Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cold Weather Survival

Hello! Thanks for stopping by for a visit today over here at Living Graciously. If you live anyplace that experiences the 4 seasons, you are enjoying the frigid bite of Winter's chill right now. So I thought I would share a few of my cold weather survival tips, and maybe you'll find one or two that could be of some use!
*Use a humidifier
 If you're like me, you typically relegate the use of a humidifier to when you're sick and can't sleep because you're so stuffed up. Very helpful in such situations. BUT, humidifiers are also wonderful to run throughout the winter months when the moisture is constantly being sucked out of the air by our heaters/stoves/fireplaces. This not only aids in the moisture level of your skin, but also helps keep your mucus membrane moist so you can ward off germs more effectively. Last winter was our first year of using a humidifier, and I saw a dramatic difference in my skin. I didn't have to put on lip balm every two seconds, and forgot to put on my face cream sometimes because I didn't feel so tight and dry the minute I washed my face as is usual this time of the year.- It was amazing!
For a natural "humidifier", if you (or your kids) take baths, once you're finished, don't drain the bath water right away. Just open your bathroom door, and the steam (and consequent moisture) will quickly be sucked out into the rest of the house.
*Drink lots of water and avoid caffeine
Along the same lines, if you do suffer from dry skin, drinking more water throughout the day could be your best friend! Because we're not sweating, our body rarely craves water in the colder months, but it is every bit as important. Also, there is a lot of research that suggests that caffeine is a diuretic (which means it sucks water from your body). So avoiding too much of it in the drier months is probably a good idea.
*Toast your tootsies
Do you have the kind of heat pack that you put in the microwave? One of my favorite luxuries in the winter is heating my pack up, and placing it under the covers while I brush my teeth. Then, by the time I slip under the covers, the bottom of the bed is nice and toasty! Ahhh...that's the cozy life! Even better...surprise your hubby with warm toes on his side of the bed one night. He'll feel like a king!
*Keep hot water close at hand
Remember when I told you about this:
Well, when we have days at home, I love to keep this baby fired up and full of water. Makes it super easy to grab a cup of hot tea or creamy cocoa. It's amazing how warm drinks keep you warmed up from the inside. That way you can turn your heat down a few notches and save on energy.
*Just a few degrees...
Speaking of saving energy, do you turn your heat down at night? We turn ours down to between 60 and 63, and pile on the blankets. We sleep better in the cold, and are saving lots on our electric bill at the same time! Just make sure you've got your cozy robe and slippers ready to grab straightaway when you get up - it's a bit nippy in the morning! According to the electric company, for every degree you lower your heat during the day, you can save 5% on your electric bill. Not a bad trade off!

Well, that's all for today...hope you're staying warm wherever you are!
Do you have any other cold weather tips to share with us? I'd love to hear them!    
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