It’s almost that time: that dreaded time when weather reporters start saying the “F” word on television….Flurries…FLURRIES! Then, after the “F” word comes the huge dump of snow. And while I would like to hibernate during this time of freezing-ness, I can’t, because winter lasts for about 8 months here. And that’s because this is Canada. So we must learn to unfortunately survive winter in Canada!
Oh, Canada. Our home of too much snow.
I know, I know… “You can’t complain about it, it happens every year.” I know it happens every year, but I can complain about it. I get my period every month, and complain about that too. Just because I know it’s going to happen doesn’t mean I can’t hate it.
In all fairness, there are some wonderful things about winter in Canada: those mornings when you look outside and the world seems still, the frost has lined the branches of the trees and everywhere is sparkling. The crisp air that means I need lots of blankets – and I happen to have LOTS of blankets – and peppermint hot chocolate are amazing. Having an excuse not to go out on a Friday night is great sometimes, too. Some things about winter are wonderful.
Others, not so much.
Here are some tips to help you survive winter in Canada, but disclaimer: these are not tips on how to start a fire, dig yourself out of a ditch or actual survival tips! These are simply pointers on how to make the upcoming season tolerable and only mildly inconvenient.
We all know that with cold weather comes drier skin. But why? The cold dry air outside versus the typically hot dry air inside dries out your skin, that’s why. This lower humidity essentially rips the moisture out of our skin through osmosis and distributes it to the air. SCIENCE.
It’s important to maintain the moisture in your skin before you end up feeling like your skin is tight and cracking. I moisturize twice daily as is, but in the winter I’m constantly using hand cream. Sore, red, flaky hands? No thank you! Not today, low humidity!
2. Allow plenty of travel time.
Possibly the most inconvenient thing about the snow is how much longer commutes become. Make sure to give yourself extra time to travel. Plan for delays in every mode of transportation, such as public transit, roads, and even walkways… except for bobsleds. Who has some snow dogs?
Let’s not forget, those of you driving somewhere need time to shovel the snow and scrape the ice off of your car, and that can take a lot longer than anticipated. Giving yourself a few extra minutes will make sure that in case there are major delays, you won’t be late. Another plus to this is if by some miracle everything runs as scheduled – which is unheard of in my city – you’ll have time to grab a coffee or tea to warm up before class or work!
3. Invest in quality snow boots…
Yes, I know, snow boots are bulky and very few actually look stylish. But ladies and gents, this is not the time to worry about looking good. This is the time to make sure your feet don’t get frostbite and fall off. And if you don’t like the feeling of snow in your shoes and eventually water-soaked socks, then you definitely want to be spending money on quality winter boots. If you do like the above things, then I have no words for you, except I don’t believe you.
Although warmth and coziness are important qualities for your boots to have, even more important is that they have traction. This one I’m very particular about, as I am not good on ice. I view ice the same way I view Tequila; I don’t want it in my life because it makes me fall down. Obviously I try to avoid ice at every possible chance. I will even cross the street if there is too much ice on one side. So, having shoes that might help me stay upright as long as possible when faced with my archenemy is very important to me. Or else you’ll look like this….
And you don’t want to look like that, do you?
4. …and some nice, warm gloves.
The thicker, the better. However, if you’re one of those people who can’t bare the idea of not being able to play with your tech for extended periods of time – like most of us probably are – then have no fear, as so many gloves these days are made with different fibres in the index and thumb that allow you to interact with your touchscreen easily. Now you won’t have to take off your gloves to text someone about how much you hate the cold.
5. Lastly…invest in a slow cooker.
Attention college students and busy professionals, imagine this…You’ve had a long, hard day, and it’s freezing out. You’re tired, cold and probably a little frustrated with the commute getting home. The best thing in the WORLD right now would be to come home to a hot, already-made meal, right?
This is my public service announcement to you:
Get a slow cooker.
I got my slow cooker when I was in college, and before I’d go to class I’d quickly throw in some frozen meat, maybe sauce, maybe some vegetables or potatoes, whatever was available really, and would turn it on before running out the door. Usually I‘d forget about it, until I’d come home after the day was done, open the door to my dorm and the smell and warmth would rush over me. There are SO many recipes and dishes you can make in these things, and I STILL use my slow cooker almost nightly in the winter.
This last tip will change your life, and unless you have one already, you don’t even know what you’re missing out on.
BONUS: Do you also want to become the favorite roommate? This is the quickest way to becoming friends with people in college…FOOD. HOT FOOD.
Stay warm, eh.