• Sara Moinian

Winter is Coming: Getting Your Space Ready for the Cold

by Emma Misiaszek

The arrival of winter often reminds us of the holidays, hot cocoa and finally some time off from school. But let’s not forget the not so enjoyable aspects of the season, like getting colds, dry skin, that unwelcomed seasonal depression and the feeling of being forever cold. Now is the time to prepare for the winter and get the must need essentials to make the next few months a time for healing and relaxing in comfort.

Can’t afford to crank the heat up high all winter? Some helpful solutions are flannel sheets and a snuggly therapeutic microwavable stuffed animal. Flannel sheets trap air and body heat but are still thin enough to allow your skin to breathe. Flannel sheets will keep you warm but they won’t cause you to wake up overly hot and sweaty. Target is a good place to pick up some good quality sheets for a low price. Plus, they offer some with cute seasonal prints and designs. Still having trouble keeping warm at night? A microwavable stuffed animal should do the trick. 

Usually filled with grains or flax seed, these cuddly stuffed animals can be microwaved to act as a heating pad. Depending on where you get one, many also have essential oils, such as chamomile or dried lavender inside so once warmed, the scent radiates. The combined aromatherapy and warmth can help relieve stress, cramps and sinus pressure, as well as keep you cozy and warm. Aerie sells a collection of these fluffy friends, including a unicorn, polar bear and sloth. 

The sun setting as early as 4 p.m. can worsen depression or cause you to have seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder. Sunlight provides people with vitamin D, a hormone that activates genes to release neurotransmitters that affect the brain. There are multiple vitamin D receptors in the same regions in the brain that are linked to depression. Less sunlight equals lower levels of vitamin D. Lower levels of vitamin D equal a drop in serotonin, a chemical that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being. This is why in the winter when there are fewer hours of sunlight, many people can start feeling depressed and unmotivated. One way to help alleviate these feelings is a light therapy lamp, commonly known as a “happy light.” These lamps radiate bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. In order for the lamp to be effective, spend at least 30 minutes a day near the light but do not look directly at it as it is around 100 times brighter than the average indoor lamp. Bed Bath and Beyond has a large selection of happy lights, from small portable lights to large plug-in lights.

Winter weather brings colder temperatures and leads to a drop in the level of humidity. When the air outside becomes cold and dry, the water in your skin evaporates at a faster rate than usual. This is what causes your skin to become dry and tight, which can also cause your skin to flake, itch and crack. Besides lotions and creams, a humidifier can help add some hydration to your skin. Humidifiers add moisture to the air and help restore the humidity in the room, leaving your skin hydrated. Not only can a humidifier help add some moisture to your space, it can help keep out allergens, irritants and germs from the air, decreasing your risk of getting sick. Walmart sells various brands ranging from only 30 to 40 dollars. Some humidifiers can get pretty pricey but only a small one is needed for your bedroom. 

Braving the cold and combating that winter blues can be made much easier with these new additions to your living space. Some cute holiday inspired flannel sheets, a fluffy little therapeutic stuffed sloth, an ambient happy light and a hydrating humidifier will have you feeling relaxed and comfortable in your room in no time. 


A version of this originally appeared in “Healing” The Teller December 2019 Issue #9


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