Be just as cozy at your desk as you would be cuddled next to the fireplace–even if you sit under a vent.
We’re an unusually cold bunch, here at Real Simple. It’s not that we’re standoffish or detached—our staff members are some of the most welcoming, friendly, affectionate people you’ve ever met—it’s that we’re actually always freezing and bundled up. If you need further proof, our Editor-in-Chief Leslie gave each staff member a cozy wrap to keep at her desk this year as a holiday gift! So as much of the U.S. experiences a cold snap, who better to offer advice on how to stay warm than our always-shivering staff? Here, seven of their best tips on how to stay cozy—both indoors and out, no matter how low the temperature gets.
Bundle up before you go outside.
The most effective stay-warm trick Melanie Mannarino, contributing editor, has found? Bundle up a full 30 minutes before you leave the house. “I’m talking hat, gloves, scarf, boots—all of it,” she says. Your entire body gets warm and toasty, and stays that way when you head outside. “It’s like pre-heating your cold coffee mug with hot water before pouring in your coffee.”
Keep a pair of fingerless gloves at your desk.
Under a wrap at work, but still feel like your fingers are icicles? Do what Wendy Granger, digital photo editor, does and stash a pair of fingerless gloves in your desk drawer. They can be fairly inexpensive (Target has a cute pair for $10, and this $15 wool pair from Amazon is top rated) and they allow you full use of your fingers while also keeping warm! Don’t want to keep an extra pair at your desk? Find a pair that had a flap that folds over and turns your gloves into mittens so you can use them to shield your fingers from the cold outdoors.
Don’t sit at your desk for an extended period of time. Deputy Editor Anna Maltby gets the blood flowing by walking to the bathroom, kitchen, or mailroom once every hour.
Try raw ginger.
Ginger has a reputation in alternative medicine as a thermogenic food, helping to warm up the body’s core temperature. On the recommendation of her acupuncturist, features editor Libby Sile slices raw ginger and pours hot water over it, a concoction that has greatly helped her stay warm.
Layer smarter with thermal technology.
Layering for warmth doesn’t have to mean bulk. Many of our staff members swear by wearing Uniqlo’s Heattech T-Shirts and Leggings under their regular clothes. The line also offers tops and pants that can be worn on their own to the same effect. Associate Editor Liz Steelman is also a big fan of the brand Cuddl Duds, which sells similar thermal underwear, leggings, and t-shirts in-store at most big retailers like Target, Macy’s, and Kohl’s.
Create an eco-friendly personal heating system.
Want to have a personal radiator at your disposal? Keep a mug of hot water (or tea or coffee!) at your desk to warm your hands up at all times. You’ll also find yourself drinking more than usual—an easy way to fulfill your New Year’s resolution to stay hydrated. Drink quickly? Do as Sile does and keep an electric kettle at your desk for steaming refills. O, do as editorial assistant Nora Horvath does, and invest in an inexpensive mug warmer.
Invest in a heated blanket.
Sleep in a drafty room? Add a heated blanket to your bed. “I would be an iceberg if I didn’t have my heated blanket,” says Tessa Donolli, associate video producer. “I layer it between my bed sheets for the ultimate warm sleep.”