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Six Ways to Cope During Winter Break

by | Dec 15, 2023

As a college student, going home for winter break may be a shock to the system. You go from  enjoying independence to living back under your parents’ or guardians’ rules in a matter of hours. You may also be going back to volatile family dynamics, unaccepting environments, or other situations that may cause you stress and anxiety. To prepare for and manage this adjustment, here are 

Six suggestions to help you cope while you are home for winter break. 

1. Plan ahead. Reflect on the things that will be hard emotionally – maybe there is a relative that always gets under your skin or you will be sharing a room when you are used to having your own space.  Once you know where the challenges may be, you can plan ahead in order to best handle the situation and limit the negative impact on you.  

2. Identify your resources.  Create a list for yourself of what resources you will have access to when you are home to help your physical and mental wellness.  Do you meditate regularly? You can maintain your meditation practice from anywhere. However, if you go to the gym regularly, think of how to continue if you don’t have access to your regular gym. This list will serve as your quick guide to provide you options for managing any stress that pops up.

3. Know your boundaries. Consider what your limits are and how you can stick to them when you are home.  Boundaries can be a variety of things including your bedtime, saying no, or removing yourself from certain conversations.  Do what is best for you and your own wellness.  

4. Make a self-care plan. Think about what you need to stay well.  Consider sleep, eating, movement, pleasure, and connection.  Try to make time for yourself to get these needs met! Schedule it in your calendar to keep you accountable if you need to. 

5. Set a routine.  Without classes in session, it is easy to fall out-of-sync with your needs.  Try to keep a consistent schedule for yourself when it comes to your sleep and wake time, your meals, and activity.  This will allow you to better regulate your physical and emotional needs. 

6. Intentionally check-in with yourself.  Take a few moments each day to identify how you are feeling and where the feeling is coming from.  “What am I feeling right now?” “Where is this feeling coming from?” This will prevent you from getting to the point of an emotional meltdown. 

During break, students have access to Uwill for mental health and wellness. Create a profile in minutes and schedule a free immediate appointment with a licensed therapist that you choose based on your needs and preferences.