I think that Autumn has finally set in, here in Missouri. The days have been in the 50's this week, and the nights are getting nearer and nearer a freeze. I'm really trying to leave the thermostat at 65 degrees during the day and 62 degrees at night. However, I am not a person who enjoys the cold, and I also believe in keeping the kids nice and warm as well. So, finding a balance can be a challenge. So tonight, I decided to compile a list of my best stay warm while the thermostat is down tips.
*Dress for the weather. Really, no matter what the weather, dressing appropriately can make a huge difference in how much we need to change our atmosphere, which makes a much larger impact on our planet and our pocketbooks. When it is cold, wearing layers is essential. The layers need to have space between them, to hold in the warm air that will build up between them. They also need to keep the wind out while allowing your skin to breathe. For indoor activities, the children wear their regular under things with a pair of pants, a pair of socks, a long sleeve T type shirt, and a warm sweater most days. I typically wear tights, socks, a skirt, an underskirt, a long sleeve T type shirt and a wool sweater, and slippers. If a child's hands or feet feel cold, the child is cold, even if they aren't complaining of it. A child who is cold very likely can't feel how cold they actually are, so it is important to monitor this. A child whose body is working hard to maintain warmth is not using that energy towards things like health, growth, learning, creativity, play, or impulse control. Dressing to stay warm is important.
*Put a lid on it. More warmth is lost through our heads than any other part of our bodies. The Bean will even tell you - "if your hands are cold, you need a warm hat!" It is so true!
*Designate a warm spot. And keep it warm! For us, this is the living room. We have a wood burning fireplace and all the wood we could need for the winter. We keep a fire on the hearth pretty nearly every day. This makes such a huge difference in how warm the house feels. And, if we get cold, we can always make our way to the living room to toast up in front of the fire for a bit before making a foray into another part of the house to have an adventure doing something else. If we are going to be in another room for an extended period of time, we will forgo the fire and take the space heater instead. This is helpful when I'm sewing or doing some other project which requires hours spent in the craft room.
*Eat warm foods. Many foods leave us with a feeling of warmth and comfort. Soups, stews, casseroles and other warm meals come to mind. However, some foods, like those containing cinnamon or ginger, actually make us feel warmer. Eating these things or drinking hot drinks can help to keep us warm, and warm our space through the heat of preparing them.
*Prepare a warm sleep environment. Sleeping is easier when you aren't cold. Flannel sheets, layers of blankets, warm rice bags or a hot water bottle, and warm jammies can make all the difference for bed time. On our bed, we have flannel sheets, 2 hand made quilts and a down comforter. On the kids' beds, we add a rice bag (a flannel "pillow" filled with uncooked rice) that we warm in the microwave and put in by their feet on cold nights.
*Use natural fibers. Natural fibers like cotton, wool and bamboo all insulate well. They also breathe, allowing moisture from sweat and condensation to wick away from the skin. While fabrics like polyester may seem to be warm, they actually feel colder to the touch and they trap moisture against the skin, which cools us off. Or they may have the effect of overheating us because there is no air flow. Wool is our go to fiber here. It is by far the warmest fiber choice we have found, and it is much easier care than it would seem. We use wool for everything from socks, hats and mittens to blankets.
*Keep moving! It is much easier to stay warm when our bodies are in motion. Cleaning, playing, taking a walk, building something - any kind of movement will keep us warmer than sitting on the couch.
What are your best tips for staying warm?
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