It’s the holidays, you’ve made it through to end of the semester - time for a well deserved break with loved ones, Love Actually on repeat and copious amounts of Quality Street.
But, we know Christmas isn’t the best time of year for everybody - in fact, for some it can be the worst. We’ve put together some top tips which we hope help anyone struggling over the festive period.
The manic Christmas - the holidays can be hectic! Whether it’s panicking in the shops, the stress of getting home from university, busy family parties or the annual family argument about who gets the first pig in a blanket - it can be full on. If you get easily stressed out just take at least five minutes a day to be by yourself, this can both prevent stress and help it. Try some breathing exercises and concentrate on the task at hand. Speak to one of your friends or listen to a chilled song. You’ll be feeling zen in less than ten.
Christmas away from home - It’s not always easy spending Christmas away from home, but rest assured everyone gets homesick. You could try replicating traditions from home, for instance eating the same foods, watching the same films or keeping cultural practices alive. If time difference is an issue, schedule a time before the big day when you can speak or video call with your loved ones. Although it’s a really special time to spend with family, remember it is just one day. Try and enjoy your day wherever you are!
Missing a loved one - First thing is first, you’re not alone. Reach out to those closest to you and who know you best. If you can - tell them exactly how you’re feeling and how they can help you. If you want to speak to specialised services, you can find them here. Do little things that you enjoy - whether it’s sticking on your favourite film/binging on Netflix, going for a run and clearing your head, ordering some of your favourite takeaway grub or even just getting a hot bath with a facemask. Keep going, we know you’ve got this.
Penny pinching - If money is a bit tight this year - as it often can be for a lot of students - don’t worry! We can often get wrapped up (punny) in how much we’re spending and worrying if it’s ‘enough’. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that christmas isn't about the pennies.
Prioritise your spending, don’t buy things on a whim or get sucked into shop assistants making you feel like you have to buy something. Shop around for a good deal and don’t buy what you can’t afford on credit or loans - it simply isn’t worth the potential problems. You could even explain to those closest to you about your situation if it will feel like a burden lifted. Homemade gifts always go down a treat - time to get creative! Browse some ideas by the University of Hull here.
If you feel like you're struggling more with the winter blues than you should be, give Andy's blog post a read here. It can point you in the right direction of services that can help.