Whether you're still enjoying winter break or you're already back in school, it's important to stay cozy during the winter. Staying warm and comfortable is important for your health for obvious reasons, and the extra dopamine you get from feeling cozy might just be enough to get you through the semester. And if this is your first time in a region that gets harsh winters, it's extra important to take care of yourself. So, before the work starts piling on again, use these tips to start the new year off on the right note.

1. Layer up.

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This is probably the least original advice I can offer, but there's a reason everyone swears by it. Layers help your body conserve heat and give you the flexibility to adjust to each new environment you're in. Wear a t-shirt for the overcrowded dining hall, a sweater over that for the chilly classroom and a thick coat for outside. 

2. Try a new hot chocolate recipe.

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Hot chocolate is a beautiful thing---chocolatey, creamy and just the perfect temperature to both wake you up in the morning and help you fall asleep at night. But the next time you reach for your favorite mug, try changing it up a bit. Add some cinnamon, a scoop of Nutella or add a teabag (chai hot chocolate is amazing!). If you want to try some more complex flavors, check out these recipes.

3. Buy fairy lights.

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Fairy lights are a dorm classic. But if you didn't get any at the beginning of the year, now's a perfect time. Fairy lights also happen to be popular stocking stuffers, and now they're on the clearance rack with the rest of the holiday season items. Double check to make sure your school allows fairy lights (some schools consider them a fire hazard), and go get those deals!

4. Learn different ways to tie a scarf.

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It's no secret that scarves are everyone's seasonal best friend. But instead of just letting it hang down, why not try something different? Once you learn a new tying method, it won't even add a minute to your morning routine. Check out a whopping 18 ways to style a scarf here, or check out this Fresh U article for all the infinity scarf lovers.

5. Make a t-shirt blanket.

T-shirt blankets are one DIY every student should have. Use winter break to find all those old t-shirts you have from clubs and events in high school, and cut out the designs into evenly-sized squares. Check out this video to get a complete breakdown of how to make it. Wrap yourself in your favorite memories, or mount in our your dorm wall to make it feel just a bit cozier.

6. Go all out with couch-camping.

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Usually, when you think of "couch camping" it means sitting on the couch all day and binge-watching your favorite show. But what if we took the phrase literally? Build a fort, make some microwave s'mores and watch some nature documentaries (or just keep binge-watching, I get it). It's a great way to bond with the other people in your dorm (making a fort in the lounge is one way to make a lot of friends), and it's a unique way to spend your time inside. Just make sure to clean up after yourself; no need to make it harder on the janitorial staff.

Coziness is a lot more than just staying warm, and there's a reason everyone loves it during the winter. With these ideas, you'll be able to stay cozy this winter and every one after. Remember to take care of yourself during the cold season and by the time summer comes around, you'll already be missing it!

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash