It’s that time of year when you’re huddled up inside your dorm room, radiator on full blast, windows sealed shut, dreading the moment you’ll be forced to head to central campus for class. Although the white blanket of snow coating the ground is a sight to see, it also means that the temperature outside has plummeted. With the sun setting as early as 4:30pm and the workload as seemingly endless as ever, the winter blues are bound to get you down.

For all those of you who’d rather the sun come back out and not set before you’ve had dinner, here are some tricks I’ve discovered for battling the winter blues:

1. Wool and Warmth

Inside, you’re in your own safe bubble, with central heating sheltering you from the harsh winter winds. But it can also be misleading; twice this semester already I’ve stepped out into the freezing Ithaca weather without my coat because it was so warm inside. You don’t want to miss out on the warmth a pair of gloves and a hat provide. Wool sweaters and down jackets have become my best friends in the past few weeks, and to those of you still out in shorts and flip flops, it’s time to make them yours.

2. Invest in a Kettle

 Whether you’re a coffee person or you prefer tea or even hot cocoa, hot drinks will warm you right up as the snow falls outside. With a kettle, you can whip up some hot cocoa with marshmallows or peppermint tea without even leaving your dorm room floor. Sipping a hot drink as you head out into the cold will keep the blood flowing through your veins, so you don’t end up as a popsicle before you make it to class.

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3. Blanket>Coat

Big coats are a definite must for the Ithaca winters, but I’ve come to realize that blankets work just as well, even better if I may argue. If you’re going over to the dining hall to grab a bite or to a study lounge, a blanket offers just as much coverage and warmth as a coat. Plus with a blanket you’ll be encapsulated in warmth, ready for a nap anywhere you go, and quite the trendsetter.

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4. Follow the Sun

With the dreary weather, prelim season, and finals coming up next month, it’s normal to be feeling a bit down. What’s important is that you soak in whatever daylight you can. Sunlight is crucial in beating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), so on those rare days when the sun is out, go outside and make the best of it. Make the sun your new bestie and let your skin soak in the sun’s warm rays because your body deserves some vitamin D after all those long hours toiling away at Uris or Olin.

5. Friends

It’s easy to get caught up in all your work and end up finding yourself in your room at 3am having just completed yet another homework set. This trend is cyclical, but remember it’s important not to isolate yourself. Whether you hang out with floormates in the lounge or get dinner with friends, spending time unwinding with your friends is bound to chase away the winter blues. I strongly advocate for movie nights filled with candy, popcorn and hot cocoa!

6. Food

I think this one is pretty self-explanatory, but to anyone who thinks skipping meals is ok, it’s not. We all skip breakfast from time to time as we’re rushing to class, but why add hunger to the list of freezing cold, sleep deprived and stressed? Do your body a favor and keep it fueled.

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