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23 Vital Tips to Survive Winter

Written: 10/22/2007

You can feel winter starting to creep in. Runny nose, fever, recurring coughs... Winter illnesses are often bothersome. How to relieve these troublesome symptoms? I'm a native of a tropical country and I use the following tips to survive the winter in France where it can sometimes get below zero degrees celcius.


    The most important thing to consider in a very cold climate is your health. Without it, you won't be able to do other things. Remaining in a good health in a very cold weather is a very daunting task but if you take the following steps to stay away from the following diseases you will manage fine.

  1. Decrease fever: Fever is a defence mechanism of the human body. To decrease fever, take off excess clothing and try not to overheat your apartment. Drink a lot of water, more than the usual. Fever can cause dehydration. Sleep well and rest your body during a fever.

  2. Clear the nose: To cure a running nose, you can use the following grandmother tip. Heat a bowl of water with some tea in it. Place your face slightly above the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Inhale the vapour for about 5 minutes. Do this about 3 times a day and you will find yourself cured in a matter of time.

  3. Fatigue: You tend to get tired more easily during winter. To avoid this, eat a lot of food which contain vitamin C like fruits and vegetables.

  4. Cough: Coughs are uncomfortable, sometimes painful and keep you awake at night. Although some coughs help to clear your breathing system from phlegm, the dry cough can cause pain. Here is a tip to get rid of coughing. Breathe through your nose all the time, this will keep your lungs and mucus from drying up. Also there are cough sweets which when taken, can clear your respiratory system and relieve throat pains.

  5. Stuffy nose: Stuffy nose can be a pain, even more when we are sleeping because we are forced to breathe through our mouth and this can get tiring. You use the same tip as for the running nose but this time with some ginger in it. Heat a bowl of water with some ginger in it. Place your face slightly above the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Inhale the vapour for about 5 minutes through your nose. The ginger will loosen your nose tract. Do this about 3 times a day.

  6. Headache: The cold can have a serious impact on your brain. Sinus headache is a common issue to people living in cold countries. One common way to get rid of an acute headache due to cold is to have a nap and after that if the headache is still strong to have a head, neck and shoulder massage while listening to some soothing songs in the background.

  7. Medication: Always prepare a first aid kit and take some over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen to fight headaches. See with your doctor what medication is best for you. Keep a thermometer at hand.

  8. Food

  9. Well-balanced meal: Eat a well-balanced meal, preferably warm meals because a well-balanced meal will provide you with natural insulation against the cold.

  10. Soup: Buy instant soup mixes. These are easy to prepare and may save you from hypothermia by warming you quickly and helping you stay hydrated.

  11. Food preparation: Choose foods that cook quickly and don't require long periods of simmering. You will need more fuel to bring water to a boil and keep food warm in a cold climate.

  12. Food store: Keep a lot of non-perishable food in your larder. Pack foods high in fat such as cheese, peanut butter or soy nuts. Dinners higher in fat will help keep you warm in your bed throughout the night, and keep you from waking up from hunger.

  13. House

  14. Insulation: Avoid spending too much money on a heater and insulate your house well to store internal energy. If you cannot do it yourself, do not hesitate to ask the advice of an expert.

  15. Heater: If you feel that you still need more warmth despite the insulation, invest in a low cost heater. A simple electric space heater can do the job quite well.

  16. Humidifier: Headaches, sore throats, sore eyes, skin irritation and contact-lens discomfort are all symptoms of a dry indoor environment. Using a humidifier will eliminate these problems.

  17. Energy: Always keep in mind that you will usually use more energy in winter than in summer, so better save as much energy as you can. Switch off the lights when you are not in the rooms, or shut down the tv when you are not watching it.

  18. Generator: Sometimes it can happen that there is a power cut in your area and during winter, that can easily turn to nitemare. Keep a generator handy in case such a scenario occurs.

  19. Outdoor Activity

  20. Health: Do not overexert yourself as you will feel tired more easily. Ask for the help of a close one or a friend whenever there is a heavy work to do.

  21. Shovelling your driveway: Always do this in the middle of the day when the sun is high so that you do not experience the mist of the morning or the freezing wind of the evening.

  22. Hypothermia: Avoid hypothermia which is a drop in the body temperature due to cold by putting on a lot of warm clothes. Do not forget to cover your head properly because the body loses three-quarters of its heat through the head.

  23. Emergency

  24. Emergency Services: Always have the telephone numbers of emergency services like the SAMU, the firemen, police,etc.

  25. Neighbours and Friends: Keep the number of your neighbours and friends handy so that you can alert them easily during an emergency.

  26. Mobile Phone: It may seem like much but investing in a cheap mobile can pay off during the winter.

  27. First Aid Kit: Always keep a first aid kit and a first aid manual in your house and in your car if you are going out. You may seem to think this is too much but it can actually save your life in an emergency.

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