Winter in the UK can get pretty cold and gloomy time and it’s not uncommon for people to find themselves spending a considerable amount of money on heating to try and keep the cold at bay.

(Photo credit: Pixabay)

It’s also common for people to become depressed during the darker, gloomier seasons of the year.  This is known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  A sedimentary lifestyle can also have an effect on our mood – active people have more endorphins (known as the happy hormone) whizzing around their blood stream.

Here are some basic tips for approaching this winter in a different way and cutting costs while also boosting your spirits during those gloomy, short days and freezing nights.

Portable Radiators

Central heating is the first and last line of defence for many against the cold weather.  It certainly gets the job done but if you’re running the heater day and night especially on a high setting so it feels like your in a tropical country it’s going to cost you a fair amount.

A simple solution to this issue is to buy some energy efficient radiators to pick up the slack.  Not only radiators, mind you, portable ones as you can move them easily from room to room.  We have a few at home and they really are a life saver.

At any given time you’re likely to be spending the majority of your days and evenings in just a couple of rooms.  Instead of heating the entire house in one fell swoop it can be more cost effective to simply plug in a portable radiator in the area where it’s most needed.

Bedrooms and living rooms are generally the most used rooms so of course need to be kept heated.  You’re not likely to spend huge amounts of time in the kitchen and quite often the oven or stove will heat the room up well enough whilst you are cooking.

As for the bathroom?  Keep it nice and toasty.  You can heat it up with a portable radiator making sure you keep the door closed to trap in heat.

Keep The Heat In

There are a few things you can do to help keep the heat in your home from escaping which are simple and can be pretty effective.  By closing curtains / blinds / doors when you are out or as the day progresses and the daylight / sun (if we are lucky enough to have any) starts to fade you trap heat in the house.  Another way to keep heat in is by using draft excluders.  These can make a big difference and I’m talking from experience.  There are different types from those you simply place infront of doors against the gap to others that slide under the door.

Invest in Some Warm Sweaters

Pretty obvious when you think about it.  The weather is so unpredictable and when I forget to roll my heater over to my computer after freezing on the school run I am grateful I have some super thick warm sweaters / jumpers to snuggle in.  The only problem is that I have some that have been snuggled in too much and are looking worse for wear.  Season-appropriate clothes can make a considerable difference so I need to add buying some comfortable sweaters, thick tights, thermal leggings etc. to my to do list asap.

Eat Seasonal Soups and Warming Foods

(Braised Aubergines with Minced Pork – Tian Fu)

Traditional winter dishes are always filling, warming and give a much needed feel-good energy boost.  In the current day and age many of these traditional recipes and season-appropriate foods get forgotten and people often take advantage of the global food industry and their well-stocked local supermarkets to eat the same few foods that they most prefer day in and day out all-year-around – sounds boring to me.  Also by eating with the season you eat fruit and vegetables that taste far better than those out of season.

The food you eat and what you drink has a direct effect on how you feel especially when it comes to your body temperature.  If you’re snacking on sandwiches then having ice cream for dessert and washing it all down with cold beers, sodas or juices, don’t be surprised if you feel cold.  Embrace proper winter eating and let your body warm up from the inside out.  Spicy foods, rich stews, hot soups, mugs of cocoa and mulled wine work wonders at warming your core body temperature.

Exercise

Getting in regular gym sessions during the winter months will boost your metabolism and help you to feel warmer even when you’re back on the couch and it will also give you a much needed dose of feel-good endorphins which will be invaluable in lifting your spirits when you might otherwise feel down.  Don’t want to leave the house but still want to exercise?  Put the radio on and get moving – fun for the children too if you have them.  I love to mix aerobic classes with gym sessions when the children are not around and when they are with me walks in the park work well.

Make Time for Family and Social Activities

You know, it’s been said a lot but we really are social creatures.  Often, in winter, many of us feel antisocial and are more inclined to withdraw into ourselves and seek out alone time.

This solitude can contribute a lot to feelings of depression.

To counteract this, make a special effort to spend time with other people whether in the form a movie night or games night where you can play board games and other games with family and friends.

(Safe Breaker from Yulu Games)

Going out for meals or even just drinks with friends is also a great way to

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10 thoughts on “Lowering Heating Costs & Raising Your Spirits this Winter”

  1. Some lovely tips, just perfect for this time of year. The days are really shortening now, aren’t they? And today was so cold. I love your idea of moving a portable radiator from room to room, that would work so well when the kids are at school instead of heating the whole house 🙂

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  2. I wear a gilet all winter – very good for keeping your torso warm.
    Also, we have thermal lined curtains which are drawn shut at dusk in the winter. These are very good for keeping the heat in, AND good at keeping the heat OUT on a hot summer’s day!

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