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20 things to cure your winter blues

Gray, cold winter days can be tough to get through in a normal year. This year isn’t like other years, though. We’re dealing with a ton of pandemic and political issues right now, too.

If you’re feeling blue, you’re not alone. Tons of Americans are dealing with the winter blues — and the isolation from social distancing likely isn’t helping much. Feeling anxious or depressed? These five apps can help.

While we can’t cure your seasonal depression, the products below might be able to help elevate your mood. This list of items can help you warm up inside and out. With their help, you may even gain some appreciation for the snow that’s falling outside.

1. Make a delicious homemade latte to start the day

We all need our morning caffeine kick, but buying expensive lattes from the coffee shop up the street can be expensive. You can make your own lattes and frothy coffee drinks at home with this Zulay Original Milk Frother Handheld Foam Maker for Lattes. It'll save you time and money in the mornings, or whenever you need that fancy cup of Joe.
Not a coffee drinker? It works great for adding protein powders and other supplements to your smoothies and shakes, too!

Promising review: "I’m a barista at Starbucks so obviously I know how I like my coffee. For a while I was using an immersion blender to froth my milk for my morning cup of coffee but it just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do. I finally bought this frothed and I’m so so happy with it!! It doesn’t need to be plugged in so it takes up way less space. It is a lot quieter than the blender, and I can use any size cup I want because the frother is so small. Not only can I heat up my milk for a hot coffee, but I can also use it just the same with cold milk for my iced coffee!! Highly recommend this product!"

2. Get some sun even on gray days with this compact lamp

Seasonal affective disorder is real. The winters can be tough on your mood, but this Light Therapy Lamp can help. It delivers bright light at up to 10,000 lux to provide you with your daily boost of sunshine. Use it on those gray winter days to help improve your mood, your energy and your overall sense of health. It's portable, too — and smaller than your laptop — so you can take it with you when you need to. Super easy.
Promising review: "I’m recovering from surgery and can’t get out a lot yet, and the rooms where I spend morning times are quite dark. This light will definitely help to re-establish a daylight-like cycle. The light is strong but softer than expected. Extremely easy to use — just touch it. I had thought it might be annoying, but so far it’s not all all. Just kind of like having a window open nearby. And it’s lightweight and takes up a small footprint."

3. Warm up at night with this nice whiskey set

Winter is perfect for a neat glass of whiskey. If you're a whiskey fanatic, you know how bad ice cubes can be for your drink as they melt and water it down. This Whiskey Stones Gift Set for Men will keep that from happening. These stones won't melt and ruin your drink, but they will keep that glass of whiskey cold as it warms you up. You won't have to worry about them scratching your nice glasses, either. These stones are completely safe to use in the glasses this set comes with or your scotch and whiskey glasses.

Promising review: "The set is really nice! My boyfriend is really excited to use it! He isn't much of a whiskey kind of person but he can enjoy the set with other drinks. The glasses are heavy and really nice to hold. He really liked that it came with a recipe book as well. I will buy from them again."

4. Take some winter wonderland pictures with an affordable drone

This Holyton Mini Drone is a great tool to help enjoy some leisure time. It's easy to use, navigate and has enough power to navigate to where you want it to go. It's perfect for kids who are just starting out with drones — or adults who are dipping their toes in.

Promising review: "RWe received this Holyton Mini Drone a few days ago and have had a lot of fun with it. My 10 year old daughter, who was the pilot in the posted video, has played with it non-stop. She loves the sensor mode that controls the drone hands free, and gets a kick out of the flips and spins she can get it to do. My wife and I have found this drone useful as a practice tool, as we also bought a larger video drone from Holy Stone that we use outside and the controls are very similar. I'm very impressed that they can sell this little toy at such an affordable price considering the amount of technology that must go into it."

5. Have a good laugh watching your pet chase a laser

Your lazy cat needs some stimulation, and you need a good laugh. This YVE LIFE Cat Laser Toy Automatic, Interactive Toy for Kitten/Dogs can get the job done on both ends. Your cat will spend hours chasing the red laser around the house, and you'll spend hours laughing at how funny they look while chasing the laser. It's a win-win for both you and your fuzzy friend.
Not a cat person? This toy is a great way to entertain bored dogs on rainy or gloomy days, too.

