22 In Life

A Canadian’s Guide to Surviving Winter

I know I know – you might think ‘hey winter is totally ending soon’. And I know that even up here in Scotland it feels like it might be on a decline. I know that the ground is unfreezing and that the weather is getting warmer and that the days are getting longer.

However, as a Canadian I know better than to expect 15 degrees tomorrow. I know that come March, Mother Nature might totally screw with our heads and send us terrible weather. I have seen it snow in May before!


Contrary to popular beliefs, Canadians do feel the cold and get annoyed with snow. So I will spare you the ‘I’m Canadian I don’t need a coat’ HIMYM statement – totally false.

However, In accordance with popular beliefs, a lot of Canadians love the snow and can deal very well with snowfalls up to 1metre and cold down to -30. I can’t remember where I saw this gif, but it’s so true that an apocalyptic snow day in England is like a normal day of November for Canadians.

Because of all this wisdom – I think I am well experienced to give some advice on the dos and don’ts of surviving the winter:

DO dress appropriately and layer as much as humanly possible

Duh! ..but seriously this will never be repeated enough. I know too many people who come to Canada not equipped at all for the weather and suffer. Use common sense: snow suit up!

DON’T be surprised by the cons of wearing glasses

This one is from the Brit – it took him a few outings to realise his metal framed glasses were freezing to his face. Wearing glasses can definitely be a con – not mentioning the whole fogging of the glasses when you walk into the warmth of the house.

DO remember to moisturise

Truth of life: you should moisturise. Period. But I can tell you that dry skin and dry lips can bleed and it hurts like hell! Moisturise – especially the parts that will be expose to the rough winter winds.

DON’T forget to wear sunglasses/sunscreen

Totally contradicting my previous ‘don’t’ … but if there is snow and sun (which I know is rare in the UK) you will want to wear sunglasses and sunscreen to stop yourself from looking like a raccoon.

DO give yourself enough time to get places

It’s a fact that is true especially in Britain, but in Canada too! Anywhere on this planet, bad weather will always hinder the road conditions and transportation. Leaving early is always in your favour.

DON’T be afraid to enjoy your nights in with a cuppa and a warm blanket

As I have mentioned before, we all suffer from those depressive ‘it’s too cold to step outside’ – even us Canadians! – and it’s okay to relish in that. To start up the fireplace, to grab a blanket and cuddle with a nice book or movie and drink a comforting cup of tea or hot cocoa….I might head to go do that right away actually…

DO physically prepare yourself for the exercice involved

Shovelling and window scraping should be national sports in Canada. I once spent 1h30 shovelling to get to the front door of my house – you can be sure I didn’t need to head to the gym after that. Also, walking in snow is comparable to walking in sand!

DON’T let the weather deter you 

I think that is true in general for most places and things. While some nights and days are well spent cuddled up inside, some days are also well spent outside, skating, skiing or dog-sledding, or well anything else that tickles your fancy!

DO enjoy the beauty that is snow

Oh man I miss the beautiful landscapes that are created by snowfalls. Although having recently moved to Stirling, I now get a lot of it and I love it. Seeing the snowy mountains reminds me of home!

What is your best trick for dealing with bad winter days?xx


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