Winter Frost by markoehrhardt (Pixabay)
By Rachael Hussey
With temperatures plummeting to minus 7 degrees Celsius this morning in Dublin, what can we do to stay warm?
As February begins and signs of daffodils approach, many did not expect the drop in temperature this week. According to Met Éireann, ‘‘Today will be very cold but mainly dry apart from a few scattered wintry showers of sleet this afternoon – with some light flurries of snow possible too and tonight will be mainly dry, but very cold and frosty, with widespread icy patches as temperatures fall to between -2 and -4 degrees.’
With temperatures remaining below freezing we must look to novel ways to keep warm this February. As a person who dreads the cold and feels the need to wrap up warm even in ten degree weather, I have many tricks to remain toasty in any cold conditions. These options are cheap and effective ways to keep Jack Frost at bay. So, whether you are a poor student trying to keep the heating bills down or someone who spends time outdoors, there are many cost effective ways to keep the cold out.
Hand warmers. Photo by Rachael Hussey
Now these are particularly useful if you know you will be spending some time outdoors in the freezing weather, it could be for a sports event, if you work outside or if you have a long walk to work or college. The hand warmers work by disk activation for the first time, instantly heating up and remaining warm for a couple of hours. After the first use you can reheat them by placing them in a bowl of boiling water for five to ten minutes. Once heated you dry them off and they are ready to go. they are most useful in your pockets, putting your toasty hands in to keep warm.
Alternatively, you can keep them under your clothes, warming up your tummy or back whenever you are feeling the cold. You can find these online at Littlewoods Ireland, Go Outdoor Ireland and many pharmacies stock them too. For around a tenner you can have warm hands for hours.
A person wearing long johns. Photo by John Lee (Wikipedia)
Another cheap option to staying snug is thermal wear, okay it is not the sexiest of items but if you are feeling good on the inside it will shine on the outside! Nowadays you can pick up thermal wear in Pennys, Dunnes Stores or any department store. From long sleeved tops to long johns, you no longer have to suffer in sub-zero weather.
A small fleece blanket can become very useful at home for times when you just need that extra level of comfort. Whether you are sitting on the couch watching TV or your room feels like the Antarctic, a fleece throw can be your best friend. A personal tip for those particularly cold nights is to place a fleece blanket between yourself and your duvet, the trapping of the fleece between layers adds the much needed extra warmth.
You can pick up these blankets in Penneys, Dunnes Stores or any home store around the city. Penneys have a blue throw for only six euro and with prices like that you really cannot go wrong.
Bear Slippers. Photo by kerryaki (Deviant Art)
Once you have braved the elements and have returned to the safety of your home I suggest you pull out the slippers! You do not have to be 85-years-old to enjoy a good pair of slippers. They are much warmer and comfortable than wearing your shoes indoors so find your inner granny and whip out the slippers!
The kind with a sole are most durable but fluffy soft soled slippers are also great. Another tip is to wear slipper socks in bed and if you are particularly cold like me, wear them around the house under your slippers. These items are cheap as chips and again, Penneys and Dunnes are the best places to find these items on a budget. For slippers under a tenner they are a steal!
Hot Water Bottle
Hot water bottle. Illustration by Nemo (Pixabay)
Lastly, we have the classic cheap and effective way to warm the cockles, the hot water bottle. Small, light and economical, the long established heating method is perfect for a student or someone on a budget to instantly heat up. All you need is your trusty hot water bottle and a kettle with some water. In Ireland the hot water bottle is a staple in any household and with more fashionable covers coming out all the time there is no excuse not to indulge in one.
My personal favourite brand is Fashy, a German brand which lasts for years and is very user friendly, meaning a wide spout to avoid any burns or mishaps. They also have many funky covers to choose from and are relatively inexpensive. Everywhere from Boots to Debenhams stock hot water bottles in Ireland so pick one up and you will not regret it.
We here at TheCity.ie hope you can stay warm this February and if you follow these helpful tips you are sure to find a happier and healthier version of yourself through the cold snap.