Saturday Bonus <> Why I’m Working Hard to Make Sure a Hot Shower Before Bed Is My Newest Habit

I’ve talked before about how I live cold. From October to May, I’m cold 90% of my waking hours.

And here’s the frustrating bit – I do all the right things. My husband bought me heated socks (and heated handwarmers). I own, and regularly use, four Magic Bags. I exercise regularly and eat healthfully. I’ve had iron infusions to help offset some issues with anemia. I turn up the heat. I wear layers inside the house and out. I use high-quality winter gear. I turn on the seat warmers in the car, wear driving gloves, and blast the heater. I drink hot beverages and have throw blankets everywhere. I’ve even tried, counter-intuitively enough, cold showers (which do become slightly more bearable over time, but since they did nothing for my battles with being cold, I have gladly abandoned them).

All this and I’m still freezing.

I’ve learned to live through the discomfort. But it does get tiresome having a core temperature that hovers at teeth chattering levels.

The best solution I’ve discovered – from the laundry list of things I’ve tried – is a hot shower. It can take a while to fully thaw but, once I do, it is such a relief. Lately, I’ve been aiming to make this a daily habit.

My parents always bathed/showered at night and I thought it was an evening activity relegated to older generations. For most of my teenage and early adult life, I latched on to morning showers. It was a nice way to clear the cobwebs before 8:30 am classes at university, but it hasn’t been that practical with busy work/parenting schedules in this season of life. Plus, if I shower in the morning, I’m wet while having to move through my day. And being wet and cold is a whole other level of misery.

So lately I’ve been making these evening thawing sessions non-negotiable. I crank up the hot water and linger for as long as it takes to feel warm. Sometimes it’s only a minute or two, other times it can take a lot longer. I wear almost no makeup but loathe washing my face anyway, so an evening shower is the perfect solution for that problem as well (I use specialty microfibre clothes that only require water, no makeup remover). I sourced a good shower cap and wash my hair a few times a week.

It’s such a relaxing way to finish off a busy day, and the only guaranteed solution to my hypothermic state. And, as a bonus, since I’m clean, warm, and relaxed, I end up sleeping better too.

What about you? Any great tips and tricks for staying warmer I should try out this winter?

Header photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

15 thoughts on “Saturday Bonus <> Why I’m Working Hard to Make Sure a Hot Shower Before Bed Is My Newest Habit”

  1. I’m a person who has always run cold, and I generally still DO run cold, but now I’m in perimenopause and every so often I will be sweaty and hot. It’s a very new experience for me!

    In the winter I wear legwarmers all the time and that has helped a lot. Calgary is cold and winters are long.

    1. I have a pair of legwarmers and find they really help, too. They’re buried in my “seasonal” gear tote; I really should get those out today. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. When I lived up north I was always cold. I remember in high school I used to wear my winter coat in the house. Ugh- I do not miss those days.
    What about a bath instead of a shower? Being immersed in the hot water sounds even better. But I agree with the shower at night- I also used to do that when I lived up north. Glad you’ve found this solution!

  3. have you tried having ginger tea? ginger without the skin boiled for 10-15 every morning. according to Chinese medicine, that’s the secret!
    I like taking hot showers when I’m cold too, ,and I try to soak my feet in hot water every night, really helps with my sleep quality.

  4. As you know I hug my water bottle when going to bed. Other than that I realized that using pulse warmer really helps. Sitting at the desk and typing my hands are always on the cold desk. With pulse warmers I can’t feel it and the keep you warm. Give it a try and maybe it does help you too.
    A sauna might also help. But than who has that at home.

    1. Great idea! Between this and leg warmers, I bet I would notice an improvement. I just have to make sure I don’t get cold first thing in the day; this way I’m just maintaining a warmer core temperature.
      Thanks, Tobia!

  5. I’m always cold, too. I wear SmartWool base layers under whatever I wear all winter long. I have blankets at all my desks. And, to be honest, the best way for me to warm up is to cuddle with my kitty!