Promising review: "My Service dog is usually bored with his job of just watching me and I got him this to give him a little fun time on a rainy day. It work's great and he just loves it and allows me to not have to shine a hand held one for him. Will be getting another one for an even larger play area."

6. Put your phone down and take on these fun brain teasers

Don't let your brain turn to mush while you're trapped inside this winter. This Brain Teaser Puzzle 20Pcs Unlock Interlock Game IQ Test Wooden Toy 3D Unlock Interlock Puzzle is a great — and fun — way to stimulate your mind. Put the phone games down and pick up one of these puzzles instead. You'll spend hours trying to untangle them — and once you've conquered one, there are plenty more to unlock.

Promising review: "Good, high quality puzzle set. A great variety of puzzles utilizing different strategies and methods to solve. I like that they included instructions for the metal puzzles just in case they’re needed. The wooden puzzles were also decent quality. Other than a few small wooden shavings that got wedged in the middle before first use they’re great. The pieces are a little smaller, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the set for the elderly, but Teens through older adults would be just fine."

7. Clear your windshield the easy way with the No. 1 best-selling ice scraper

Getting a lot of snow and ice this winter? It's dangerous to drive with leftover ice or snow on your car — but it can be tough to remove without the right tools. This AstroAI 27” Snow Brush and Detachable Ice Scraper with Ergonomic Foam Grip is a quick and easy way to get rid of snow and ice after a winter storm, making it safe to drive without hazards flying off your vehicle or blocking your view. It's safe to use on your windshields, side mirrors, windows, and other areas of your car.

Promising review: "The scraper arrived on time and as advertised. I love the bag and the fact that it comes a part. This makes it convenient if all I need is a scraper or brush. The only potential issue I see is for those southpaws, left handed users based on the way it snaps together. The if you are left handed the scraper is poisioned inwards and could rub against my arm or coat when its assembled and using the brush. Now you can always use the brush alone but that might not be practical for you. This is not a factor for me and I like how sturdy its constructed and the brush brisles are generous (4 rows) and strong so they look like they will last. Lastly the prices was great. over all I would strongly recommend simply take care if you are left handed user."

8. See more of your loved ones with an Echo Show

This winter has been an odd one due to the pandemic. We aren't able to safely see family as much as we normally would, but you can remedy that with the Echo Show 8. It lets you make video calls, send messages and interact with your loved ones via the device. Plus, it comes with a ton of other features, too — including Alexa, smart home controls and access to cooking shows and demonstrations.

Promising review: "Have to admit I was skeptical and wasn't sure if I would find it useful....but I'm liking this device more every day. Now an Echo Dot has found its place in our household as well. Along with some Echo Buttons. Like the Echo Show 8 so much that I ordered another one to give to my daughter and son-in-law!"

9. Keep your morning tea warm with this cup with a lid

Winter mornings are so chilly that it can be hard to warm up. This Sweese 201.101 Porcelain Tea Mug with Infuser and Lid is a great way to fix that issue. It has an extra-fine hole infuser that helps to brew tea in a simple and quick way. Plus, the heat-insulated handle will keep you from burning your hands on that warm mug of tea. It's a great way to heat up your mornings when it's cold out.

Promising review: "One I love this mug, it works amazing and is SO much cheaper then the Teavana alternative! Two, this company has AMAZING costumer service! I have had my mug since February and sadly this week the lid fell and broke. I contacted the company to see if I could purchase simply a replacement lid and they are sending me a new whole mug free of charge! I'm shocked, and very impressed! I wish I could give this mug and company SO much more then just 5 stars!"

10. Put on some cozy socks to keep your toes warm

If you've got cold feet, you need this package of Loritta Warm Thick Knit Wool Cozy Crew Socks. It comes with five pairs of thick, warm winter socks to help keep your toes toasty around the clock. The vintage style is pretty cute, too.

