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This Is How You Deal with Winter in the Capital

It’s cold and it’s windy. You bundle up and brave yourself for the outdoors, and before you pull on your mittens you take a quick glance at your phone and check the weather.

It’s minus 10. Thank God it’s warm out today. As an Ottawa native, I would consider myself an expert in dealing with our Capital’s frigid temperatures year after year. 

It’s true, I’m not a fan of winter, but it’s most likely because I suffer from Reynauds. According to the Mayo Clinic, “reynauds disease causes some areas of your body — such as your fingers and toes — to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures or stress. In Raynaud’s disease, smaller arteries that supply blood to your skin narrow, limiting blood circulation to affected areas”. It is hereditary (my mom and my grandma have it, and it basically means I get cold very easily and it takes a while for me to warm up. For those of you who have never actually been blessed experiencing an Ottawa winter, these are the keys to success for ultimate warmth:

  • Invest in a coat that covers your butt.
    I cannot stress how important this actually is. Last winter I bought a little pricier of a jacket because my thinner ski jacket made for layering wasn’t warm enough, and I will never go back! If you’re planning to invest in a new winter jacket, make sure you use the key word “parka” when talking to the sales associate. The more you resemble a marshmallow or a Sherpa, the warmer you will be. 
  • Travel mugs of warm beverages.
    If you don’t already own one of these bad boys, its definitely worth getting at least one. Insulated travel mugs are made to keep anything hot or cold ALL DAY LONG. Take your coffee with you to class instead of buying one at Tims. You’ll save money and the environment. Even holding one makes you warmer! 
  • uOttawa has tunnels. FIND THEM.
    Whenever it rains, or the weather gets chilly I get to hear about how great Carleton is because of their tunnel system, “where you don’t actually have to go outside for months!” Sounds like something dreams are made of right? But guess what? We have them too! So don’t be afraid to explore. You’d be surprised how fast it is to go through buildings in order to travel across campus rather than walking around.
  • Wear a scarf (ALL THE TIME).
    It’s windy, it’s cold, and it’s really self-explanatory. Blanket, knit, infinity, you name it they all count. They’re great for keeping snuggly warm in class and outside. For ample warmth, pair a scarf with a hoodie.
  • Layer. Layer. Layer.
    It is actually possible to look cute and warm at the same time!
  • Bus smart.
    If your bus comes in 15 minutes, you don’t have to wait outside for 15 minutes! Taking the bus at Campus station? Check your Insta in Marion or Vanier for a few minutes or Tabaret for the Laurier station. Yeah, it’s convenient to walk out of the building right after class and head right to the bus stop, but once the sun goes down it can get a little chilly.

Find something fun to do that gets you moving. At uOttawa, we’re blessed to be in such close proximity to the Canal. So what if your motivation to go skating is the Beaver Tail you reward yourself with at the end? Grab a couple of friends, get out there and just start skating.

Of course I’m not saying you have to dive head first into the snow scene. But it is definitely worth it to try to beat the winter blues, because winter is here to stay. 



MayoClinic, HerCampus

Picture Credits
Cover Picture (Rebecca Raymond photographie), 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10

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