Six toasty tips for staying warm this winter

by Kirsten Presley

(Snow covered the campus green. Photo credit: Kirsten Presley)
  1. DIY warmers

“Your hands are so cold!” is probably one of the top exclamations some receive on a regular basis. Hand warmers make all the difference, especially when people have to be outside for an extended period of time. A great way to save money is to make hand warmers out of an old flannel, rice, a needle, and thread. There are plenty of online sources that provide step-by-step directions to make them. These warmers can also be designed a little bigger and used for heating up cold toes at night. A close alternative to this is filling up a water bottle with warm water and using it in the same manner.

  1. Keep busy in the kitchen

‘Tis the season to bake! Using the oven warms up the whole house or dorm room. Experimenting with easy warm foods like soups, chili and casseroles adds heat to a home, as well as a delicious meal that leaves everyone cozy and satisfied.

  1. Staying active

Prevent the cold from creeping in by moving around. This could look like anything from cleaning to going for a walk, ski, or run. I am particularly prone to moving into bursts of high knees and jumping into the air like a dolphin in order to maintain body heat levels. Believe me, I would not do it if it did not work.

  1. Yummy hot drinks

Test out some different warm drinks. If the classic tea or coffee does not appeal, there are some wonderful alternative options out there to be explored. For example, sipping a spiced pear and cinnamon vanilla almond milk drink could be an enlightening experience. Lavender hot chocolate sounds inviting, and one might go so far as to try light Nutella eggnog. 

  1. Humidifier

Humidifiers do not turn up the heat themselves, but they help keep environments from getting too dry. Simply sniffing in twenty degrees or lower is an unenjoyable moment that no one really wants to remember. A humidifier can help make up for some of that by preserving moisture in a room. Another way to do this is to turn the shower on as hot as it can go, and then let it run for a few minutes so that the steam can move through the bathroom and into another room.

  1. Bring a blanket to study

Sometimes I do not study well in my dorm room, but I often get too cold to study in other spaces for an extended period of time. I have solved this problem by throwing a little blanket in my backpack with fuzzy socks. I am currently writing this article curled up in my blanket in the library, and it has made for both a comfortable and productive afternoon.

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