“I’m freezing, put the heating on”: ways to keep warm and safe this winter 

In all my time in Nottingham, other than when out boiler broke last year, I can safely say I don’t think I’ve ever been this cold. 

With temperatures dropping to as low as –2°C here in Nottingham and snow coverage back on Saturday, it is important to keep safe and make sure you are keeping yourself healthy in these colder months. 

Especially with the cost-of-living crisis still very much impacting people’s lives, it is important to look at ways of keeping warm over this chilly period when the cost of heating your house is higher than ever. 

Of course, heating is the obvious first choice, however due to the price increases it may be an idea to heat bedrooms before you go to sleep and your living room area before that.

There’s people who use electric blankets to warm up their beds, so they doesn’t spend money on heating, but always be sure to check the safety of these blankets and don’t let them overheat for risk of starting fires.

Ensuring you save money by not heating rooms in the house you are not using is a great ideas, however, as I have seen with my university house, this can encourage mould so be aware! 

Another way to ensure you are making the most of your heating is by getting draught excluders. You don’t want to let in any of the cold air and definitely don’t want to let the heating out.

If you don’t want to buy one you can easily make your own – by sewing together some thick fabric and making sure you can stuff it even with things like newspaper. Even closing the curtains will help to keep a draft out. 

Layering up for me is a must, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to sleep in as many layers as I have been recently. I’m also reusing summer vest tops under my jumpers to keep me warmer. Doesn’t need to be anything nice, can even just be a sensible pair of thermals, but make sure if you are inside or outside that you have plenty of layers.

Hats, gloves, scarves and even slipper socks will all help you keep warm! I know I probably sound like your mum telling you off, but these are all so important to make sure to stay warm. 

Make sure to eat warm food – salads are long gone – things that will make you feel warm and keep you full. When we cooked our Christmas dinner last year with a broken boiler, we even left the oven door open to heat the kitchen! Hot drinks may also help, as someone who is not a coffee or tea drinker, I love hot chocolate this time of the year. 

The NHS also advise those eligible for a flu jab to get one in the winter months – due to an increased risk of illness. Resources for those struggling are linked below: 

Flu jab information – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/ 

Covid immune booster jab – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/conditions-illnesses/coronavirus-guidance/coronavirus-vaccine/ 

Grants to help with energy bills – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/energy/energy-supply/get-help-paying-your-bills/grants-and-benefits-to-help-you-pay-your-energy-bills/ 

Featured image courtesy of Jessica Milner. Image has been cropped vertically. Permission given to use in the article.

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