Tuesday, January 25, 2011

6 Ways to Beat the Winter Chill

It is painfully, perpetually freezing here in New England. In fact, it's a whopping 6 degrees outside as I type (six!). I have never been one for the cold, and the past few weeks of nonstop snow have reaffirmed my dread of wintertime. Since it's going to be cold for months to come, I'm brainstorming up ways to stay warm and sane until we start to thaw out. Here's 6 ways I'll be beating the winter chill...

1. Hot Tea - A steamy mug of tea (or coffee, hot chocolate, chai, insert your favorite boiling brew here) is the perfect way to combat that cold to the bone feeling.

2. Hot Yoga - My local studio offers hot yoga classes where the room is heated to a toasty, but not overwhelming, 95 degrees. Wearing shorts and sweating like mad will make your body forget it's been shivering for days on end.

3. Spicy Feasts - Cooking up some spicy fare is another great way to raise your internal fire. Make it simple by adding some spicy salsa to beans, rice, and sauteed veggies or go all out and whip up a spicy Indian curry or three alarm Thai dish.

4. Drier Power - Nothing beats PJs fresh from the drier. Pop 'em in with a pair of socks for a few minutes on high heat and savor the warmth as you immediately slip them on and make a mad dash for the covers.

5. Light Candles - They may not give off heat like a fireplace, but for those of us without working fireplaces candles can create a similar cozy, warming effect - even if it's more psychological than it is physical. Light a few clusters of candles, maybe some with warming scents like vanilla or cinnamon. All that flattering natural light may even put you in the mood for some other warming activities...

6. Embrace the Cold - Ok, it seems counter intuitive that embracing the cold would be a good way to stay warm, but go ahead, bundle up, and head into the chill. Move, feel the wind on your face, the sensation of the cold air hitting your throat, even that weird feeling you get when you know your boogers have all frozen (oh, I went there). Accept that winter is here, and it's hardly over yet. Then, when you've gotten a full dose of mother nature's wrath, get back inside and repeat methods 1 through 5. Trust me, they'll be all the more effective now that you're properly chilled out.

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