By Caitlin Megan Lee, 1st Year MSc Psychology Student
It’s that time of year again – the Christmas markets are in full swing, and the winter break has started! While this can often be a fun and exciting time of year it can also bring the stress of revision and deadlines as well as homesickness for those unable to return home. This will be my second year away from home over the Christmas holidays and these are some tips that helped me through.
Stay connected with family and friends over the holiday period
If you’re spending the festive season away from home this year it’s very normal to feel a bit homesick but try to stay connected with your social networks as much as possible whether that’s video calling, texting or group chats. It helps to keep in touch with family back at home and check in regularly as well as keeping up contact with your course mates or other friends while their away.
Get into the festive spirit
One of things I love most about the festive season is all the lights and fun decorations! I found spending an evening putting up some decorations was a fun activity and it added something new to my home space that I could enjoy throughout the winter break. This is also a great time to try experiencing the holidays like a local – head out to the Christmas markets or try some new festive food. One activity I loved doing with my housemates was making a pancake and hot chocolate station in our kitchen before watching some classic holiday movies.
Try something new
The winter break is a great time to get more familiar with Notts by trying out some new activities or food around town. Notts has so much to offer and if you’re feeling a bit homesick getting out around the city or county is great way to get more comfortable with your surroundings. For foodies, there’s lots of different cafes and lunch spots in town or if you’re more of an adventurer the castle or Sherwood Forest are fun places to check out.
Try to find time for exercise or time outside
The winter can be such a dreary time weather wise and with it being cold and darker earlier into the evenings it can be tough to find the motivation to go out and get active but some fresh air and sunshine can be a great mood booster and help clear you head (especially after a study session!). Some of my favorite spots for a walk in Notts is around the Attenborough Nature Reserve, the Arboretum or Wollaton Park.
In line with my last tip if you’re looking for a new active activity for over the break, NTU also offers some great fitness classes which are a great opportunity to get a fun workout in and meet other students.
Be kind to yourself
The winter break can be a busy and sometimes stressful time so it’s important to remember to care of you and find time for things you enjoy. It’s okay to have unproductive days to take care of your physical and mental health. Also reach out for help from family, friends or NTU student support if you feel like you’re struggling
Our Student Support will still be here to support you during the winter break for more information on support and services available to NTU students over the winter break head to the Student Hub
For help, advice and resources whilst studying at NTU, take a look at the following for sources of support.
- Support from NTU
- Self-Care books in NTU’s libraries
- Silvercloud: SilverCloud is our online system designed to help with a range of mental health issues.
- Health and Wellbeing resources
- NTSU Information and Advice service
- Wellness in Mind: Advice and support for anyone in Nottingham experiencing issues with their mental wellbeing
- Student Minds or Student Space
- 10 Keys to happiness