Significant portions of the United States experience some pretty rough winters. Although many who live in the southernmost parts of the country may only experience cooler temperatures, many states have to face the biting winds, freezing temperatures, and heavy snowstorms that winter brings.

The winter season can feel like a long, dark, freezing existence that seems to last too long. The sun becomes a rare sight and people may spend more time shoveling than driving. There is a reason that depression rates hit an all-time high during these months.

Learning to get through tough winters is a necessity for those living in these regions of the country. From keeping your home efficiently warm to braving icy and snow-covered roads, many things can add to the challenges of this season. Here are a couple of tips that can help turn you into a master at navigating the cold months of winter.

Warming Up Your Home

The first really cold month of the year hits even harder once your energy bill shows up. Heating costs see dramatic increases that leave people scrambling for ways to retain more heat in their homes and keep out the cool air. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple tricks for making your home more efficient and lowering those energy costs. Re-sealing your windows and doors is one simple fix for cool air that seeps into the home. You should also install fabric draft stoppers on the bottom of doors that lead to the outside. Another trick is to use programmable thermostats that ensure the heat is on when you need it and lowered when you don’t. When those rare sunny days do come around, throw open the curtains and let that warmth in. When you combine all these tricks during the winter, you can keep the house warmer and spend less while doing so.

Prepare Your Car For Road Conditions

Another major obstacle during the winter is facing less-than-ideal road conditions. Ice, snow, drifts, freezing rain, and salt or sand can all cause issues for drivers in the winter. Knowing the best ways to adapt your car for the winter can help you save on maintenance costs and stay safe on the road. Get your brakes checked before the season begins so you can better deal with slippery conditions. Have your windshield wipers upright when a snowstorm is coming so you don’t have to worry about them icing up. Have winter tires installed that get a better grip on the surface. Clean the lights on your car so that other drivers can still see you when visibility is poor. The more you do to prepare your car for the winter, the easier it will be to tackle the challenges that come with driving in the winter. 

Watch the News/Track Weather Reports

Knowing what you will be facing when you go outside is the best way to be prepared. It can tell you what kind of footwear to don if you will be walking outside, when to shovel, or if it is even safe to go out at all. Knowing that there may be icy conditions can prevent slips and falls that could lead to serious injuries. You should also be aware that businesses have an obligation to make surfaces safe to walk on when these conditions occur, so if you slip and fall on a walkway that is owned by someone else, you might want to call a personal injury attorney to see if you could claim damages for premises liability. However, the best way to protect yourself in the first place is to be aware of what conditions will be like by checking the news and weather reports. 

Prioritize Hydration

Drinking a lot of water may not seem like the most appealing beverage in the winter. Water is far more refreshing when it is warm outside. However, winter is the season of dry skin. You are also probably going to use a little less energy since you will be spending less time outside. For this reason, you should consider tracking your hydration to make sure that you are providing enough water for your body’s needs. Hydrated skin is a healthier moisture barrier against foreign elements, and your blood uses water to help transport nutrients to the cells so that they can perform their functions. Remember to drink water during the winter, even if the idea of a cold drink sounds horrible. You could always add some flavoring to make it more enjoyable. 

Set Yourself Up For Success in the Winter

Winters are difficult, there is no denying that. You might be cooped up inside for weeks at a time, and the shorter days do not make it any easier. Braving the cold, the snow, and the lack of sun can be a drain on your mental health and your finances. Take charge of winter by adopting these tips to help you and your family get through these difficult months. Be proactive when preparing your home and car for the colder temperatures, and make sure that you continue to drink water and know what to expect whenever you go outside so you can dress appropriately and stay safe.  

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