Winter's here, which means days are shorter, and the cold can turn the great outdoors into the "not-so-great outdoors" for many people. Canadian winters can last a little longer than others, so we've compiled some tips for you to maximize your coziness and comfort this season and keep away those winter blues until the Sun returns in spring.
1. Buy a humidifier
We tend to crank the heat when the weather drops, and while it can make our apartment nice and cozy it has the unpleasant side effect of drying out our sinuses, increasing allergens (and as a result, how often we experience allergic reactions), and even drying out our skin. Placing a humidifier in your apartment can ease all of this discomfort, and with so many new models out there which don't cost much to buy and are energy efficient, there's no reason to delay.
2. Set the Thermostat to 20°C / 68°F
Maintaining this temperature throughout the winter ensures your home is always warmer than outside without running up your energy costs. Every degree you lower it beyond this will save you roughly 5% more in energy costs, even representing a significant savings if only done for 8 hours a day when nobody's home (don't go too low and make sure those pets are warm inside!)
3. Throw your blankets around
One way to save on energy costs and retain the warmth and comfort we treasure in winter is to ensure you keep some throw blankets around, easy to wrap up in anytime you're just relaxing on the couch. By heating only yourself rather than the whole empty room, you're not just saving on your energy bill, you're reducing your carbon footprint too.
4. Keep a little kitty litter around for traction
When things get icy outside, even the best shoes and tires can slide around a little. Keep a little kitty litter or sand shake on your balcony for traction in the winter.
5. Stay Healthy and Wash your hands!
As rates of cold and flu infections rise during the winter, it's a good idea to be in the habit of washing your hands each time you come through the door. Keeping some hand sanitizer in your bag and ensuring that you are receiving healthy doses of vitamin D from getting out in the sun (and supplementing it with vitamins if need be) and vitamin C to boost your immune system will keep you in tip-top shape to get out there and enjoy the snow!
6. Take up a hobby or finish off that to-do list!
It is important to be getting outside and staying active, but even the most active winter sports enthusiasts have a lot of inside downtime during the winter. That makes it a perfect time to start that hobby you'd been interested in, to develop that skill you've always wanted to but never made time for, even to learn a new language! Staying busy in constructive ways that encourage positive self-development is good for our mental health and will aid in keeping a smile on our faces even if our lips are a little blue!
We hope you've found these tips useful. Winter can be a great season if we make the effort, and our apartment can become our own little oasis in the winter tundra! Whatever you do this winter, stay warm, stay healthy, and stay positive!