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Self-care Challenge 14

Today’s Self-care Challenge: Keep warm.

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, it might be pretty chilly. A great act of self-care is to make sure you have to tools to keep your body at a comfortable temperature. Get yourself good and warm for a least a few hours today, and make sure you’ll sleep warm, whether it means wearing four layers of shirts and three layers of pants, tucking hot packets under your clothes, cocooning yourself in a blanket, immersing yourself in a hot bath, turning the heat up a few degrees for a little while, or making a sweet DIY microwaveable rice hotpack (you could also just shove some rice in a clean sock, tie off the top, and have a temporary one. Giant long soccer socks are particularly recommended. As for the tutorial, I didn’t bother with all the pinning and measuring. I wasn’t even consistent with measuring the rice. It’ll still work fine. I’m also thinking about making some teeny little beanbag ones to stick in my pockets for the cold walk to the bus stop in the morning. And maybe knitting a hat with pockets over the ears…plaaaans!) I really recommend layers of clothing of differing thicknesses and levels of warmth, particularly if you, like me, go through several temperature zones in a day. While the long underwear might keep me warm out in the chilly weather, I can’t take it off easily when I move into a warmer space. I routinely strip off legwarmers, vests, and outer sweaters, and bundle them back on again when it is time to go outside. On days when the wind-chill factor is high, make sure your outermost layer is windproof! Concentrate warm stuff around areas where large amounts of blood are close to the surface (neck, kidneys, wrists, ankles, elbows, knees) and take special care of the sticky-outy bits that are always icy (toes, nose, fingers, ears). You can also heat yourself from the inside, with hot foods and hot drinks – invest in a thermos (I have a Reduce brand vacuum flask and highly recommend it, although your mileage may vary) if you are highly mobile throughout the day.

I’ve been sitting in my chilly room with a rice-and-flannel-snake around my neck (after 2 minutes in the microwave) for the last two hours, and I’m pretty happy I spent an hour or two making this thing. I also did really well at my layering today, doubled up on my hat, made sure I had hot tea and something hot to eat for lunch, and am going to stick my rice-snake back in the microwave for 3 minutes and then have it warm my bed up for me before I crawl in it. I feel very proud of how I took care of myself today, and also very happy in general. When I’ve been cold most of the day, my whole body tightens up and I become superlatively grumpy. Yay avoiding the sadfeels!

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