Tag Archives: cold weather

Preparing for Cold Weather

We’re in that time of year where Maryland temperatures start dipping a little lower. It can be 70°F (21°C) one day and 40°F (4°C) the next. This is a time when many people begin to opt for indoor activities instead of outdoor ones. With the pandemic, we may be rethinking that this year. CDC guidelines state that outdoor gatherings and activities are generally safer than indoor ones.

I recently heard a Scandinavian saying about this…

If you come from a warmer climate this may sound impossible to you. As a person who often complains of being cold when the rest of my family is comfortable, I definitely understand. But, I think this winter I will need to rethink that. I will need to push my boundaries of cold tolerance in order to be able to still see a few friends or family members outside or dine at an outside seating area. I encourage you to give outside a chance too.

One thing I have noticed in my years of working with au pairs is that the temperature difference is much easier on those who have a gradual adjustment. It allows your body time to adjust to the lower temperatures. So, that’s the good news for all of you who are already here. Your body is already getting adjusted, give your mind a chance to stay open to enjoying the outdoors.

The next thing to do is get yourself the proper clothing and accessories. Start shopping for cold weather clothing: sweater, coat, gloves, hat, scarf, long underwear & boots. Ask your host family if they have some you can use and then start looking out for sales and checking thrift shops for the rest. Take a look at what you already have and think of ways to layer it. A long sleeve t-shirt under a sweatshirt may be as warm as a jacket. A pair of leggings or tights under a pair of jeans adds a lot of warmth.

It may also help to remind yourself that people in other parts of the U.S. and other countries experience much colder temperatures than we do and are still able to enjoy the outdoors.

Pick your activities carefully. If you are sitting next to a fire pit or doing physical activity you will feel warmer. When you take the kids to the playground or out in the snow, don’t sit on the bench and watch. You will feel warmer and have more fun if you are actively involved and having fun with them.

If you have tips on enjoying the cold weather, please share them!

CONTEST: The first au pair in our cluster to message Christine or Lisa with their favorite cold weather activity will win a prize!

Image: Canva.com

Top 3 Tips for Beating the Winter Blues

The winter has it’s own kind of beauty, but when the days are short and it’s cold outside, some people feel less energetic or even sad. The cold weather can make you feel like staying indoors. For some au pairs, those conditions can cause homesickness to resurface.

Here are some tips to fight the winter blues (sadness):

  1. Don’t hibernate. Hibernation is staying inactive or indoors for an extended period of time. Seeing friends and enjoying new activities is a great way to fight homesickness.
    • Meet up with friends for coffee or a movie.
    • Try new activities and foods.
    • Visit places you’ve been wanting to visit like museums and indoor landmarks.
  2. Stay physically active. Keeping moving helps elevate your mood and boosts your immune system.
    • Head to the gym or community center.
    • Go walking inside a shopping mall.
    • If you are feeling brave, dress warmly and get out there and enjoy the winter beauty!
  3. Maintain a Healthy Sleep Routine. It’s important to keep your body on a consistent sleep schedule. Too much or too little sleep can impact your mood and health.

Photo: Marwan Youssef

Dressing for Winter Weather

This is a picture from 2010, Sandra and her host family out in the snow.

In our area it will be cold most of the winter and there could be snow, any time from now through March.  If you have not already bought a coat, hat, gloves and boots, you will wish that you had.

It does snow in Maryland and the host parents do expect that you will be outside rolling in the white stuff with the kids. Because we don’t get as much snow as the Alps — we freak out a little here when it does snow. School will be canceled for only one inch of snow. The girls from Germany and Austria will laugh. The kids get soooo excited by this event they will want to stay outside and use every inch of snow in the yard to build a snowman. We also have a cluster snow tubing trip coming up in the new year, you want to be prepared to join in the fun and stay warm.

There are a lot of great sales going on, look for coats and cold weather accessories. Some cheap options are: Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Burlington Coat Factory, WalMart and Kohl’s. An even more affordable option would be to go to a thrift shop. There are many in the area and you can often find a very warm jacket for a small price compared to buying one new.

Dress in Layers – Consider buying sweaters, lightweight jackets and long underwear.  If you wear several layers, you can take off things to be comfortable.  For example when it might be too warm for a heavy jacket, but too cold for just a sweater, you can combine different pieces of clothing.

Set a Good Example – it is the expectation of  most host parents that you set the example for your kids and you wear a coat when it is cold outside. You should have a winter coat, hats, gloves, boots and scarves.  Your kids will fight wearing a coat if you don’t wear one. Think of yourself as a celebrity and everyone wants to look like you — especially your kids.

Check the “Emergency Change of Clothes” – With young children, we often keep an emergency change of clothes in the car, diaper bag or at their school. If you haven’t already switched out the shorts and t-shirt for something warmer, this would be a good idea.

Get yourself some warm winter clothes now. Prepare for the snow!

December 21 is the First Day of Winter

5293796856_8300b780a6 Animals handle cold winter weather in a variety of ways. Some travel to a warmer climate. Others grow thicker fur coats so they can stay warm and active during the winter. Many animals hibernate during the coldest weather – they spend the warmer months eating and storing as much body fat as they can and then live off this extra weight as they sleep.

Au pairs *** do not *** hibernate this winter-call a new au pair or someone you haven’t met yet and go get a hot chocolate.

Photo: Flickr Photosteve10