Five ways to survive Edinburgh’s baltic winter that isn’t just paying for heating

Number one, just pitching up a tent in the library

Even without the cost of living crisis, my knowledge of how to use a radiator is extremely limited, but I’ve had to get crafty to stay warm this semester. After asking around about other methods, I’ve compiled some ways to not freeze to death in the draughty Edinburgh flats that are nowhere near as expensive as actual heating.

1. Those enormous sherpa hoodies

Okay, so major mum-wanted-a-photo-of-the-thing-she’d-bought-me moment, but this is my literal uniform at home now. I try to stay out of the flat until five-ish every day and tell myself I’ll get work done, but the second I get home, this is on. Even better, I usually throw on a pair of sherpa fuzzy socks, too, and suddenly I can handle the arctic.

I was very much a disbeliever of these (I definitely missed the trend), but now I’m thinking I might even want one at home so I don’t have to fly back and forth with it for Christmas. 10/10, comes in a bunch of different colours, and while it’s pricier (£50 if you buy the Comfy brand off amazon), there are so many knockoffs now that there’s a range of prices for this absolute staple in my life.

2. Heated mattress pad/blanket

My flatmate bought one of the mattress toppers, and now she’s one of the grandparents from Willy Wonka. She joked about how it was probably a bad idea since she already spends so much time in bed, but there is literally nothing worse than getting into bed at night and finding the sheets and mattress icy cold. Looking online, these both come in a range of affordable prices and different sizes, so for a nice toasty bed, it’s not a bad investment.

3. Hot water bottle

They literally make them covered in unicorns

Okay, so these aren’t a huge thing in the US (I hadn’t heard of them until I’d come here last year), but these are a staple here. If you don’t already have one, go get one. So many people swear by them. They’re easily found, probably the cheapest purchase on this list, and you can just slip the heated thing into your waistband and walk around with it. It’s fabulous.

4. Get really into baking or cooking

I said desperate times. At least with this one, you’re also getting food out of it. I made cinnamon rolls last week, and the time I spent by the oven as I baked them and worked on the frosting was heavenly. Not only are you heating your body as you work by the oven, but you are also heating yourself on the inside with all the hot food you’re consuming. Win-win win.

5. Get to campus

It’s the end of the semester, which means essays are due and exams are coming, people. The library is being heated to an almost toasty extent these days, and it’s probably one of very few places we students can loiter and not have to pay for the heat we’re enjoying. You also get to “do work” and “prepare for finals,” so it’s the whole two birds, one stone thing.

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