As the weather gets colder, we might be tempted to crank up the heating and hibernate indoors. However, just because it is winter it doesn't mean we have to spend excessive amounts of money to keep warm. Here some ways you can keep warm but still stay within budget.
1. Layer up
It may be tempting to wrap up with one thick layer when you’re feeling chilly, but multiple thin layers are the way to go. This keeps you warmer than a single thicker layer is because warm air is trapped between the layers, acting as an insulator.
You can also wear thermals or leggings under your pants/jeans for extra warmth.
2. Old school hot water bottle
It might seem a little old school but filling up a hot water bottle and slipping it under the blanket in your bed will keep you toasty all night. These hot water bottles can usually be found at your local chemist or dollar store. Keep in mind, you should never use them in conjunction with an electric blanket.
3. Electric blankets
There is not much in life that can compare to the feeling of a warm bed on a cold winter's night. Turning on your electric blanket a few minutes before hopping in can also help you stay toasty warm while in bed. Just remember to turn it off when not in use and always be mindful when using it.
4. Close the door!
It seems like common knowledge but people can forget to do it. Close all doors and windows that you’re not in or using to keep the warmth in. It is also advisable to draw all the curtains as well to further insulate the house from the cold.
5. Open the curtains!
If it’s forecast to be a sunny day, you can open your curtains and blinds to harness the heating power of the sun for free. Especially North facing (for the morning sun) and West facing (for the afternoon sun).
On particularly cold days you might want to leave South facing windows shuttered as these don’t capture much sunlight.
6. DIY draft stopper
Using a draft stopper to fill the gap under your door is also an effective way to keep your home from losing heat. There are lots of DIY hacks to make your own draught excluder, or if you’re not feeling handy you can pick from up from places like Bunnings for less than $10.
7. DIY bubble wrap insulator
If you have some sheets of bubble wrap lying around, you can use it as a cheap and fast insulator (if you don’t mind how it looks, that is). Cut the bubble wrap to the size of your windowpane, spray some water onto the window, and stick the bubble wrap onto the window bubble side down. The bubble wrap will stick to your window all winter and leave no stains when removed.
8. Get moving
Exercising not only makes you feel better (exercising releases mood alleviating hormones called endorphins); it also allows better blood flow. There is an increase of blood flow to the skin hence, making your skin feel warmer. ANUSA and our friends PARSA and ANU Sport have free group exercise classes planned throughout the semester which students can attend. The ANU Counselling Centre also run a Get Up and Go Walking program where students get to go on walks with other students.
9. Fuel your system
The cold weather can make you feel like not doing anything. However, it is important to make sure you’re full and hydrated. It is important to keep your blood sugar levels in check to allow you to have enough energy to sustain yourself in the cold weather. Remember if you’re facing difficulties accessing a healthy lunch ANUSA can help.
10. Drink warm beverages
Drinking warm beverages like tea can increase your core body temperature and can make you feel warmer! It’s also helpful for keeping hydrated as you may not feel like drinking cold drinks when it’s already chilly. Don’t forget you can grab a free tea and coffee from the BKSS in Kambri every teaching week!
Other helpful tips during winter:
- Do not place anything combustible near heaters. While it might be tempting to warm your towels on a heater before you get into a shower, you could face a bigger problem than just cold towels if you do.
- Take care of yourself. Moisture yourself adequately as the harsh wind and chill can negatively affect your skin condition. Even though you might not feel like you need it, it is also important to use sun block in winter as well.
- If you find your car frozen like a 2 ton ice cube in the morning, do not attempt to defrost your car with hot water. When in contact with ice, hot water on your windshield can cause your windshield to crack. Pour room temperature water instead when defrosting your windshield.
- Protect yourself from sickness. The ANU National Health Coop offers Influenza Vaccinations to students for free. Alongside getting the flu shot, it is also important to upkeep good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and warm water, and covering yourself when coughing or sneezing.
- If you're struggling financially or having trouble accessing a healthy lunch don't forget that we are here to help.
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