Christmas can be a time of fun and relaxation, but for some it can be stressful and draining on our mental resources. According to a survey for the National Union of Students (NUS) “more than 50% of students say their mental health has declined since the COVID pandemic began’. Nottingham College is only too aware of how important it is to look after yourself over the festive period.
Here are the Student Wellbeing Team’s top 10 tips for looking after yourself this festive season. By taking some time our and following tips like these, you’ll help to ensure you’re feeling relaxed and ready to study and achieve in January:
- Exercise to feel good – exercising releases chemicals called endorphins into your body which make us feel happy. We might not all fancy a run after our Christmas dinner, but a brisk walk or bike ride can do you just as much good!
- Eat well – try to get your 5 a day of fruit and vegetables – they’re great for immunity and providing some extra energy.
- Stay hydrated – water is one of life’s most beneficial resources to improve our wellbeing – and it’s free! If you’re drinking alcohol; stay within reasonable limits and drink plenty of water.
- Do stuff that makes you feel good – remember to factor in some you time and practice some self-care such as doing some arts and crafts, listening to music or having a pamper session.
- Socialise* – over the Christmas period of 23-27 Dec, the Government has relaxed the COVID guidelines to enable people to create a Christmas bubble of 3 households. Make sure you stay within the recommended guidelines, but socialising can help to relieve some of the anxiety we have all experienced as a result of being isolated from our loved ones.
- Give to others – although Christmas is traditionally a time of giving gifts, it’s easy to forget that giving our time to others can be even more important and appreciated. Why not donate to a food bank or support a charity?
- Take time out to relax – Christmas can be a busy time but remember to recharge your batteries by sleeping well, getting some fresh air and having time to yourself.
- Keep learning – Christmas is a time to take a break from college, but learning a new skill, reading a book or keeping on top of college work can give us new goals and motivation to keep achieving.
- Look after your finances – Set yourself a budget and only spend what you can afford. Most people prefer a thoughtful homemade gift than something expensive anyway!
- Take notice of the world around you – mindfulness is a way of taking time to notice our surroundings and clear our minds.
*All advice around socialising must be within the current recommended government guidelines for the Nottinghamshire area. Please be aware this may change and check https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions regularly.
If you are in crisis:
- Tell someone how you’re feeling – a close friend, family member or professional who can give you immediate help.
- Make sure you’re safe – remove yourself from dangerous or volatile situations
- Ensure someone you trust knows where you are and how to contact you.
- Call the emergency services if you are at immediate risk of harm or go to A&E for urgent support.
Useful phone numbers and websites:
Find out more.
The College’s Wellbeing Hub for students provides lots of support to students, about a whole range of issues. Our Student Wellbeing Team are keeping keep this site updated with anything useful they find.
Current students can access the Wellbeing Hub by logging into StudentNet.
The team regularly share useful apps on our social media too.