NAC: Top Tips For Keeping Warm This Winter

Helen Shore from the Thalidomide Trust's NACIn Focus: Helen Shore shares tips from beneficiaries on how they like to keep warm

Whilst chatting to other beneficiaries about the energy price rises, we found that a few of us had different strategies to keep warm in winter, especially those of us that struggle with being cold. And please don’t worry, we have another piece due in the spring to help those who struggle to stay cool.

These tips are not suggested to replace heating in our houses and the web links don’t promote items, they are just suggestions that some of us use.

First off, can I say that if you are struggling to pay for heating then please contact the Trust to see what can be done to help.

Here's our tips on keeping warm

  • Ponchos or hoodies - to go over ordinary layers of clothing just to give that ‘wrapped in a blanket’ feeling. Very handy if you’re sitting in a wheelchair or at a desk all day.
  • Electric/battery powered gilet – if you’re sitting all day, a heated gilet allows arm movement but keeps your core warm. Argos do one too but there are lots on the market.
  • Hot wheat bags (Microwavable) - or hot water bottles which can also be microwaveable.
  • Cashmere wraps and jumpers – although they are more expensive, they allow you to regulate temperature more easily than synthetic fibres and they are light and soft too – like putting on a hug! And eco-friendly as they last for years.
  • Electric overblankets - I am sure a lot of us will have wrapped ourselves up on the sofa with one of these. They help with sore joints too without being too heavy or restrictive.
  • Down duvets - some of us need more covers or more heat at night-time in bed. Down duvets are light and warm especially if you have the two weights that you can put together so you can choose which tog you need as the seasons change.
  • Heat holder socks – these are a godsend for me. And for those of you with little feet they come in children’s sizes too.

Moving around and having a warm drink

Keeping warm isn’t all about sitting and layering. One of the best ways to help stay warm is to move around at least every hour and to drink warm drinks or even cuppa soups and hot food. Maybe an insulated mug or flask like a Contigo can help.

Our mental health can also be affected when we are cold, and we don’t move around much. It might be worth asking yourself: “Am I more motivated to get up and do something when my environment is warmer?” If so, pop that heating up a couple of degrees.

Keep in touch with other beneficiaries

And if you find yourself at a loose end sitting around, you can always find a warm welcome at our Meetup groups so come along and say “hi”.

Read more from the NAC in the full Autumn 2022 Newsletter (PDF)