Winter is one of my favourite seasons, for one thing – at least the weather does what it says on the tin and a sunny day is always a bonus. I love being wrapped out and going for a walk on a sunny day, I love sitting by the open fire with a book or my crochet. There’s been much about the extra cost of winter living in the news recently between requiring more electricity for light and fuel for heating our homes. Although we’ve had a gorgeous fortnight of sunshine lately, the evenings are drawing in and yes, the heating will be switched on very soon. The seriousness of being too cold is highlighted when you consider that that those living in the coldest homes are three times more likely to die a preventable death than those living in warm homes! It’s hugely important to stay warm, especially if you don’t move around that much.
However, there is good news – there are steps you can take to ensure you stay safe and warm this winter.
- Insulation – improving the insulation of your home can really help with retaining warmth. There are grants available for insulation works but in the meantime, use draught excluders by doors and if you have rooms that aren’t used often (for example, bedrooms at the back of the house), leave the curtains drawn to retain heat.
- Heavy curtains can act as an insulating blanket and many people will hang a heavy interlined curtain across the front door to minimise draughts.
- The trusty hot water bottle or electric blanket in bed ensures that your body temperature doesn’t dip when you first get into bed. If you find it chilly in the mornings, it may be time to replace the hot water bottle with an electric blanket so you can switch it back on for a little while. Never use both together.
- If you have decided to heat just part of your home, ensure that the main areas of your bedroom, bathroom, hall, kitchen and living room are kept warm.
- When we feel cold, we often don’t feel like taking some exercise but a walk around the park or to the local shop, if the weather permits, will get your circulation moving. Taking daily exercise is important if it is possible.
- Apparently, many older people stay in bed longer in the mornings in order to stay warm. With the dark mornings, this option is certainly tempting. However, don’t overdo it – it is better to be up and about if you can.
- Wearing many thinner layers of clothes may be more efficient than 2 or 3 heavy layers so you can easily remove and add layers when you are up and about.
- Consume warm drinks – have a cup of hot soup with a sandwich at lunchtime and a cup of warm hot chocolate is lovely in the evening.
What is your favourite season?