Winter Wellbeing

So this is it, we're almost at the end of the 2021 and whether you're going home or staying at University the holidays can be fantastic and heartwarming but they're very easily an overwhelming time for many of us.

With last Christmas being a bit tricky and many of not being able to spend it with family, this year can have some very high expectations so, if you're going home for Christmas remember to make some time for you and that it's ok if you're feeling overwhelmed. Take a minute away from the hustle and bustle just to focus on your breathing and ground yourself. Student Space have some incredible resources for you over the holidays should you need to reach out to someone. 

Heading home can feel a little strange at first, particularly if you have not been home since the start of the academic year, because you and your family have been living separate lives. Relationships may feel different but this doesn’t mean they are bad or breaking down, it just means that you've grown during your time at University and your relationship might be different but that's not a bad thing. Focus on the positives and cut your mum a little slack if she still treats you like her baby, she's just been missing you so much.

It's a general habit that most of our members will pack up their dirty laundry to take home for the holidays but many of you won't be heading home for the holidays. Whether that's because you don't want to, or can't, it's ok to be close to campus for the holidays. It can be tough to think about the consequences of staying at University for the holidays if your family expect you to return home but if you really don’t feel comfortable returning home, that choice is entirely yours. It could be a good time to speak with those at home before you make your final decision and talk through any issues or worries that you may have. This way, when you make your decision you will be fully informed of all your choices.

If heading home this year is something you can't do, then just remember we have plenty of support in place for the holidays. Alternatively, if you feel you have no choice but to go home you could arrange to go for a shorter length of time, or make plans with friends to get you out the house. Christmas is a time typically spent with loved ones so this is a really good time to check in with family and friends, either back home or at uni, and see if they need someone to talk to and remember, it's just as important for you to reach out to loved ones if you're in need of support. Even just speaking about how you’re feeling can help to relieve tension, stress, and anxiety. Remember you can speak with our Advice Centre if you would rather not discuss this with loved ones.

If you know that the holiday period can put strain on your mental health conditions it could be helpful to keep a symptom diary or checker to help you spot changes. You can still discuss this with your GP or a mental health care team over this festive period. Remember that your mental health is important and it's ok to put this above your studies when needed – make sure you are taking regular breaks and doing things you know will make you happy.

Most importantly, no matter how you're spending the winter holidays, we hope you're all safe, happy, and healthy!