(Northern) Winter Life Hacks

It’s not easy being Northern. Obviously Christmas makes the long winter months more bearable, but Mairi Shimmins gives us a few crucial survival tips to make it through the Arctic Conditions

14th December 2015

If anyone ever tells you that winter is their favourite season then they are not to be trusted. Yes there is Christmas and hot chocolate and lights and festivities, but living in the North-East of England there is also inevitably sub-zero temperatures and gale force winds. Thankfully, however, there are ways to minimise your chances of frostbite and misery, comprised for you in this handy guide of tips for hacking these winter months.

  1. Fleece is your new best friend.

    It may not be the most fashionable of the fabrics, but believe me it’ll bring you the most joy. Think fleecey onsies, fleece-lined tights and leggings, fleecey pyjamas, fleecey linings for your coat, or even the good old-fashioned fleece itself.

  2. Never leave your front door without something warm to sip on.

    Invest in a portable thermal mug with a seal to carry to your lectures. Not only will your 9am’s become instantly more bearable if you’re armed with a warm sweet coffee, but the mug doubles up as a hand-warmer too.

  3. Hidden layers, and lots of them.

    The swamped-in-clothes look isn’t for everyone, so master the art of secret cosiness. Start every outfit with a base layer of a long sleeved top and base layer bottoms, and then dress yourself as normal from there with the aim of piling on as many of your clothes as possible without resembling a walking jumble sale.

  4. Turn your bed into a haven of radiation.

    Choose from a selection of, or ideally this whole list of cosy paraphernalia: hot water bottles, blankets, 13.5 tog duvets, electric blankets, those teddy bears that you put in the microwave and smell like heaven, or another human.

    The swamped-in-clothes look isn’t for everyone, so master the art of secret cosiness. Choose your room based on optimal warmth conditions, not the amount of room for activities.

  5. If you’re in halls then you’re laughing. With all the utility bills included in your rent, go ahead and crank up the heating, or if you find yourself in Newcastle’s most well-loved but a little outdated halls (I’m looking at you Ricky), you may be lucky enough to enjoy  several exposed hot water pipes running through your very own room. If however, you’ve taken the plunge into the icy climes of a student house, you need to become a little bit more crafty. The ‘box room’ may seem like the short straw compared to the humongous room or the artsy loft room with skylights, but the box will undoubtedly be the cosiest place to be during the winter nights.

  6. Just don’t bother

    Finally, and most importantly, prevention is always better than cure, so why go outside? If you’re snug as a bug at home then attend any academic, extra-curricular and social activities only when absolutely necessary to do so. There’s so many options of activities to do indoors. Think of all those Christmas films that need to be watched, or Christmas games (charades obviously) that you can play with your flatmates.

    Going outside can be fun at times, but is it ever going to be more enjoyable than living your life from within a duvet cocoon? I don’t think so.

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