So, that’s it. The time for jingle bells and fireworks has passed and a new year has begun. It should be a time of excitement and anticipation for the year ahead but many of us are feeling the post-Christmas blues, whether these are from going back-to-uni or back-to-work. But don’t start worrying just yet; though you may feel it you’re not alone in feeling low at this time of the year. Thankfully these top tips on how to beat the back-to-uni post-Christmas blues may be just the trick to get you feeling more like yourself again.
Explore where you live
You might be pining for home or wishing you were in sunnier climes, but being a tourist in your own town can be incredibly fun and can help you to see the environment around you in a more exciting light. What would you normally do if you were exploring a city abroad? Get out early and walk everywhere, gazing at the buildings? Treat yourself to something you’ve never eaten before? Try a new activity?
The funny thing is, you can do all these things at home but most of us don’t! Plan a day where you see and do the things you’ve been meaning to and make sure you treat yourself to a nice new cafe or restaurant. If you can do this all with a friend then even better.
Stay warm and avoid the chill
On the other hand . . .good weather is never a guarantee and that is never more true than in winter. Keep the cosy Christmas feeling going by cuddling up with a hot water bottle and a good film in the evening. To make it extra snug repurpose those Christmas fairy lights into year-round lighting by stringing them up in your uni bedroom.
Treat yourself to some sales shopping
One of the good things about January is the January sales, when you can get some pretty decent bargains, often at half the price they were before Christmas! Use some of that Christmas money to treat yourself to something new, or perhaps just do some fun window shopping!
Can’t stand the crowds? You can always shop online, or write a list of exactly what it is you want or need and shop with a purpose. By knowing exactly what you’re shopping for you’re much less likely to get overwhelmed.
Walk away from post-Christmas blues
Walking can have a great impact on how you’re feeling, with studies showing that physically active people have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed. In addition to helping to boost your mood it’s also a great way to get in touch with your surroundings and explore the area you live in. North Wales has some great walking routes for a range of capabilities, which means there’s nothing to stop you from getting out there. If you don’t feel like you can do it alone Bangor University has the Bangor University Mountain Walking Club, but there are some urban routes in Bangor that you can try too.
January is the time of year when everyone vows to get in the best shape they’ve ever been and they usually start by banishing all their Christmas chocolate to the back of the cupboard. Vowing to eat well and be healthier is admirable, but sometimes banishing all the foodstuffs you enjoy is just a recipe for misery, especially if you’re already missing your home comforts!
However, eating unhealthily can have an adverse affect on your mood, with a balanced diet recommended in order to keep you shipshape in every way. Aim to eat a balanced diet throughout the month alongside your favourite treats instead of depriving yourself this January. and we can guarantee that you’ll feel a bit better about returning to university.
Get ahead of the year ahead
New year, new beginnings. If you’re feeling low then maybe it’s time to change your perspective a little bit. Yes it may be cold and dark a lot of the time in January but it’s also the beginning of a whole new year in which you can achieve anything. Set some achievable goals for yourself for the next year and make the most of the next few weeks by beginning to put some plans into action. Reflect on what you did and didn’t do last year and what you would do differently this year. If there is something you would like to get better at, learn or try for the first time, then now is the time to plan for it!
Avoid being alone
Speaking of plans, now is the time to reach out to your social group and make sure you see one another frequently to shake off those blues. Alone time can be really nice but when you’re always alone it can just feel a little . . . lonely. If your budget is a little tight (it is for most of us at this time in the year!) then you could host a movie night, or even just ask a few friends if they would like to study together.
If you don’t have the social group you would like to then push yourself to join a new club or society. You might feel nervous at first but meeting people who share the same interests as you is a guaranteed way to create some new connections. What’s the harm?
Switch off from your socials
Now is not the time to be lingering on Instagram and comparing yourself to the perfectly edited lives on there. If you’re finding that social media is making you feel particularly low at this time in the year then a detox is required. There are a few apps you can install to stop you from going on social media if you need some help with your self-control, but it’s also important to pay attention to what other media you’re consuming during this time. Make a pact to only watch funny films, swap that murder mystery novel for something less bleak and maybe keep those news updates to a minimum.
Surrounding yourself with positivity will do wonders for your state of mind, and give you some much-needed peace after the chaos of Christmas. Last but not least, if nothing is helping you to shake off those blues then it may be time to talk to someone. Bangor University has counselling services available to students, or you can arrange a referral for counselling sessions through your GP.