Ways to Stay Warm in Winter: A Southerner’s Guide

As a person settling into Washington after living on the Gulf Coast for several years, acclimating to this chilly northern weather has not been easy. Even during the chilliest of days, the temperature in my Texan town does not fall much below forty— Walla Walla has already surpassed this cold on multiple occasions, and from here the weather will only continue to drop.

So, to all my fellow Southern folk out there, and to everybody else that come from warmer climates, here are a list of ways to stay warm this fall and winter season.

  • Layers, layers, LAYERS

A thick padded winter coat over a sweater over a shirt over a tank top over a… well, you get the idea. Even throw on a pair of leggings under your pants if you must. Stack on the socks. The more layers you have on, the merrier (and warmer) you will be.

  • Cover all exposed skin

You can lose body heat from any exposed surface of your skin, so this is an important one. Hats, gloves and scarves can all play a big role in keeping you nicely insulated these upcoming months. Purchase a pair of earmuffs, if you’re feeling extra. All y’all southerners know you’ve never had a good enough reason to purchase them before.  

  • Hot beverages

Sipping on a steaming mug of hot chocolate on a cold day can quickly warm you up from the inside out. Of course, don’t limit yourself to just the cocoa. Warmed milk or water, hot coffee, tea, and even soup will do the trick.

  • Warm showers

(Personally, I’d prefer a hot bath, but since many of us do not have the luxury of a bathtub, a hot shower will have to do.) The heat of the water blanketing your body after a miserable, cold day will leave you feeling absolutely euphoric and refreshed.

  • Exercise

You may think the air has become too frigid to partake in any form of exercise, or you may begin to feel too lazy to leave your room when the warmth of your bed is so inviting, but this is a rookie mistake. In actuality, exercise helps increase your body temperature by regulating your blood circulation and helping your metabolism work faster, so get off your bed and hit the gym— trust me, it’s worth it.

  • Settle under lots of covers at night

Speaking of beds, how great is it to snuggle up under the blankets long after morning, as the cold and the rain and the wind rage war outside? It is quite a comfortable feeling. Layer up on the quilts and comforters, and if you’ve got any 8 a.m.’s (like me), don’t take the weekend mornings for granted.

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