Eight tips for surviving the winter of Washington, DC
The arrival of the cold is one of the most worrisome challenges for the immigrant. Especially if you live in the area of the city of Washington, DC, where the dreaded winter, characterized by very low temperatures, dark days, and snowfalls, constitutes a difficult barrier.
But winter does not interrupt everyday life. There are habits, techniques, and resources that allow extreme climates to survive and even learn to enjoy them.
Taking advantage of the winter months is possible by following this simple survival guide:
1-Check daily weather forecasts
The weather forecasting services are very successful since they have the most advanced technological devices to anticipate catastrophe situations and alert the population.
Commonly, New England residents are accustomed to review these services regularly to organize their outdoor activities, to plan their journeys on roads and highways, and even to decide how to dress and wear shoes daily simply.
2-The ambient temperature is different from the thermal sensation
The first great lesson about winter that an immigrant learns is the index of thermal sensation, in English usually marked as “feels like”.
It is a crucial indicator to accurately determine the cold that will be felt on the skin. For example, if the outside temperature is 30 ° F, with a thermal sensation of 0 ° F, what the index indicates is that the “real” temperature you will feel is 0 ° F. This is mainly due to cold and wind.
3-Do does not trust the sun
Frequently, the coldest days are the sunniest. A wet and windy day is undoubtedly a much colder day, even if the sun shines brightly.
In fact, that would be the second great lesson for the immigrant who begins to get used to the winter: not trusting the sun. It is the index of thermal sensation that will determine if the warmest gloves and scarf should be worn.
4-Drive with great caution
Although there is vast experience driving vehicles, overconfidence and improvisation should be avoided when driving during the winter, reduce speed, avoid reckless maneuvering, minimize sudden changes in the channel and keep a safe space between vehicles.
The so-called “freezing rain,” which occurs when the raindrops pass through an atmospheric layer at a temperature below zero and fall in the form of small pieces of ice, is one of the conditions more dangerous weather to drive. Routes become slippery, and multiple crashes often occur. During a snowstorm, it is also suggested to avoid driving.
The enjoyment of winter begins by learning to dress and fit properly. It is recommended to put the clothes in layers. The first, attached to the skin, is usually a pair of pants and a kind of long-sleeved shirt, very thin, made of a natural thermal textile (such as “fleece” or merino wool).
The second layer is the costume that will look: pants or leggings, for ladies, shirts, flannels, shirts, etc. The third and subsequent layers will be added according to the outside temperature.
You can also invest in a good jacket specialized in helping you resist cold temperatures and freezing wind. The garments are made for different temperature levels, and the labels are clearly specified.
These items are usually expensive, but the good news is that the investment can last several years if the pieces are taken care of and washed very well at the end of the winter.
The lack of sunlight produces vitamin D deficiency, which could be responsible for the depressive symptoms that some people suffer during the winter season. It is convenient to eat foods rich in that organic substance, such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, cow’s milk, and soy drinks.
If vitamin D deficiency is identified, dietary supplements can be taken. When it is cold, the body consumes more energy to keep the temperature stable. Therefore, healthy, caloric and hot meals are extremely comforting. Legume creams, teas, coffee, and hot chocolate, are recurring on the table.
6-Drink enough water
Hydrating the body is another important suggestion. Drink water and use creams for the body, hands, feet, and lips. The heating should be maintained at a normal temperature, without exceeding.
Between 65 and 70 degrees, Fahrenheit is advisable. When sleeping, it is suggested to lower the temperature a little, since the dry air of the heating can affect the respiratory tract.
7-Do some physical activity
A worrying habit in some immigrants is to lock themselves up during the winter. “It’s too cold, how is it possible to go outside?”
Performing some physical exercise outside is highly recommended during the winter. It allows you to stay healthy, facilitates the enjoyment of sunlight (low in season), and stimulates cold tolerance. A simple 20-minute morning walk, twice a week, can make a difference.
8-Discover the pleasures of winter
Skiing, ice skating, building snowmen, contemplating hibernating wildlife, attending a hockey game, improvising a snowball battle, a campfire, or having a hot chocolate under the shelter of a fireplace are moments of enormous satisfaction. Everyone will find the activity that best suits them.