Promising review: "RCute colours and great ankle length (somewhere in between a crew cut and a literal ankle sock). The material is soft and warm although upon arrival they had a terrible chemical smell from the factory. A quick wash before use solved that problem but some people might be really put off by it. Apart from the smell the socks arrived very quickly with no hassles and am happy with the end product."

11. Use the same toothpaste Kim does for white teeth

If you're looking for beaming white teeth, this Supersmile Professional Teeth Whitening Toothpaste with Fluoride can help you out. It's what Kim uses to keep her smile pearly white. It's designed to whiten teeth, re-mineralize enamel and support healthy gums. Plus, the minty flavor tastes great!

Promising review: "I’m a coffee drinker who has resin coating applied to my two front teeth. Over the last 20+ years my resin had become stained. In my last anniversary photo my teeth looked yellow. After using a week with accelerator gel (photo 2 is before and photo 1 is after) and photo 3 is up close before and 4 is after. Looking forward to seeing what it does after a month or so of using it. My teeth aren’t feeling sensitive at all either."

12. See what you’re grilling for dinner, even when the sun sets at 5 p.m.

The winter days are short, which can make it tough to grill outside. If the sun goes down, it's hard to see what you're grilling up on the BBQ, but this Char-Broil LED Grill Handle Light gives you plenty of light to work with. You can clip it right where you need it to see what you're working with. Your steaks will never look better.

Promising review: "I have now been using my BBQ Grill Light for 15 months. I use it when in particular we have early sunsets. Other buyers have rated this light much lower than I have. But let's use some common sense. I think it works great. Light is bright. Angle is easy to adjust. The case is made of plastic, so be careful not to get it too close to the heat. The light is not made of titanium with a heat shield, so it might melt. Don't leave the light out in the weather, because the weather will ruin it. Let's use some common sense. The switch has no moving parts and is very sensitive. I turn my light off when I am done, and put it in the drawer inside the house with my other BBQ tools, and all is well. That means I have to put it on the grill handle, and take it off the grill handle when I am finished. At this rate I think my BBQ light will last for years."

13. Relax with a hot shower and one of these soothing shower melts

14. Breathe easier in dry winter air with a humidifier (your skin will thank you, too)

If you're dealing with dry skin this winter, this Miroco Cool Mist Humidifier can help you fight back against those itchy, flaky issues. It gives you a blast of cool, humid air to help add some moisture back into your skin and nose. The tank is huge, so you won't have to refill it constantly like you would with other portable humidifiers. Plus, it's great for helping with stuffy or dry noses, too.

Promising review: "This humidifier has the LARGEST capacity tank Ive seen yet! It goes a long time without running out of water and there is a clear area on the tank so you can see when it is running out of water. It runs a long time on 1 tank of water . It's also VERY quiet and the anount of mist it lets out is adjustable. I like that it has a night light on it too. It's really nice!"

15. Upgrade your car with comfy seat warmers

Need seat heaters in your car but don't have them built-in? These Zone Tech Car Travel Seat Cover Cushions are the perfect fix to provide warmth and comfort. They strap right on to your seat to warm your back and bottom on cold days. Use these to heat right up this winter. They can even help your blood circulation and metabolism, which is an added bonus.

Promising review: "Easy to install, I like that you can control the temperature on both of them and you can put the control switch on either side. With this all being said these seat warmers warm up fast and are definitely worth the price. I have these installed in my 2000 Toyota Camry Solara and makes the car feel more luxury now with these heated seats, I’m very happy now."

16. Use a fabric shaver to get the pills off your favorite sweater

Almost all sweaters pill after a couple of wears. It doesn't matter if they're high-quality cashmere or cheap wool. Luckily, this Conair Battery Operated Fabric Defuzzer/Shaver can help remove the pilling that happens during winter and keep your sweaters and coats in tip-top shape. It's easy to use, won't damage your clothes and makes your sweaters look good as new. It's great for furniture and blankets, too!

