When Superman was exposed to one particular thing, he immediately lost all of his powers and became weak. The thing that had such an immediate and pronounced effect on Superman was green kryptonite. Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy has his own personal kryptonite – but it’s called winter.
Winter? Why an I writing about winter when so many of my superhero friends are posting beautiful photos of flowers in bloom (Hi Single Gal!) and writing about warm weather footwear (Hi AJ!)? Well, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy currently finds himself in the southern hemisphere. Not only is his little corner of the world moving into winter, but Mother Nature decided to start the cold season one month early this year. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature!
So this year, instead of shivering and cowering upon winter’s arrival (which by the way, my body does anyway without me having to tell it to do so) I decided to come up with an action plan in order to help me better cope with the cold weather season.
1. Space Heaters – Central heating is not the norm where I live, so I have filled the void with space heaters. I have a large space heater in the bedroom, a small but powerful space heater in the home office, and this year I added a medium sized space heater to the bathroom. (The new heater in the bathroom has a timer so that the room is nice and toasty when I wake up in the morning.) By the way, you definitely do not want to see my electricity bill during the winter! Having been green before green was the new cool, I was initially hesitant about my increased energy consumption, but quickly consoled myself with the thought that instead of heating the entire house, I am at any given time only heating whatever individual room I find myself in.
2. Electric Blankets – The electric blanket on my bed is a lifesaver and significantly reduces the amount of morning stiffness. I also have a mattress pad heater, so I can sandwich myself between two layers of warmth on particularly cold nights. I have smaller electric throws in the living room that I can cover myself with while watch television during the evenings. Added benefit: your dogs are sure to snuggle with you.
3. Hot baths – Need I say more? Hot baths are good morning, day, and night and also double as relaxation breaks.
4. Scarves, Gloves, Mittens, and Slippers – Okay, up until a few years ago I was not a big fan of cold weather accessories, but now I have a continually increasing collection of scarves, gloves, and mittens. In addition to wearing them when I leave the house, I have also started wearing them indoors. (Okay, the slippers stay indoors although I would love to go out in them.)
5. Dry Sauna – Luckily, my fitness center has both a wet and dry sauna. Since I am already at the club most mornings for yoga class (a.k.a. superhero secret training academy), during winter I arrive half an hour early and squeeze in some dry sauna time. This not only gives me a morning boost of warmth, but it also gives me that extra little bit of flexibility to perfect those more difficult poses.
6. Sun – During the day I am always seeking out the sun. If I am walking downtown, I go to the side of the street with sun. If I am indoors and see any spot of direct sunlight, that is where I sit. I have found that in restaurants and coffee shops people often avoid the tables with direct sunlight. Better for me, as I always have a table in the sun where to sit (although I do have to put on my sunglasses in order to reduce the glare on the notebook). When we enter corpse pose at the end of yoga class, I reposition my mat so that my feet can bask in the sun. I can never get too many short moments of direct sun throughout the day.
So in closing, I ask my fellow superhero friends to please send some warm thoughts my way. If you have any other suggestions on how to better cope with the cold weather, please do let me know!
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!