You might not know this, but statistically the 20th of January (that’s this Sunday!) is likely to be the coldest day of the year and whilst it’s not feeling too bad right now it’s set to get a lot colder leading up to the weekend. If you’re living in our accommodation then your house or room should be pretty well insulated and efficient – but there are still some handy tips you can follow to stay warm when you’re out and about, and to minimise your energy usage.
Wrap up warm!
We certainly all remember our mum telling us to put a jumper on when we complained it was cold, but you know what? She had a point! We’re not suggesting you should be sat in six jackets and a pair of ski gloves while you study, but try having the heating a little lower and wearing an extra layer.
Wear a hat!
We also remember our mum telling us that we lost something like 70% of our body head through our heads; actually that’s nonsense, but keeping your head (and especially ears) covered will go a long way to keeping you toasty when you’re out and about. There IS a risk of hat hair, but only you can decide if the trade off is worth it.
If you’re going to be out for a while (say you’re having a walk into town) or you’re going to be in and out of the warmth (like going to your lectures and seminars) think about layering your clothing rather than just wearing one big coat. That way if you get too warm you can remove one or two lighter layers, rather than having to choose between ‘big coat’ and ‘t-shirt’. This has the added bonus that you won’t get hot and sweaty when you’re indoors (shops can be SO warm right?) which translates into cold and clammy when you get back out again.
Have a cold shower!
No, seriously. A lovely hot shower is a wonderful thing, and it will warm you up after you’ve been out in the chill but a cold shower will help the blood circulation between your skin and your organs. They’re also linked to a stronger immune system, which can only be a good thing with all the yucky flu bugs going around.
Insulate your space!
Hopefully your home should be pretty well insulated already, but if there are any gaps or draughts use draught excluders to block them up. You can pick them up for a few pounds from somewhere like The Range, or improvise your own with blankets or cushions. Just remember not to trip over the one by the door when you get up for a wee in the night.
Leave the oven open!
If you’ve just cooked a lovely meal in the oven, chances are you’ll close the door when you’re done. If you’re eating in the same room then leave that oven door open, and feel the toasty goodness (and hopefully lovely homely food smells) permeate around you.
Layer up your bed!
There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night because you’re too cold. So make sure you have lots of layers to keep you warm – fluffy blankets should be closest to you (not just because they feel lovely, but because they’ll insulate better there), duvets should be in the middle and chunky, thinner blankets should be on top (though make sure they’re not squashing all the floof out of your duvet). Just make sure that your feet are well covered!
Tinfoil behind your radiators!
No really, this one sounds silly too but it makes sense when you think about it. Half the heat from your radiator is getting absorbed into your wall; wrap a sheet of cardboard (a broken up box will do nicely) and slip it behind the radiator to reflect some of that warmth back into the room. Just remember you want the shiny side facing towards the radiator!
Shut the curtains!
Double glazing is great, but there’s no better way to keep the heat in than a good, chunky pair of curtains. If yours are looking a bit anaemic then you can always improvise with a blanket or throw (Ikea do some super cheap fleecy blankets which are useful for all sorts of things) but be careful not to damage the curtain pole. Always try to close the curtains before it gets dark.
If your belly is full of lovely tasty fuel then you’ll keep warm easier. Did we mention that the cafes across campus sell a lovely hearty winter menu, that’s both healthy and warming? There are also plenty of places along Newland Avenue to pick up fresh food if you enjoy cooking, not to mention Lidl on Beverley Road. And we’re sure we don’t need to mention how many takeaways and restaurants there are…
If you can’t afford the latest designer ski jacket, then why not go for a browse around the charity shops on Newland Avenue and see what bargains you can pick up there? Or if you don’t have a blanket why not pick up that crochet set you got for Christmas two years ago and make your own?