Promising review: "I have spent hours and hours trying to groom our sofas from millions of tiny lint balls they have acquired over four years. I hoped maybe this dufuzzer might work... and WOW! This thing works like a lint mower! It's really easy to use (our 5-year-old "mowed" most of one sofa) and clean out. Really happy with the quality."

17. Make some comfort food the easy way with a Crock-Pot

The winters were made for comfort food. You can indulge in those thick, hearty meals to your heart's content with this Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S-A 6-Quart Cook & Carry Programmable Slow Cooker. It lets you set and forget your meals so they're ready when you are. Nothing like a warm bowl of chili or soup on a cold winter night — especially when you weren't slaving over the stove to make it.

Promising review: "WHY WOULD NO ONE TELL ME THE MAGIC OF SLOW COOKERS RIGHT WHEN THEY BECAME A THING!? Seriously this thing is a busy person's savior or in my case, a lazy person's dream! This one is plenty large enough and incredibly easy to use. I mean really look at the buttons on this thing, if you can't figure that out, you have other things to sort out rather than look at slow cookers. Reviews say this one runs a bit hotter than most, but I've followed a handful of recipes and their cook times seem to be accurate. I really love that this model will automatically switch to keep warm after the timer you set expires. That last part is crucial for me because I work 10+ hour shifts and most recipes even on low are about 8 hours. That keep warm feature makes sure my food isn't burnt, but still warm when I get home."

18. Forget the lighter fluid and use a rechargeable candle lighter

Tired of refilling your lighters with flammable butane? This RONXS lighter is a much better way to keep your candles lit in the winter. The neck is adjustable to reach down into candle holders and it uses flameless plasma technology to light candles and fires. You don't have to add any dangerous chemicals to it. It recharges via USB, so you won't even have to dig up batteries when it's low on power. You just plug it in and let it charge.

Promising review: "It's brilliant. Comes out of the box fully charged, has every feature I needed and some I didn't even think about beforehand. Being able to light things without having to produce an actual flame of my own is delightful (I'm extremely uncoordinated and burn myself lighting candles way more than any human should), the on/off switch and auto shutoff assuage my worries about running out of power, and anything i can charge and reuse instead of throwing away is a big perk in my book."

19. Kim uses these natural pills to get a good night’s sleep

If you're struggling to stay asleep this winter, you may want to check out these ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs, Nightly Sleep, Melatonin Sleep Aid Tablets. Kim uses them to help her fall asleep, and they're all-natural, too. The ingredients, like melatonin, chamomile and other botanicals, will help lull you to sleep and let you wake up rested and ready to go.

Promising review: "I own like every Vick’s product, because I love them all, and this product is no exception. Before I bought this, I had been having trouble falling asleep and I was waking up every morning at 4am in an existential crisis induced panic. Just immediately eyes slam open and thoughts began to REEL. I started to take it 30 minutes before I’d like to fall asleep, and I’m finally able to slip right into sleep, sleep through the night, and wake up refreshed. I don’t understand why anyone would care about how a pill smells. It serves the purpose it is intended to serve with no negative/harmful effects. 5 stars people. Simple. Also, it’s worth mentioning that I have a bit of a hard time swallowing pills as of late, but I have no issue with this one. Don’t want to ever sleep without it again!"

20. Snuggle up on the couch with a heated electric blanket

The throw blanket on your couch may not be enough to keep you toasty this winter. This MaxKare Electric Blanket Heated Throw 72" x 84" Oversized Flannel Heated Blanket will, though. The thick fabric will help retain the heat from one of the four heating levels, which you can change with the touch of a button. You'll get the heat you're looking for in just five minutes, and it's equipped with an auto shut-off so you don't have to worry about safety hazards.

Promising review: "This year’s winter came really quickly and is super cold! I’m the type of person to be afraid of the cold, I heard from a friend that Amazon sells electric heated blankets so I bought one home to try. One of the major factors is that you can adjust the temperature. I recommend it to people that are afraid of the cold or is very sensitive towards the cold. Not only this, there are different colors and different lengths for you to chose from! You can lay it out on your bed or on top of yourself, either ways it helps you keep warm."
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