After a tough year, many students may feel lonely these holidays.

So, the long and hard fall semester is almost over. After the finals and all the stress, you will be free to go on your winter break and celebrate! Christmas tree, festive lights, parties with friends, love, and laughter, family dinners … but wait. Not this year, it seems.

The dreadful Covid-19 pandemic continues to alter all plans. It’s already put students through months of distance learning, and now it’s going to rob them of the holiday fun!

Good if you’ll at least be home with your family to have a socially distanced celebration — but if not? How will you manage to avoid feeling lonely and miserable?

Well, there are some tips. Read on to find out.

Be Grateful for What You Have

One of the most common suggestions on how to avoid feeling miserable this holiday season is to embrace the situation and learn to be grateful. If you feel downhearted, think of all the things that you have and should be grateful for.

You most likely have a family, and even if you’re temporarily away from your relatives, they’re still always there for you. You’re a college student, and that’s a privilege — it means that you’re going to get a higher education that will increase your chances of landing a good job.

If you find it hard to remember all the good things in your life, start a gratitude journal. Besides being a good means to lift your spirits, it will also help you hone your writing skills.

Get Ready for the Next Semester

The fall semester is over — but the spring one is coming soon! We’re not encouraging you to entirely forget about holidays and to study non-stop. But devoting at least some time to preparing for the next academic quarter is not a bad idea.

There are lots of things you can do to make the second half of this troubled academic year easier if you start thinking about it. For example, you can:

  • Revise the topics that you feel you hadn’t fully grasped
  • Find an online tutor to help you with the subject you have problems with
  • Pick the best writer at essay writer service to handle your academic papers
  • Buy new textbooks that you know you’ll need next semester.

All these little tasks will undoubtedly distract your mind, and you won’t have the time to feel lonely.

Learn Something New

The idea of spending your winter break learning something else can seem strange. But in fact, it’s one of the best things you can do in such a situation. You can choose anything that will distract you from your usual routine, but our advice is to pick something that isn’t purely theoretical and involves creativity.

Here are a few ideas of what you can try:

  • Drawing or painting
  • Singing or playing a musical instrument
  • Sewing
  • Cooking, and more.

Catch Up On Sleep

Sleep deprivation can cause loneliness, research suggests. So, don’t be surprised if you feel lonely and depressed after your finals: you’ve probably hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for weeks! During all this time, your thoughts were all about how to pass an exam, and then another one …

But now, when this crazy race in the name of the good grade is over, it’s time to catch up on all those lost hours. And you don’t need any company for sleeping, do you?

Engage in Winter Sports

Doing sports helps produce endorphins — the magic hormones that make people feel happier — and reading a book is also good for one’s health. So, don’t think twice about engaging in any kind of active winter pastime — skiing, skating, snowboarding, or anything else you have a knack for.

Besides, it’s easier to stay physically distant outdoors, so you can call your friends for company. And if they’re reluctant to go, you can always find new company on a rink, on a skiing trail, or a snowboarding track. Just don’t be shy when it comes to making new acquaintances!

Volunteer for a Cause

‘Loneliness makes us hyper self-focused’, says Dr. Kory Floyd, college professor and author of The Loneliness Cure: Six Strategies for Finding Real Connections in Your Life. This, he suggests, can lead people to deeper problems like starting to question their self-worth. Ultimately, it leads to the dangerous idea that we present no value to others.

One of the best ways to take the focus off your ego when you’re feeling lonely is to start helping others. Take an example from Brad Pitt: the Hollywood star, who’s presumably going through difficult times, was recently noticed handing out boxes of food to low-income families in LA.

Of course, you can choose any other charity that your heart warms to, from pet-sitting for an elderly neighbour to helping out at a homeless shelter.

Stay Connected No Matter What

Even if you’re not going home this winter, not seeing your friends or inviting them over to your place, if you’re staying away from celebratory parties, concerts, movies, and other fun activities — you can still stay connected.

You still can reach out to your relatives and friends via phone, email, teleconferencing, and messengers, and share the holiday mood. If you’re weary of being online, take a pen or a piece of paper, write an idea letter, and send it by that old-fashioned mail. Or you can even go further and draw a postcard!

One more way to share the holiday joy is to Say It With Santa. Just leave a message on the project’s website, and Santa himself will pass it on to whoever you choose.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we’ve given you enough ideas on how to stay positive, spend your winter holidays effectively, and not give in to bad feelings. However, not all of them might work for you because every person is unique.

If you feel like you’re not coping well on your own, ask for professional help, preferably at your campus counselling center. And above all, remember: everyone is having a bad time this year — you’re definitely not alone!


Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash