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Tuesday, February 07, 2023
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Essentials for a happy and warm winter

Spring semester (a misleading title) brings about a series of unfortunate changes, including the blistering cold. Start breaking out the scarves, mittens and patagonia fleeces because winter is here. The days are getting shorter, the sun sparse and students are losing their battle with icy Bascom Hill. To combat these changes, we have to find ways to stay warm and keep our spirits up during the cold months. Here are some winter essentials that’ll keep you toasty and happy without breaking the bank. 

The basics:

1. Fuzzy socks

Go ahead and buy yourself a pack of Amazon’s fluffiest socks. Leaving even a quarter of skin exposed between your jeans and your shoes is a recipe for frostbite in a really random section of your calves. Not a cute look.

2. Space heater

Space heaters are a must if you live in a dorm, apartment or house without heat. Until UW forks up some cash to add heating and cooling in the dorms, a space heater will be your best friend from November until March. Pro tip: hang your fuzzy socks in front of your space heater for a couple of minutes before wearing them. Just make sure they don’t catch on fire; I’m not liable if they do.

3. A thermos

A solid thermos will keep you warm on your walk to your 8:30 a.m. class. Pop your drink of choice into your generic thermos — or a Hydro Flask/S’well Bottle if you’re trendy — and enjoy hours worth of tongue-burning drink. 

4. Moisturizer

Boys, listen up because skincare isn’t just for the ladies. Everyone deserves bouncy, hydrated skin and the sharp winter chill doesn’t want you to succeed in that endeavor. A water-based moisturizer is better than a gel-based moisturizer for the dry winter season, and make sure to use a heavier cream at night! And don’t forget: the sun still shines when it’s cold out! Don’t skimp on your sunscreen! 

The boujee:

1. A towel warmer

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This is definitely a splurge item, but what a luxury it is. Dump your clothes, towels, socks and blankets into your towel warmer — yes, they’re not just for towels — and make your walk from the bed to the front door much more bearable. There’s nothing better than getting out of your warm shower and into a warm towel, even when the room around you is freezing. 

2. Hot chocolate machine

I know what you’re thinking: Why in the world would I buy an instant hot chocolate machine for $60? I don’t have a fiscally responsible answer for you, but they do make a lot of sense spiritually and emotionally. Put your mental health first this semester and buy yourself a hot chocolate machine. Or, be a responsible adult and spend your money elsewhere. But if anyone actually buys one, I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to try it out, for research purposes.

3. Vitamin D light

When the sun starts to dim, it’s easy to feel your spirit dim with it. To mimic natural sunlight, replace your dorm room’s fluorescent, hospital-grade lamps with a light therapy vitamin D lamp. Stick your face underneath, make like the flowers and blossom.  

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