5 Tips for Surviving Winter in Atlantic Canada

A photo of the Halifax Harbour on a particularly cold walk to work!
A photo I took of the Halifax Harbour on a particularly cold walk to work!

Looking around Dartmouth, as well as the rest of the province and Atlantic Canada as a whole, it’s not hard to see that we’re full on, smack dab, right in the very middle of – you guessed it – winter.

Yes, it’s easy to hate on winter. It’s cold. It’s icy. You fall a lot and you also have to shovel. None of this is super fun, is it?

But me being me (the same person who was once described by a good friend as annoyingly optimistic), I’ve been thinking a lot about these stereotypically dreary months and what helps me see through to the brighter and warmer days ahead.

I have a couple tricks up my sleeve – a few tips that make winter in Atlantic Canada significantly better.

1. A good blanket.

Let’s be real – there isn’t any warmth as effective, nice, or cozy as that from wool (sorry little sheep!). I’m a firm believer that every Canadian household should have a few wool blankets on standby – and lucky for us, Canada was once a major producer of fantastic wool products (think Ayers’ Woolen Mill, Kenwood Mills, and so on).

Wool blankets don’t have to be expensive. Sure, you can spend several hundred dollars on a brand spanking new Hudson’s Bay blanket (and fine, they are worth it!), but you can just as easily pick up a quality-made wool blanket secondhand that I guarantee you’ll love!

I picked this Ayers' wool blanket up at Value Village a few weeks ago, had it dry cleaned, and now it's as good as new!
I picked this Ayers’ wool blanket up at Value Village a few weeks ago for $25. Had it dry cleaned, and now it’s as good as new!

2. A hot water bottle.

Buying a home this winter has taught Josh and I a thing or two about heat – mainly, that it’s expensive, and also that there are other things we can do when we’re cold before reaching for the thermostat!

We now swear by the hot water bottle. Fill that sucker up with hot water, cork it, and throw it in the sheets a few minutes before getting in bed – it’s revolutionary! (Okay, obviously not, but hey – we’re into it!).

Not only are they great for warming up your bed before you get in, but they’re also great for soothing and relaxing achey muscles – just like a heating pad would.

3. A good lotion.

Dry, cold weather causes all sorts of skin irritation. I notice it particularly on my hands & feet – they start to look and feel a little scaly at this time of year.

I recently picked up a tub of Joy McCarthy’s Smooth Like Butta body butter and it is doing the trick! It’s got very few ingredients, all of which are chemical-free and gentle on the skin. It’s a lovely lotion!

4. Food that makes you happy (& healthy).

This may sound odd, but I’m really into food that looks good. If it’s colourful, presented well, and made up of fresh ingredients, I seem to always like it!

Case in point: the regular, plain old garden salad – was never much of a fan – until I met Josh. Having worked in kitchens for years, the man can throw down a solid salad. Just by cutting the vegetables in various shapes and sizes (instead of blindly chopping everything), and positioning things nicely on the plate, salads went from blah to the top of my go-to meal list! I ask him to make them for us 3 or 4x a week.

Proper nourishment does wonders in fighting off those winter blues!

Layering different greens topped with julienned peppers, onions, shredded carrot  & cheese, paired with cucumber slices and boiled egg - YUM!
Layered greens topped with julienned peppers, onions, shredded carrot & cheese, paired with cucumber slices and boiled egg – YUM!

5. Something to look forward to.

Every winter, I make a point to plan one or two exciting things to do during the winter months, giving ourselves something to look forward to when we need it most!

This year, we bought a package for Symphony Nova Scotia, giving us 4 performances to anticipate during the cold months. And hey, the Symphony is kinda cool! We’ve heard them perform with fantastic East Coast talent, like Joel Plaskett, Mo Kenney, and David Myles.

They also have themed performances that look really neat – upcoming we have a Music of the Oscars night, which I can’t wait for!

Whether it be a trip, a concert, or anything else that gets you excited, having those plans is a great way to make the most of winter.

Bonus: A solid anti-dandruff product!

Gross, I know, but if you’re anything like me, dandruff can sometimes be an annoying aspect of cold weather – not to mention cold, harsh reality.

Superbalm – made by Lush Cosmetics – is an excellent product to manage unwanted dandruff. I really love everything that contains lavender or lavender oil – the scent alone is calming and makes me happy!

What are some of your favourite ways to beat the winter blues?


One thought on “5 Tips for Surviving Winter in Atlantic Canada

  1. Elle-Connects February 16, 2015 / 11:52 am

    Did you make that salad???? Unreal! Looks restaurant-worthy!

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