Ten Hacks to save spoons and keep warm this winter
A spoon saver update.
With the chilly weather approaching in South Africa, I wanted to share some of my best spoons savers for winter. I often struggle to regulate my temperate. This is due partly to my hypothyroidism and partly due to the lack of energy I have to keep warm, thanks to my MG. In a study done by Ahmed, Wyller, Håvard Loge and Kerty on Myasthenia and fatigue, MG warriors were noted to have higher total fatigue scores than controls. A higher prevalence of autonomic symptoms, especially poor thermoregulation and sleep disturbance were seen in the study. Therefore keeping your temperature well regulated and getting good sleep is noted to help prevent fatigue.
Fortunately, where I live we do not have snow and the temperature only drops to 0. I know this is already a blessing.
My warming tips:
- Hot water bottles/ warm bean bags
This is the cheapest suggestion I have. For under R50 you can buy a hot water bottle or make a bean bag. By just using a sock and rice you can make your own click the link. Be careful not to expose your bare skin to the heat pack or you could burn yourself!
- Hot electric blanket
A little more expensive but well worth it. In the middle of the night when my toes turn to ice the best thing to do is flip the switch and warm up. And what is more of a treat than getting into a preheated bed? Make sure your electric blanket has a regulator switch on it as to prevent it from overheating.
- Avoid long baths
While tempting, long hot baths and showers are contraindicated to Myasthenia Gravis. You might feel better in the moment, but by the end, you will need to be airlifted out.
- Layer up
My vests, thermal underwear, scarfs and gloves are unpacked and ready for use. I personally love my fingerless gloves as I can still type on the computer while wearing them. By trapping air in layers you prevent losing heat via convection.
- A ladle or two.
Soups and wholesome meals can do more than just fill your stomach. By using spices i.e. Ginger, cinnamon, cumin and coriander. You can help raise your body temperature from the inside out! I always recommend homemade soups. There are many great, clean eating ideas on Elana's Pantry. Make sure that the spices are not too hot for you as sweating will once again drop your body temperature.
A warm cuppa can also take the edge off your chill. The caffeine found in coffees and teas acts as an internal heater. Watch out for the negative effects of caffeine if you are on an autoimmune healing diet.
Body to body contact is a well-known source of heat. Cuddling with your partner also has beneficial effects on your mood. A lap dog (or dog that thinks he is still small enough to fit on your lap) also makes great company on a cold night. Pets have also been confirmed to have a positive effect on your mood. Evidence shows that interaction with animals, especially your own pet dog can increase oxytocin levels in humans.
- Immune boosters and bubble wrap
Getting the flu in winter means weeks of low spoons. Avoiding sick people would be the greatest prevention of getting the flu however isolation is also not healthy. If you know a family member is sick, stay away from the social gathering. Otherwise, boost your own immune levels. Oranges are not the only source of Vit C.
Peppers, guavas, kale, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries all have higher levels of naturally occurring Vit C than oranges.
- Wall heaters and mats
Regulating the temperature in your house helps ensures that not all the effort has to come from you. I have installed wall heaters in my house since we don't have central heating. They help keep the temperature at a constant level.
The surface you stand on can also drain your heat. Look out for non-slip mats to put in the kitchen and next to your bed to prevent heat loss through conduction. A good pair of non-slip slippers can also do the trick.
- All in the feet.
When I studied in Cape Town I always carried a spare set of socks in my bag. Cold feet will immediately drop your body temp. Wet feet are even worse. While the body tries maintain heat, the coldness produced from the socks is counter productive. Feet will often sweat more in wet socks therefore losing more heat. Bottom line wet feet = cold feet for longer.
Do you have any great tips for the winter? I would love to hear them on my Facebook Page or Twitter!