Well, it is that time again. The time where we distinguish the gladiators from the galoshes, the fashionistas from the fur-istas, and the winners from the whiners. Yup, it is wintertime in Chicago! As a true blue Chicagoan, I embrace the cold because my love for this town is unconditional. You have to accept the meteorological challenges along with the architectural marvels. Just like you have to accept the warmth of Uggs with the fact that they are ugly (don’t deny it, just accept that Ugg is short for Uggly).

Okay, now where was I…oh yes, cold weather. When you get into the car in the morning and keep pressing all the buttons as if you are operating NASA, remember that the car will not magically turn into a sauna. STOP doing that. However, if it does, please contact me because I will buy it from you, along with your magic beans.

Speaking of winter and snow, when people say that two snowflakes are not the same, I want to see the scientific data collected regarding every single snowflake that has fallen on earth since the creation of snow…don’t you? Next time someone says that, you should say, “I’m sorry, I disagree. In 1994, I found two snowflakes with the same symmetry, size, and lattice structure.” Can you back up your data? Don’t worry, neither can they.

I do notice that, in the winter, we tend to contemplate and ponder more. Some of these cerebral musings include confirmation of cold. “I’m cold. Aren’t you cold?” If the other person says no, does that make you less cold? People wonder how a person can eat ice cream in the winter. Well, how can you drink coffee in the summer? Then we question why winter came early this year. No, it pretty much came around the same time as last year and every year of recorded history before that. Of course, the most pressing question we ask is, “When does Ramadan come in the winter again?” In about two decades; sit tight!

Now where was I? Seriously, I could never be a GPS. Oh yes, winter tips. Because we live on deciduous turf, we need to bundle up, turn up the heat, and indulge in some healthy habits. Proper hygiene is vital. We need to stop being vectors for germ transportation. The winter season is not necessarily germier than any other season. However, we get so distracted by the cold and all the snow that our common sense fails us…which is pretty common. So here are fifteen tips to stay warm this winter and fight the “cold war.”

15. Make sure you maintain a clean home. This may sound odd, however, think about what germs, bacteria, and viruses love…messy, dirty, and warm places to thrive and multiply. Cleanliness is part of our faith for a vital reason.

14. Keep facial tissues (that is the generic term for Kleenex) with you. Use them when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have any, cough or sneeze into your elbow as a last resort. Please do NOT place used tissues into your pockets afterwards. That is unhygienic…and gross.

13. Wash your hands with soap regularly. You may want to keep some hand sanitizer with you. Obviously soap and water are best; however, until they make cars with faucets, this is your backup.

12. Use caution when touching doors, elevator buttons, and other “high traffic” areas. You may not cough phlegm into your hands, but others might, and then touch the doorknob. Just thinking about it sends chills up my spine!

11. Eat healthy foods during the winter. You need vegetables and fruit. You also need to keep your mind alert with lean proteins. Incorporate wild seafood; it is healthier and yummier than farm-raised varieties. I know, I know. You just want to ingest warm mashed potatoes and hot cocoa from now until April. Please, refrain from doing so. No, really, please do not do that.

10. Home remedies can be incorporated, as well. They have been used for centuries. Turmeric, vitamin C, honey, green tea, cloves, and lemon juice all have health benefits such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunity boosting properties.

9. If you have a scarlet colored throat, however, a fever that makes you delirious, and are coughing up stuff in various shades of green, then you should not just drink a cup of green tea and think you are fine. You need to see a doctor to check and see if you need prescription medication. Plus, I have heard pneumonia is not as fun to have as it is to pronounce.

8. Stay hydrated! In the winter, we forego the eight to ten glasses of water we should drink due to the cold. Water is one of the most vital elements for a healthy immune system and overall good health. Winter weather is notorious for dehydration. We have the heat on the inferno setting at home, work, school, and in our car. We need to continue drinking water throughout the day. No, a humidifier will not work because making your room climate like the amazon jungle will not solve the problem. Drink some water!

7. Wear a coat. This is for every teenager who thinks that being warm-blooded means you do not need a coat to be warm.

6. Wear gloves. Those gloves that are sitting in your closet will not help you if they are sitting in your closet. It is polite that you want to keep them warm, but that is not the point. Plus, it is always good to have fingers intact!

5. Wear a hat. Your head is sensitive to temperature change. Get a cool hat, preferably one with just the eyeholes. No, it is not necessarily warmer, just more entertaining!

4. Wear appropriate footwear. This means actual warm, ugly shoes. I know you’re stylish but preserving your feet from turning purple and falling off is more stylish.

3. Make sure you include vitamins and exercise. A multivitamin and 1000 mg of Vitamin C daily to boost your immune system. No, not the candy kind. You are an adult now…go buy actual vitamins. Keep exercising in the winter, too. Regular exercise boosts the immune system and helps you bounce back from a cold or the flu faster. Just because it is cozy sweater season is no excuse not to maintain physical fitness.

2. Sleep! You need to give your body proper rest so it can function the next day. Proper sleep is needed for a healthy immune system, healthy metabolism, cellular repair and function, and so you’re not as crabby while you complain about the weather.

1. Do some good for the less fortunate and be thankful to God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon you. This will warm your heart and your soul!!!


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