  6. I run on the cooler side too and for me, it’s key to keep my extremities (hands and feet) warm to not feel like I am completely freezing. I also take a heating pad (grain-filled pillow that you can heat up in the microwave) to bed… which helps to get warm and cozy much faster.

    1. That grain-filled pillow (I generically call them Magic Bags) is exactly what I use – and I own 4 of them! They are the best, especially if I’m curled up on the couch or in bed).

      I liked Tobia’s idea to buy some pulse warmers + Nicole’s to use legwarmers. I have heated socks + electric handwarmers, but do find it hard to not get cold in the first place.

  7. I am always cold, too! But my husband says that I am like a heater in bed – so I somehow radiate heat but am freezing? I do all the same things as you do. Wool socks are a must for me and I need lots of layers. I can’t wait for our fireplace to be converted to gas in January. We will have to switch where we sit on the couch so I can be right next to it! My parents are also evening shower takers. I wouldn’t be a able to do that because of my hair type – it’s naturally curly/wavy and it looks horrible in the morning if I go to bed with wet hair – and blow drying it at night is not something I want to do at the end of the day – although it would certainly warm me up!

    I’m working in our basement which is very chilly so I have a space heater down here and it’s delightful to work next to that. I pretty much have it on non-stop!

    1. We have a space heater, too, in our basement office and I have lived with it on – but it does much me feel kinda gross. It’s a different kind of heat? Like my face gets really warm but my feet stay cold.

      Lately I’ve been heating up two Magic Bags (one for my feet + one for my lap). When they get cold, it’s a good cue to stand up and walk around/re-heat them.

  8. I also run cold and our house is set at 22 degrees (Celsius of course!). Our thermostat tends to run colder than some others and I’m lucky living in Manitoba our heating costs aren’t outrageous. I told my husband I can’t handle being cold all day. It is a major quality of my daily life to feel comfortable and worth the cost.
    I also dress warm, use the heated car seats and at night I have an electric heating pad that shuts off after two hours. It keeps me warm enough until my body temp has warmed up under my blanket.
    I have also made some choices that helped increase my iron levels to more normal but that hasn’t really helped.
    It is frustrating! We were at a friends house yesterday and it was freezing! They were all wearing sweaters and some had toques on. I couldn’t hack that being all the time.
    I’m going to consider getting leg warmers!

    1. This is all definitely making me feel like I’m NOT an anomaly. I’m trying to be extra proactive…going to go order a set of wrist and legwarmers right now!

  9. This is me. This is exactly me. And yet, you live in Nova Scotia and I live in Wisconsin. What are we thinking? (Ha!)
    I am the same way. I am cold year round. I love it when it’s 90 degrees and 90% humidity. It’s the only time I am even close to warm.
    You do a lot of what I do, but I also wear layers – Cuddle Duds for me although NGS has me curious about the SmartWool version. Wool socks nearly year round. Summer I can get away with thinner wool or cotton, sometimes.
    I wear warm slippers year round in my apartment.
    I sit with a rice bag (I like magic bag better!) literally year round. I need a/c for my allergies in summer but set it at 75 or 76. It’s still almost too cold for me.
    The one thing you didn’t mention that might be something you’d like to consider is a heated vest. My parents got me that for Christmas last year. I was skeptical but for me, if my core is warm, it makes a huge difference. I even wear it in my office (well on the rare days that I am there). I can share the link if you are interested.
    Oh, and also? The hot shower at night is essential. My trick is to not turn on the fan and make the water as hot as I can stand. I figure that the minor risk of the moisture is not enough to make me want to turn on the fan and emerge into a non-steamy cold bathroom. 🙂

    1. My friend has a heated vest, too, and LOVES it. I find my core stays pretty good, but my feet/hands are almost always cold. I’ve tried wearing a hat in the house, down vests, slippers/crocs/sneakers…some days the only thing that works is a very long hot shower!

      Ironically enough, I’m headed there right now. Despite being in bed under the covers with Magic Bags, I’m still cold!

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