You have arrived home, with friends, or wherever you are spending Winter Break. The post-exam slump is over. You are in the groove of spending time with loved ones, relaxing, and trying to work on whatever it is you plan to fit into the holidays.
The truth is, this time can be special, but it can also be extremely hard. You will face many emotions in the next few weeks. This may be frustrating when all you want to do is take a break.
It is important to process these emotions so you can experience the break in a healthy way. Here are our thoughts on how to deal with four emotions you may encounter this Winter Break:
You have not spent time with your loved ones for a while – enjoy it! Perhaps you have plans you are looking forward to – live in the moment. Treasure the joy of the memories you are making. Stay present. As the excitement may taper off, it will be easy to seclude yourself to whatever makes you most comfortable. It is important to spend time in safe spaces but remember that healthy in-person connection is vital to your well-being.
You have worked hard! Rest – you deserve it. Take time to breathe and remember that seclusion and virtual isolation is not the best form of relaxation. Consider taking a hiatus from the digital world
, for whatever length of time seems best to you. Spend time in places, doing activities, with people that make you feel whole.
One of the worst feelings moving into winter break is the hesitation that stems from change. You have been away for months, and change is inevitable. This change – whether in places
, or people, can bring up confusing emotions: sadness, grief, anger, hurt. Face the raw emotions. Then, approach each moment with gratitude. Gratitude has been found both experientially and scientifically to be a powerful tool. Focus on the wonderful moments you can have, even if it is not the way it was.
Similarly, returning home or to loved ones can cause grief. Loved ones may be gone, or people may have moved away. You may miss being with your people on campus. Loss is excruciating, whether it involves death or not. Be kind to yourself. Take time to grieve. Be patient, and do not expect your emotions to be linear. Spend time with loved ones – soak up the love around you.