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Whew- this weather is pretty nasty right now. I’m about two cold days away from looking for flights to the closest warm place I can find 🙂 Seriously though, winter presents its own set of safety hazards, physically and emotionally. Here are some of my tips for staying healthy and safe with the potential situations that may arise with the crazy winter weather and storms we’re having:

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  1. Keep stocked up on foods that are edible if the power goes out for a few days. At least some foods could be stored outside in the power to the refrigerator or freezer went out, but that doesn’t help with cooking. Fruits, protein bars, cans of food, bread, peanut butter, etc.. are great for a few days if needed.
  2. Keep stocked up on batteries and candles in case you’re left powerless for a day or two! Anytime my lights start flickering a bit due to wind or a storm I light a candle so I could see other things if needed.
  3. DO NOT leave the house without enough clothing where you would be safe and comfortable if you had to sit on the side of the road for a few hours. When I go to work, I wear wool socks, boots, and sweatpants, and bring my nice shoes and dress pants or skirt into my office to change. Being outside without a hat might lead to incredibly bad frostbite that you’ll have to deal with for life. Be smart, and bring appropriate items with you. *****Another piece of important information: If you live far enough away from work that the snow could potentially keep you from getting home, make sure to keep 1-2 days worth of your medication in your purse or work bag. That way, if you are stranded somewhere, you won’t be in a potentially dangerous or uncomfortable situation.
  4. To go along with the third point: make up a car kit. This would include things like those hand warmers you can buy and use in a pinch, hat, gloves, scarf, flashlight, blanket, some snack foods, and a shovel. This way you’re set incase you breakdown on the side of the road.
  5. If you’re using a space heater, make sure and double check that it’s off before going to bed or leaving your place. It’s easy to forget about, and could start your place on fire if you leave it going.
  6. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing, and I expect to see an increase of it in my office over the next month. Check out my tips for dealing with seasonal affective disorder.
  7. Be smart about working out. Moving is good, but not when it puts you in an unsafe situation. There’s no need to HAVE to get a workout in, leading you to falling and breaking something on the ice. Find some at home workouts to do if you really need to move.
  8. If the power goes out or it’s especially cold out, make sure to open up the cupboards in the kitchen and bathrooms to ensure that your pipes don’t freeze. The last thing you want to be dealing with on top of nasty weather is having burst pipes. Yikes.
  9. Stay hydrated! In the winter it’s easy to forget to drink (unlike the summer when we’re desperate for something to cool off with!). If you need to, set an alarm on your phone every few hours to remind yourselves to drink. Again, you don’t want to be dehydrated if you get stuck out for longer than you were planning to.
  10. Try to stay mentally on top of your thoughts and thought patterns.  Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in patterns of black and white thinking or catastrophizing because we are so unhappy by the weather around us (or feeling like we can’t do what we want because we’re stuck at home). Try to work on healthy thought patterns using the thought record or the REBT self help form.

Those are a few of the tips that I have for staying safe and healthy throughout the winter. Obviously these aren’t the only things I do to stay healthy, but are things I think are important.

Now it’s your turn to share! What are your best winter survival tips? 

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