A snowman sits in front of the Lady Beaverbrook Ice Rink on University Avenue in Fredericton, N.B. on Jan. 22, 2022. (Aaron Sousa/AQ)

Coping with the winter cold is challenging, even for lifelong New Brunswickers. Luckily, Rebecca Dykeman, a writer for The Aquinian, has plenty of advice on how to stay warm when the temperatures drop below freezing.

1) Layers, layers and more layers

When I was little, I, like many Canadian kids, rolled my eyes at my mom whenever she made me put on a hat or ski pants before playing in the snow. I hate to admit it, but Mom was right.

The key to surviving winter in New Brunswick is layers – lots of ‘em. Slap a sweater and a coat over your shirt. Wear thick socks under your boots and don’t forget hats, mittens and scarves. Layering keeps the cold out and your body heat in. There, Mom, are you happy now?

2) Wear a mask

With the rise of the Omicron variant, it’s more vital than ever to wear a mask and follow other COVID-19 safety measures. But, masks don’t just protect your health — they can help shield your face from the cold.

My pet peeve last semester was walking through a crowded outdoor area on campus and being passed by someone who wasn’t wearing a mask. Don’t be that person. By wearing a mask, you’re doing your part to slow the spread AND prevent frozen cheeks and a runny nose. You’ll thank me later.

3) Stay in with the heat on

This seems like a no-brainer, and it is. Want to stay warm? Stay inside. It’s not hard since New Brunswick is in a Level 3 lockdown to curb COVID-19 cases. The good thing about winter is it’s the perfect time to stay in and get cozy.

Curl up in bed in your favourite PJs. Wrap yourself in blankets until you’re a human burrito. Invest in a space heater (unless you live on campus and can’t have one, in which case… I feel your pain). Soon, you’ll forget what the word “cold” means.

4) Indulge in comfort foods

Another great way to keep warm is to enjoy your favourite hot foods. Make some good soup. Bake cookies (we all know they’re best fresh out of the oven). And yes, indulge in that Tim Horton’s coffee – or your coffee shop of choice.

Did you get an Instant Pot for Christmas? Now is the perfect time to whip it out and try a new recipe. Comfort foods will keep you warm and making them will keep you entertained.

5) When all else fails…

Still cold? I’ve got one last trick for you — manifestation. Grab some crystals, find a quiet place to sit and close your eyes. Visualize yourself in a sunny meadow. Breathe deeply. Repeat: “It is spring. It is warm. An early thaw has come. Snow? I don’t know her.”

Of course, this activity might not actually change anything, but using your imagination can help you forget the winter blues. Don’t worry, the chilly months will pass faster than you think and soon we’ll all be complaining about the heat.

But, that’s a problem for our future selves to handle.