Blog: Anita's top tips on looking after yourself over the Christmas break
Written by Student Content Shaper Anita Uba
Hey, I'm Anita, one of your Student Content Shapers and I'm studying Law with Business Studies.
With November slowly coming to an end, it means that Christmas is almost here! I don't know about you but I'm feeling so excited to finally GET A BREAK!
While the end of the year can be exciting for some of us, that’s not always the case, especially as students. A lot of us might experience the holiday blues or feel stressed and overwhelmed in the lead-up to and during the Christmas period. I know I felt that way last year, especially as I was dealing with more workload, upcoming deadlines and working towards sitting my exams in January.
That’s why it’s so important to take care of yourself over Christmas. After a long period of having lectures, seminars and assignments due, I like to do different activities to make sure I feel well-rested in time for January. Whether you’re staying on campus, celebrating with your flatmates, or heading back home to see your loved ones, here are a couple of tips for looking after yourself this Christmas.
Keep in touch with your friends and family
One great way to take some time off is to just socialise! Even if you’re meeting a friend to grab a quick coffee or going for a walk around Selly, it can do wonders for your mental health. Personally, I enjoy meeting up with my family and friends over the holidays, including going out for food and drinks, bowling or playing a fun game of charades to help keep my spirits up. A nice place I like to go for drinks is Pitcher and Piano. Very reasonably priced and nice view of the canal!
Journaling is a great way to take care of yourself, and you can do it every day, once a week, or once a month just to find a release and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and goals.
Personally, I like to journal every day with a nice cup of Manuka Honey Tea to accompany me. It’s a safe space to express how I’m feeling every day and right before bed, so I can become more mindful and self-aware in the long run, especially before going back to University. Why not take some time to reflect and practise your writing skills too?
Take a social media detox
Another great, underrated way to relax this holiday and help you switch off is by taking some time off social media – especially TikTok! I don’t even notice it myself but sometimes I can spend hours just mindlessly scrolling through my Instagram feeds, which can be very draining and overloading on my brain!
From endless notifications to hours of constantly scrolling, it’s easy to lose time online (and it can become addictive). To help myself, I regularly take time off social media to help myself relax, and I highly recommend you have a go at this during the holiday. (Spoiler alert, you’re most likely not going to miss out on anything).
Even research says it’s best to take a break, as it comes with a wealth of benefits. For a quick rundown, it includes an improvement in your mood, a decrease in anxiety and helps you get better sleep during and right after taking a break from your phone.
Plan your holiday
Sometimes, the overwhelming feeling we can experience in the run-up to returning back to University can be due to a lack of planning, especially when juggling your studies, trying to organise what assignments are due, alongside fitting in some leisure time.
And for me, I think that planning does really help with decluttering my brain! Thanks to the digital age, there's loads of planning tools such as Google Calendar, Notion, Good Notes, Todoist.
My personal favourite has to be Google Calendar. I list all my tasks for the week and categorise them, and then I colour-code all my tasks by category. Not only does it help to categorise your tasks so it’s not overwhelming, but it also adds a nice colourful aesthetic that makes me want to do my tasks.
Remember to ask for help!
Whatever you're struggling with, you can get support from UoB's Mental Health and Wellbeing Services.
The 24/7 confidential listening and support service UBHeard is available to all registered students (undergraduate and postgraduate) at the University. You can also log in to the UBHeard Portal, through Live Chat, or calling on 0800 368 5819 (Freephone UK*) or 00353 1 518 0277 (International). You can also text ‘Hi’ to 074 1836 0780 for SMS and WhatsApp support (standard rates apply).
University life can be tough, especially when you feel overwhelmed, stressed and lonely during the Christmas period. Remember to take plenty of breaks and try using some of the tips above to help you relax this Christmas period. You're not alone.
Can you feel the Christmas spirit yet? You can join us in getting ready for our official Countdown to Christmas by taking part in our Christmas festivities.