Languages Magazine

Staying Warm in the Cold Winter Months

By Naturegirl321 @SharonTEFLTips

Staying Warm in the Cold Winter Months

From Her Campus

TEFL apartments tend to be old and drafty. Teachers' salaries often don't allow for you to blast the heat. Here are some ways to stay warm and save money on heating bills.
Clothing
  • Wool socks: I discovered wool socks a few years ago and haven't looked back. They usually come in at least three different weights: light, mid, and heavy. I have a handful of mid-weight pairs from SmartWool. Amazon tends to have good deals and Sierra Trading Post has discounted seconds. 
  • Long underwear: In Asia they are thick and black with fleece on the inside. Uniqlo is famous for its Heattech long underwear. They have tops and bottoms. Other people swear by silk long underwear. Thermasilk always gets rave reviews. 
  • Wear layers: It'll keep you warmer and you'll be able to take layers off if you go to a classroom that's super hot. 
  • Hats: This goes especially for guys who shave their heads. I know of teachers who teach with a hat on. 
  • Scarves: Whether it's a thin scarf or a thick winter scarf, keeping your neck warm will make a big difference. 

Window and Door Treatments
  • Drapes: Open the drapes during the day to let the sun in and close them at night. Make sure you have nice, thick drapes. Insulated drapes make a huge difference in cutting down on drafts. 
  • Bubble wrap: Put bubble wrap on your windows to help insulate them. Here's a good video explaining how to do so. 
  • Foam strips: Putting them around windows and doors will help cut down on drafts. 
  • Plastic wrap: Cover your windows with plastic wrap during the winter. Magnetic windproof door: I haven't seen anything like this in the USA, but in Korea it's very common. It's a thick plastic covering held together by magnets
  • Draft stopper: Putting these at the bottom of doors will help keep out drafts. You can buy them or simply roll up a towel. 
  • Put a blanket in front of your door: You can also use drapes. 

Housing
  • Let hot water stand: After you wash dishes, boil water, or take a bath, leave the hot water until it cools off. This will add heat and humidity to your house cutting down on heating bills and dry air. 
  • Ceiling fans: Not just for use in the summer, but running a ceiling fan in reverse can help push down the hot air. 
  • Use your oven: Bake cakes and cookies. When you're done, keep the oven door open to help heat up your house. 
  • Flannel sheets: They make a huge difference! I love my flannel sheets and switch them out for my regular sheets in the fall. 
  • Electric blankets: They're much safer than they used to be. It's a lot cheaper than heating your whole house as well. 
  • Electric floor mat: You can buy small or large electric floor mats. In Asia, people usually sit on the floor, so they buy an electric floor mat and spend most their time on it. 
  • Indoor tent: Indoor tents may be used by children in the west, but in the east adults sit on their electric floor mats that are inside their indoor tents. You can also find tents that fit over beds. 
  • Space heaters: Again, like electric blankets, space heaters are safer than they used to be. You still have to take precautions when using them.

Food and Drinks 
  • Hot drinks and soup: Drinking hot drinks and eating hot soup is a great way to stay warm. 
  • Ginger: Shown to improve circulation, eating foods with ginger or drinking ginger tea can help you keep warm. 
  • High fat foods: Such as nuts or avocados, can help you feel warmers. 

Miscellaneous 
  • Hand warmers: In Korea these are available in convenience stores. Many of them can be boiled and re-used. Amazon also has a good selection. 
  • Rice Socks: These are pretty easy to make. Take a clean sock, stick uncooked rice inside, tie a knot and chuck it in the microwave for 30-60 seconds. Some people put a mug of water next to the rice sock as it's in the microwave. You can also buy rice socks if you want. 
  • Warm baths: Take a nice warm bath if you have a tub, or try just giving yourself a foot bath if you don't. 
  • Exercise: Keeping active and exercising will keep you warm and burn calories.

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