Winter-Ready

“What do you prefer, summer or winter?” Summer, of course. That’s a no-brainer. I grew up in a tropical country and honestly, winter is merely an acquaintance for me. I don’t look forward to it, except for when I think about using all the scarves and beanies I made. It’s almost always horrible, less fun than summer and it can be expensive, too.

In saying that, my boyfriend and I have been dealing with winter blues year in, year out that we’ve learned how we can live better with it. I think this is the most prepared we’ve been in all the years we’ve wintered together.

WE ARE SO WINTER-READY!

(I’m not even excited but the exclamation point fits.)

We looked back at previous years and tried to remember what made us die feel uncomfortable during winter time. The cold was the first and probably the only thing I could really think of, but yeah, that was a great starting point.

Without further blabbering, to make the most out of 2017 winter, here’s a list of things we took care of before the cold started creeping in:

HEALTH

We got our flu shots towards the end of April. My boyfriend has a weak immune system and he catches the airborne viruses pretty quickly and when he does, it ends up being nasty. I’m a lot better, but I can’t risk catching a bug because I don’t like him getting sick because of me.

While we were at it, we also decided to get blood tests. My test results were promising; his, not really. It turns out he has high cholesterol and a fatty liver and has to lose some weight. We have to change our diet to eat more fish than red meat and also, exercise.

In monies: $24 for the shots*, $0 for blood tests

GYM MEMBERSHIP

Losing weight will be easier during summer, at least for us. We like to hike and we stay active during warmer weather. Doing the same in winter is always a challenge (bed > workout), so we decided to sign up with a gym instead.

I’m not going to lie, finding a gym was a long processes because we both didn’t want to:

  1. Pay at least $18.95 a week each on top of $65 each membership fee, each
  2. Pay lower than the rates above but sign up for a whole year
  3. Pay lower rates than #1 without a contract, in a warehouse-type gym

Truth is, I can workout at home but my boyfriend needs more motivation, so the gym was the ideal choice. Luckily, after shopping around, we found a gym that offers a 2-for-1 membership plan. It’s not even a coupon deal and we didn’t even have to pay two sign-up fees. Only one signs up and the other gets to tag-along. So good!

In monies: $20.95 p/w membership + $60 sign-up fee (comparison per person rates with other gyms we looked at: $18.95 p/w membership + $65 sign-up fee; $23.95 p/w membership + $99 sign-up fee)

WINTER CLOTHES

I took out all our warm clothes out of hiding and into our closet. I keep them away to keep them clean and to save some closet space. I took out all my thermals and warm socks out, too. My boyfriend is used to the cold and he’s dressing himself as usual, only with a jacket on. I, on the other hand, am a different story.

I wear a jumper as soon as the temperature drops to 25c. It’s 14c as I’m writing this and I’m wearing a snow jacket.

Warm clothes are always expensive. I don’t like expensive. So, my winter fashion strategy (haha!) is to layer instead of buying winter clothes. Last winter, I’ve survived wearing dresses, jumpers and pants over thermals. I’ve invested in thermals rather than clothes. My old ones aren’t worn out yet, unless they give out this year, the buying will have to wait until next winter.

In monies: $0

BLANKETS

I took one warm blanket out for the living room. We spend a fair bit of time on our couch, especially after dinner, and having a blanket to keep us warm is so much better than turning the heater on. Plus, blankets always make you feel more comfortable!

In monies: $0

HOT-WATER BOTTLE

Last winter, we lived in a house without central heating. The struggle, for me, was very, very real. It didn’t help that my boyfriend kept of making fun of how cold I was. Anyway, I survived with layering and a hot-water bottle. I am now convinced that our hot-water bottle saved my life.

Our current place has central heating, but to save on our gas bill, we are still using our good old hot-water baby bottle. We use it when we sit down on the living room, after dinner, and at night when we sleep. They keep water warm very well, especially if they are placed under a warm blanket.

In monies: $5 (we had to buy a new one)

BOOKS

We like going for drives, the longer the weekend, the farther we go. We hardly stay in on weekends. But winter keeps us from going out sometimes. For super-cold and super-wet weekends that will force us to be on house arrest, we have books. We both like to read but over the years, we both became lazy. This year, we started picking up the habit again. Boy, did we miss reading.

In monies: $0 (we love the library)

BONUS ITEM: COLD SHOWERS

Bonus because this only applies to me and I do this all year round. I have to admit though that it still takes some time to get used to when the temperature starts dropping. Taking a cold shower in the morning really wakes me up and gives me more energy throughout the day. Taking a cold shower before I go to sleep prevents me from feeling cold and helps me sleep better.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We love our summer and were both very sad to see it go. We weren’t thrilled when the first cold day of the year came, even if it actually felt refreshing. If you ask us about Melbourne winter, we’ll tell you it’s cold, wet and sometimes windy, all at the same time and that we won’t wish it upon you.

Winter is not our season of choice, but we’ll try to make the most out of it this year. We’re winter-ready and I hope you guys (in Australia and New Zealand) are, too!

Are you looking forward to winter? Are you doing anything different this year? If your winter is already done, how did you go? Do you have any tips on how to deal with it? 

 

*Free if we get them from work, but they are not scheduled until June. We didn’t want to wait and risk it.

 

Photo: Unsplash, using Canva