facing side and fewer on the south side.
Check that your window panes are in properly – they might need sealant to keep out breezes.
Get your wooden French doors fitting properly, because they’re big heat leakers.
You also need a snake to stop the breeze blowing under the front or back door.
But your elongated cloth doorstopper needs to be fairly heavy, otherwise it will be whipped out of place by a wicked westerly or stinging southerly.
Insulation is an absolute must. Get all ceiling and wall cavities insulated, and also under wooden floors.
Make sure you check out the government subsidies.
If you can afford it, get double glazing for your windows or single-glazed low-E glass, which has a coating that absorbs or reflects sunlight.
When you’re heading outside, dress properly. Wear thermal underwear. Pull on a merino or other woollen jersey.
For extra layers indoors, wrap yourself in a shawl. You’re sure to find something at the Hospice Shop or another second-hand store. Blokes, try a man cardigan or a hoodie.
Throw on a scarf, and bang on a beanie.
Remember gloves? Try fingerless ones to keep your hands toasty while tapping on computer keyboards.
Invest in some woollen socks or hand-knitted booties.
When you get out of the bath or shower and put on your snug nightwear, put on a dressing gown or you’ll cool down quickly.
Warm your bed with a wheat pack or hot water bottle.
Warm your bed with a wheat pack or hot water bottle before climbing in.