Everyone loves Christmas right?
We hope so, but whether you’re home for the break or still on campus, Christmas can be quite a difficult time for many of us, and let’s face it, this year has brought extra challenges for us all. Pressure to do things, see people (even virtually), spend lots and also keep up with deadlines can mean it’s not always such a magical time of year. Whatever the festive season means to you, these feelings are quite common, so we’ve put together a few tips to help you look after yourself over the break.
1. Balance your studies
Student life means for most of you, January assessments or deadlines. Whilst it’s important you keep on top of your studies, it’s also important that you find some balance, and have a rest and recharge. Try to be realistic about what you need to get done and by when. Plan how you’re going to work and try and stick to it. For more advice, see our piece on balancing your studies over Christmas.
2. Give yourself a break
Try not to put yourself under pressure to do everything. It can be a really busy time of year – and it is okay to say no to some things. Connecting with friends, family and neighbours is great for your wellbeing and a break from Uni is a great time to catch up, but if going out is leaving you feeling stressed or overwhelmed then remember, it’s okay to say no, and to spend some time on your own.
Similarly, don’t feel under pressure to get everyone you know expensive gifts. Friends and family understand you’re on a student budget and will be happy just to see you or receive a token thoughtful present. Take a look at Content Ambassador Kirstie’s recent post on thoughtful gifts for a student budget for some nice and different gift ideas.
Unwind however works for you or try something new. Rediscover books for fun rather than education, discover a new Podcast or even try something more purposeful like mindfulness. Taking time to relax is a great way to reduce any stress you’re feeling.
4. Eat well (and drink sensibly)
Christmas can be the time for overindulgence, and we’re definitely not saying don’t enjoy yourself. Treat yourself and indulge, but try and find a bit of balance across the period – three weeks of chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner isn’t going to make anyone feel great!
5. Stay active
With so many Christmas movies to watch and cold weather outside, it can be hard to get motivated, but you will feel better for a bit of physical activity. Whatever your thing is – try and do a bit of it if you can. Check out the UoM Sport Advent Calendar for some inspiration!
6. Find support if you need it
Problems can feel magnified at this time of year because of the festive season. If you’re finding things difficult, there’s lots of help available even though the uni is closed. Take a look at the Christmas support page or the student support site for information on how to access support or look for advice on how to support your wellbeing.
We hope you’ll have a lovely festive break.