Every single winter I am shocked by how cold I get. “Never has a day been so cold,” I wail, every day that it is below or even near the temperature at which point water freezes. I seldom go outside in the winter, so I am even speaking as an indoors creature. Going outside? Do you think I have appropriate winter attire? C’mon.
Currently of course I dwell in Paradise. But the Sneer HQs are old houses — over a hundred years old each. I’m no expert on architectural history but I think it’s safe to say that if they had invented insulation back then, it was just horse hair, and if it was horse hair, it has all deteriorated away by now. In fact, every house I have lived in that was built before the 1970s (and there have been plenty) was just so cold, unless it’s hot outside and then it is boiling hot. However, I am an expert of staying warm, or at least staying alive, in a cold, old, drafty house. Let me show you how.
Since I can only write what I know (or what I wildly and insanely speculate), I am going to keep this simple. Everyone who matters likes to save money. Therefore, I am writing from the point of view of someone who has no money. I won’t tell you to turn up the heat or go on a vacation to Sunny Acapulco, nor will I even suggest that you buy a new electric blanket. Hopefully, the things I am about to suggest are things anyone has on hand, and if not, please use your nearest search engine to seek out help in the form of a charitably run shelter. They will help you in times of need, and everything will be all right.
Make a Blanket Tent
So you wake up and feel like you are at risk of seeing your breath as you breathe, the original single-pane windows are coated in ice, and the cats are all over you like slugs on a beautiful rose. You want to stay in bed, but there’s that little matter of a trip to the bathroom so you are forced into action. As soon as you can, fetch some chairs from your dining table, a large comforter blanket, all of your pillows, and more blankets. Preferably, you will set up on a carpeted floor but if you live in antique hardwood floor splendor, then a rug will do (and layers of other blankets and cushions). You can make it as fun as you want, recreating fond times of being in elementary school. Don’t forget your laptop computer! Playing a game on it might even generate heat, like a little space heater. Bring in the cats (as if you could keep them out), and the booze (as if I need to tell you that). If you would rather not use chairs, or if you don’t have anything of the sort, then you can be like Dollissa and sleep inside of a big cardboard box. That’s very cozy.
Pro-tip: Remember that any drinking of alcohol will send you out of your tent and into the freezing bathroom… I guess unless you are a gross boy and keep pee bottles. Also stop that. Yuck. But also becoming inebriated while freezing inside of what used to be a fond childhood memory might send you into a depression spiral concerning the passage of time and surviving adulthood and I am trying to keep you alive here.
Dress in Layers
Layering is an important part of keeping warm. Skinny people do this all year long and we should learn from them and their thin, lithe brains! Tanks under tees under long-sleeve tees under sweatshirts or sweaters then a jacket then your biggest coat — perfection! Magnifique! But what about your poor shaking lower half? Put on two opaque tights, honey, then your yoga pants and then the old style of yoga pants which were baggier and then baggy pants in denim or some other heavy fabric. Put on so many socks that you can’t even feel your feet anymore (that’s three pairs of socks).
Pro-tip: If you layer after you’ve already gotten cold, your body won’t generate heat and your feet will remain as packaged ice cubes. That’s no good. You have to do this straight out of a hot shower or while you are eating soup. Throw some cats or dogs or friends over your blanketed, layered legs.
Get In There And Cook Something
The mere act of cooking will warm up your bod, but more importantly, eating warm food introduces a warm element inside your worryingly cool-temperature innards. Have your precious soup, and take in some hot tea and coffee while you’re at it. I advise against eating too many heavy foods — I know that it is natural to want to layer on blubber and hibernate, but I am only thinking of your future self when Springtime You will be crying over how much weight you might have put on by keeping warm with pizza after pizza after cheesy, glorious, delivered-straight-to-your-open-mouth pizza. Mmmm. Better stick to coffee.
Pro-tip: I would recommend against wearing circulation-slowing multi-pants if you also plan to eat and drink. Peeling down those lower layers will be cumbersome, humiliating to yourself, and potentially worse depending on how much effort it is.
Lie In A Sun Patch
Do like the cats do and allow the Earth’s yellow sun to warm you up. It is good for the spirit and provides you with certain vitamins, I am led to believe — vitamins crucial to your good health! Where you choose to take in the Sun’s warmth is none of my business, but in my opinion, “while still in bed” is a pretty good use of space and time. In fact, with a properly facing room with windows to the East, the sun beams can wake you up bright and early and you can stay warm for as long as you can until you must get up. Your first step of the day can be a collaboration between you and the great star above! Please ignore this recommendation if you live in the UK, and I apologize sincerely for reminding you that there can be sun in winter.
Pro-tip: You can combine sloth with activity by lamenting loudly about the room’s temperature from the comfort of your bed. The strain on your lungs and body from complaining should generate a little added heat from within. Those in the UK who have kept reading, know that you can use this part of my recommendation just fine without the sun.
Exercise That Bodyodyody
If you are a person who exercises regularly, you already are aware that a heavily pumping heart works up a sweat. Muscles moving your skeleton around generate an inner heat! If you didn’t know that, well, I’m not lying! Youtube offers a multitude of different kinds of exercises for you to be inspired by or possibly follow along with, but if you found yourself reading the beginning of this sentence and scoffing, I already have you covered. My post of Exercise Tips for the Uncommonly Slothful should cover everything you need, lazybones, and you can thank me later.
Pro-tip: If you reach the point of grody sweatiness from the exercises you do, you can reward yourself by having a great big hot shower or even better: a luxurious warm bath. Cooking yourself in a bath is an excellent way to warm up before layering clothes and throwing yourself in your little blanket fortress. Also, it is “self-care” to soak in a bath if you add even a single scent or bubble.
They say that the mind itself is a powerful tool, and it is true. Maybe you’re a rage elephant like me and never forget any slight done unto you, so you can revisit those thoughts and get heated, again and again, the rage never fading. If you have lived a life of blissful coexistence, you can still tap into the inescapable and seemingly unending flow of frustrating unhappy content and hardship being experienced all across the world and brought directly to you by the good folks at the News Media. Any aggravated opinion you hold can be catered to, any preconceived notions of injustice can be stoked, or you can be bold and seek out opposing viewpoints so that you can feel personally attacked. Boy, you will get WARM. Inside of you, there will be a fire that burns hotter than anything you could have made into a dangerous indoor bonfire! You might even have to shed some layers and eat extra food because of the calories you have burned through the increased breathing and strenuous heartbeats — just as good as cardio exercise!
Pro-tip: Be sure to avoid topics of climate change or anything happening to the weather in Australia if you are in the northern hemisphere. While they turn to cinders and ash from the high temperatures there, you may feel a deep shame at complaining of being chilly. Shame is a cold emotion and your body temperature will plummet accordingly. Beware.