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The holiday season comes with its pros and cons, and it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of Christmas excitement. You may not be able to make it home for several reasons; may it be your financial situation or other personal circumstances. Whatever it may be, a rollercoaster of emotions isn’t unusual for this time of year. If you’re feeling homesick, remember that there are other people in the same boat, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy what the last month of 2019 has to offer. Life’s not all about the next weekend, the upcoming holiday, the next vacation. It’s essential to learn to live in the in-between moments, so I’m here to help you discover ways to celebrate life despite the wintry cold of December!
Since temperatures are dropping and many of us retreat to the warmth of our rooms, it may be a good idea to dedicate some time to yourself. If loneliness finds its way you (which it often does) – find a way to turn it around and make this month about self-care, emphasizing your mental health. Reflect on who you’ve become and what in your life fulfils you. Become comfortable with your future – think about what you want to improve, plan things, start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions.
IIf you feel better in groups, many societies organize events before the Christmas break, and it’s never too late to get yourself involved in one. Take up a new hobby – it’s a great way to spend those dark December evenings with good company rather than sulking in your dorm room. If you’re spending the Christmas vacation on campus, the JCR is organizing events for the students to come together and get to know each other, so it’s the perfect time to make new friends!
Don’t compare the way you spend your holidays with other people. The rise of social media means it’s easy to feel like people are doing holidays ‘the right way’. Instead, take a step back from it and make time to meet your friends in person – they’ll appreciate your efforts more than one more like on a recent Instagram photo. Remember – there is no one way to celebrate. Have a movie marathon you’ve meant to have, wander around the Christmas markets, take beautiful pictures or finish your favourite book. It’s the moments that make you happy that count, not ones that get the most likes.
It’s the season of giving, and joy often comes from sharing. Many people look into volunteer opportunities available all year round – find ways to give to the community by volunteering at local shelters or charity organizations. If there are people you want to thank, there’s no better time than now – write letters to your friends, people who’ve made your year special. Be kind to the people working in customer service – it’ll put a smile on their face as well as yours, and it doesn’t cost a penny!
The holiday season is the busiest time of the year, but there are always people ready to help. If you’re feeling down and need someone to talk to, volunteers at services like Lancaster Nightline are trained to help you during this overwhelming time. Besides the usual self-care tips, avoid overeating and get plenty of rest because a fresh mind is a happy mind. Finally, look after your flatmates – even a quick message or a knock on the door might make someone’s day. Holiday Blues are temporary; find new ways to spark joy in your everyday life.