For some, winter is the best season. They can hit the ice rink for some skating or build a snowman in their garden. But for others, it can give them the winter blues as the days are shorter not giving enough time for daylight activities, the weather is colder and to top it off, driving/walking in the snow can be very hard (and dangerous).
Here at Inspire FM, we want to make sure you’re ready for winter, whether you love the season or if you’re not a massive fan. We’ve compiled a list covering five areas that you should focus on to make sure you’re ready for this winter.
You should start by preparing yourself for winter before focusing on other areas. If you’re not ready, then it’s going to be tough to get everything else ready for winter. This would be particularly the case if you’ve caught the winter blues. They can be easy to catch, but hard to get rid of. Here are two ways you can avoid it (or get rid of it if it’s too late for that).
Firstly, have a schedule. Just like the rest of the year, you should have a schedule of tasks that need to be completed and when you’re going to get them done. This helps you stay organised and productive.
Another way is to not hibernate. The cold can make you want to stay in bed or not leave your home. If you need to go out then wrap up warm and stick to your routine. If you’re staying at home, then don’t comfort eat. Avoid snacking on unhealthy food by cooking a warm, healthy meal that will fill you up.
Research, from Dr Phillippa Lally, suggests that it takes, on average, 66 days to create a habit.
Winter can be a great opportunity to get into the habit of observing the sunnah fasts. The days are shorter meaning you wouldn’t have to fast for long hours making the fast easier. If you get into the habit now, then you can continue during other seasons.
Shorter days means that there will be long nights. This is another opportunity for getting into the habit of performing the tahajjud prayer. You could do this after Isha or just before Fajr.
Isn’t it nice coming back from work or the school run to a warm home?
It’s recommended that you heat your living areas to at least 21 degrees whilst your bedroom can be heated to a minimum of 18 degrees.
You can also insulate your water pipes to minimise heat loss and prevent your pipes from freezing. You can find pipe lagging in most DIY stores and it doesn’t take much to put it on.
If you’re driving in winter then it’s a good idea to have a winter kit in the back of your car. This should include a torch, shovel, ice scraper, de-icer, jump start cables (hopefully you won’t need them), blanket, gloves and some food (for emergencies only).
Diving in the cold, especially if it’s snowing, requires you to have tyres with good grip. Ensure your tyres have a legal tread depth of 1.6mm, but it’s recommended to keep them above 3mm.
You should allow extra time for your journeys as more people will be using the car as it’s cold and when it’s snowing the driving conditions can be dangerous so plan extra time into your journey to get to school, work or the ice rink on time.
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Every act of goodness is charity” (Muslim).
As Muslims, we should help one another, especially the vulnerable in our community. Ensure your elderly neighbours and family members are warm in their homes. Maybe you can drive them to the shops if they normally go walking so they don’t have to go out in the cold.
You can also help the homeless by giving them something warm to wear and drink. There is emergency winter shelter when the overnight temperature is freezing or below. Find out where the shelters are here.
Share your winter tips with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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