I’m freezing. You might be too. Can you remember the last time it’s been this cold? They’re saying it was about two years ago but I don’t believe it. Two nights ago, it was 16 degrees when I got home from work. By 10 PM, it was 10 degrees with a “feels like” temp of 0. By 5:30 AM the next day when I had to walk the dog, that feels like temp when down to “Negative 6.” This is no joke. People are walking around outside like martians, wrapped up in layers and layers so thick that I am sure it takes a solid 7-10 minutes to prep for going outside and another 7 to undress. Not only do I have to build in time to let my face thaw out, but I am constantly getting electrocuted from the static in the air . Seriously, everything I touch gives me a shock. My dog won’t come near me because I’ve shocked the hell out of him about 16 times. It must be the Ugg boots. Or the wool hat. Or wool scarf. Maybe I should carry dryer sheets around with me permanently or get one of those static cling sprays. I even had the thought to take out the dryer sheets from under the bathroom sink last night, only I got f-in shocked from touching the metal cabinet knobs.
In light of the freezing cold madness, I have thought of some unique ways to stay warm either while on route somewhere outside or to get yourself toasty while at home. Here you go…please let me know if any of these work for you.
- The most obvious one being – keep your head, hands and feet covered. Duh, if you have at least one parent, they’ve probably been telling you this since you could walk. But I still see some idiots on the street without a hat or gloves. Perhaps they don’t want static hat hair but I’d take that over numb ears. You can also get one of those scary face masks that skiers use which look like a prop from a horror movie, but which I hear are quite effective.
- Get some of those handwarmer / feet warmer things and stick them in your gloves or boots. They last a fairly long time and are ideal if you know you’ll need to be outside for longer than 30 seconds (such as waiting for a train on an outdoor platform, walking to the subway, the bus, to go get the mail, to walk the dog, etc.). Try these: http://www.amazon.com/Grabber-Hand-Warmers-Box-Pair/dp/B001G7QECY/ref=sr_1_7?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1359040896&sr=1-7
- Don’t knock long underwear. Yes, this may not be Little House on the Prairie, but Long Johns can be a life saver and nobody will even know you’re got the extra layering. I often find that although suit pants may be appropriate for work, they’re not built for warmth, so some thermal underwear can be quite handy.
- Make sure you’ve got a warm pair of boots that are nice looking enough that you can wear for work. Uggs and other sherpa products will probably not cut it in the office, but don’t settle for heels just to look nice. Beauty may be pain, but it doesn’t have to be. A couple years ago, I had to take an international business trip to a VERY cold European country in January where the sun only came out for a few hours each day and it never stopped snowing. Determined to see the city for a couple hours, I ventured out in my business suit and heels. It was pure misery. I was visualizing needing to amputate my toes for fear that frostbite had set in. I returned to the same country exactly a year later, but this time I came prepared. In advance of the trip, I went on a mission to find stylish, waterproof, warm boots that I could wear to work but also that would be comfortable enough to do some walking in. After doing some research, I ended up with a pair of Cougar boots. I should have known to look for a boot made in Canada, a place where cold winters are the norm. Cougar boots are designed to withstand the toughest elements of bad weather. They will keep your feet warm for up to -11 degrees Fahrenheit. NOT BAD. They don’t have the exact boot that I bought back then, but here’s a similar one: http://www.cougarboots.com/#/product/vienna-3-black-suede_2012w These are $150 and I am sure worth every penny.
- An unorthodox method and arguably revolting, but I’ve noticed something unique when I pick up my puppy’s poop from the NYC sidewalks with a little plastic bag . The 2 minute walk where I am holding the bagged poop in my hand on the way to the trash is sort of like a very poor man’s handwarmer. Gross, I know. But drastic weather calls for drastic measures.
If Just Getting Inside After Being Freezing Outside:
- Turn the last 10 minutes before you arrive home in the freezing cold into exercise. If you’re in the car, dance wildly to the radio (but keep your hands on the wheel and focus!). If you’re walking, do a light jog – it will warm you up and cut down on your outside time. If you’re taking an elevator, jog in place to warm up (unless someone is in the elevator with you as they might get freaked out).
- Immediately run to your television and insert “Buns of Steel” into your old VHS machine (or DVD player). Go to town. If you don’t have it on video or DVD or Blu-Ray, I’m sure YouTube has it somewhere.
- Bake something absolutely delicious. If you need an idea, go to my OfficeStace page on Facebook and see what I posted last night. It’s some insane chocolate chip cookie in a brownie thing. Turning on your oven will immediately begin to heat up your home and putting something delicious in the oven will make your home smell good as well.
- Hot tea or coffee. Or a good old fashioned can of soup heated up. YUM. Comforting too.
- Impromptu dance party.