I write to you today as a proud native of the North West. When I moved down to Cambridge, I was adamant to stay true to my capital ‘N’ Northern roots, laughing (that’s ‘laugh’ as in ‘laff’) to myself as the winter months approached, secure in the knowledge that my people are made for the cold.
I have seen women walk up Bold Street in Liverpool in the middle of December wearing a strip of dental floss pretending to be a skirt. As Southerners shivered and piled on the layers, I was prepared to stand aloof and stoic in the face of the weather, like Aslan in Narnia – except not a lion and less good at similes.
Yet, today, I stepped outside and I felt it. The cold. The shiver. The icy wind. The niggling thought that I should probably have closed my window before I left college. At risk of disgracing my ancestors, I have to admit that the cold can be pretty tough. It affects your mood, it affects your health and, as the nights draw in, things can seem pretty bleak.
So, as the best things come in fives (Olympic rings, vowels, the Spice Girls, Nature Valley Crunchy bars, etc.), I have devised five ‘hot’ tips for keeping you as warm as Satan’s personal sauna.
As an English student, my scientific knowledge can be pretty sketchy, but I’m assured that switching between hot and cold showers can actually keep you warm. Apparently, this is because, while hot showers get you toasty, cold ones improve your blood circulation. Who knew?
2) Stand nearer to Justin Timberlake
3) Eat more
Your body needs a lot of energy to keep you warm during the winter. And the only place it’s going to get that energy from is the fuel you give it. That’s right, reader, take this article as written permission to go out, buy copious amounts of fudge and sit with it in your room like some kind of glorious fudge-hoarding recluse.
4) Go out (and then back in)
Get out, get moving, get your body temperature up– and then head to a café to sponge off their free central heating. Talk to the attractive barista you never had the confidence to chat up (there’s always one), take them out, and then sponge off their free body heat. In these cold, cold times, every opportunity must be taken. Café Diem.
5) Use your breath
You have a superpower. It’s not as good as Spiderman’s, but mildly better than Batman’s (who doesn’t even have powers anyway, poser.) You, reader, are Captain Hot Air. Your powers can be harnessed with the simple act of covering your head with a duvet when you go to sleep. Canopy beds aren’t just decorative: they’re designed to trap your body heat, but unfortunately not all our bedrooms were forged in one of Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen’s wet dreams, so you’ll just have to make your own.