Adapting

Thursday, December 22, 2022

We were warned that harsh weather would arrive. Now, it’s early and very cold outside, with new snow on the ground. The current temperature is 4 degrees, and the predicted high is 13 degrees. By the way, we are expecting rain. Today’s cold could turn rain into hail.

We are prepared, aware of key coping activities:

  1. Stay warm: Have warm outside clothing, a coat, scarf, hat, gloves, and boots. Wear layers that trap heat to keep your body warm, whether outside or inside.
  2. Stay active: If you can’t go outside, do indoor exercises or activities. Being active helps to keep you warm and reduces any feelings of cabin fever.
  3. Stay connected: Avoid feeling isolated by connecting with friends and family, through phone calls, video chats, or other virtual means. Social support provides a sense of connection that can lift a mood.
  4. Stay engaged: Keep busy and engaged during the day, by reading, watching movies, cooking, or engaging in a hobby.
  5. Stay informed: Stay up to date on the weather and make sure you’re prepared for any potential hazards.

Numbers one and five are biggies for ranchers and farmers. We must trek outside several times daily and personal safety is as significant as keeping our animals safe. We are outside in freezing and rainy by having:

  1. Dressed in layers and covered areas particularly vulnerable to cold: head, hands, and feet.
  2. Protected from the elements with a waterproof coat, an umbrella, and a face mask or scarf against wind and cold.
  3. Kept hydrated, yes!, even while outside in cold weather, drinking plenty of fluids.
  4. Planned for breaks, if outside for an extended period, to warm up or to rest.
  5. Remembered the signs of hypothermia, a dangerous condition when a body temperature drops too low; and knowing its symptoms: shivering, feeling tired, being confused.
  6. Kept aware of weather forecasts and potential hazards, like ice on the ground and strong winds.

Remembering the rules helps me wrap my head around this day and those ahead with similar challenges. Coping with harsh winter weather stresses the values of preparation, self-care, and community. It embraces staying healthy and engaged, even in challenging circumstances.

Dear Friends: Sharing with the community, these reminders and rationale to myself. Diana

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