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4 tips for staying mentally healthy during this special Christmas

This year has been a really special year for all of us, with too many surprises and unpredictables. Fortunately, it's already December, and Christmas is just around the corner!

Christmas has always been my favourite period of the year. The snow falling outside, the presents under the Christmas tree, the festive dinner with friends and family, the smell of pies being baked fresh and warm in the oven... Christmas is definitely the most eagerly anticipated time of the year.

Although this year things might be a little bit different for most of us due to various reasons, and this Christmas may not be as “lively” as it used to be. Maybe you’re in self-isolation because of Covid-19, living away from family and friends or you may not be able to reunite with your loved ones. Whatever the case, it seems that we will experience a relatively less rip-roaring Christmas. However, there is a multitude of things that people can engage and indulge in during Christmas at home even during these difficult times.

I want to take this opportunity to share some tips and ideas for students, especially for those who are unable to reunite with their family and friends, of how to improve mental health and experience a “different” but even more interesting Christmas at home:

Stay connected with your loved ones

Try to organize an online gaming tournament. Christmas is definitely the best time of the year to spend time playing games with family and friends. This year, why not try to move these games online?

There are tons of online multi-player games (like "Skribbl") that you and your family can try. You can also choose to meet friends and family via Zoom and try out traditional party games such as “Pictionary”, “Guess Who”, movies trivia... And even an online bingo!

Listen to Christmas songs

When you’re living alone, it is always a good idea to listen to a couple of songs to improve your mood. Especially during this time of the year, Christmas carols add some warm and cosy “flavouring” into our life.

Set up a Christmas movie night

Invite your dearest and loved ones over for an online viewing Zoom party of the classic Christmas movies. Make it an all-day marathon or vote on a favourite movie to screen for a night in. You can use the share screen function on Zoom to enjoy the movies with your nearest.

And lastly... Don’t forget to do some exercise

Surely, you deserve a good break for all the hard work during this semester. But don’t forget to exercise! This is critical for staying both physically and mentally healthy!

These are some of the fun ideas for you to consider this winter break. I hope all of you can make the most out of this Christmas and stay both mentally and physically healthy.

See you in the next blog ( and Merry Christmas in advance!)

Mingli Xu and her friends

A polar bear figure in the Printworks, Manchester