By Vicky Witts | Advice Editor
For many, the Christmas period is a time for celebration and excitement. Whether you are looking forward to all the activities associated with Christmas day itself or you do not celebrate the holiday but are just looking forward to some time at home to relax, this time of year has many positive associations.
However, for some students this time can feel much lonelier and more unenjoyable, as they may be having to stay at university over Christmas for a variety of reasons. For these people, it is important to know how to maintain a good mental wellbeing so that the holiday feels more like a blessing than a burden.
It almost feels inevitable that living alone over Christmas will have some negative impacts on your mental wellbeing, as you are by yourself while your friends may be at home with their families. It is therefore important to know that many of the wellbeing services that Cardiff University offers will still be open during the festive period. There are a range of resources available such as pre-recorded self-help wellbeing workshops as well as the possibility for a call with one of the wellbeing team which can help you to talk about how you are feeling and get any mental help that you may need.
Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of living alone over Christmas may be dealing with loneliness, as there may not be anyone that you know left in your city to meet up with or talk to. It is therefore important to try and stay social over the festive period so that your mental health is not negatively affected by feelings of isolation and loneliness.
A good way to prevent such feelings is taking time to call or facetime someone that you know, whether it is a family member or friend, and just have a catch up. It may feel that by doing so you are being a burden or annoying them at what is usually a busy time of the year however, even just a five-minute conversation can help you to remember that whilst you may be physically alone, there are people who care for you.
It may also be beneficial to speak to other students like yourself who are also experiencing Christmas alone this year. For this reason, the Cardiff University residence life team are putting on festive zoom events so that you can take time out of your day to chat about Christmas as well as how you may be feeling.
Christmas in Cardiff
Living alone at Christmas may also have some consequences that can be overlooked, such as the fact that you are free to explore your city. In Cardiff there are many festive activities such as Christmas at the castle and the Christmas markets which can help you to still enjoy and celebrate Christmas if you choose to. Even if you do not choose or want to celebrate Christmas, you could still take this opportunity while you are alone to try new coffee shops that you have never been to or take a trip to somewhere you have never been to before like the bay.
Even if you are not one for exploring or do not like the idea of being alone in the city, there are other perks to being alone over the holidays that you can take advantage of. For example, if you are the only person living in your house, it may be a good time to experiment with something like cooking a Christmas dinner or baking, as there will be no pressure to make space for other people in the kitchen. Being by yourself at Christmas means that you get to spend the holidays exactly how you want to.