The Winter break can be a difficult time for many of us, and this year in particular might feel extra challenging. However, there are lots of support services still available for you to access over the holidays as well as our #WinterWithCUSU campaign. Read on for our tips on getting through a tricky winter period, as well as support services available.
Top Tips This Winter
- 'Family' is who you want it to be:
For some of us, including care leavers and estranged students, it can be difficult to hear conversations or see adverts/imagery promoting a 'Traditional Family Christmas'. Especially when people ask questions about who you are spending Christmas with. Remember, we all have very different family situations. Don't feel pressured to spend time with people who aren't good for your wellbeing. 'Family' can include anyone you care about, including friends, pets or people in your community!
- If you don't want to celebrate - That's okay!:
Not everyone wants to celebrate during the winter period, especially if you have negative memories associated with this time of year, or you just don't feel in right place emotionally. You get decide what you want to do this winter, don't feel pressured to make plans that you don't really want to do. If you're not really sure how you feel, then take it slow, making sure you're thinking of your wellbeing as much as the wellbeing of others.
- Find YOUR healthy balance:
Though it's really important to keep in touch with people in our lives that make us feel good - Don't exhaust yourself trying to keep in touch with everyone! The winter break can feel like sensory overload - Let people know if you need some time out. Having time for yourself is just as important as socialising. Keep an eye on our #WinterWithCUSU campaign, for some alternative and virtual socialising this winter.
- Keep things in perspective:
During the holidays we can put ourselves under a lot of emotional and financial pressure to have the perfect winter break, and to 'improve' ourselves in New Year. Try to avoid comparing yourself to others, especially on social media where reality is often distorted! Try not to dwell too much on the past, or worry about what the next year might hold. Try to be present in the moment (Exercises like mindfulness can help with this!)
- Never feel embarrassed to reach out:
If you're finding this time especially challenging, you're feeling isolated or you find yourself in an unsafe situation where you need support. Then don't wait till the holidays are over to reach out to get the support you need. You are not alone, there are people who do understand, and support is available.
Resources and Support
Want to do something great this Christmas? You can support the 'Become' Care Leavers Christmas Appeal by making a donation or sharing the campaign.