How to Survive the Holidays: College Edition

How to Survive the Holidays: College Edition

Welcome back one and all to

our holiday survival guide!


This week’s post is for those of you out there who are trying to navigate passing finals, finishing the semester, moving, and surviving the holidays all at once.

Otherwise known as “college”.

This applies to those in undergrad, post grad, or doctorate level. There are just some similarities between all of them – primarily the stress level and the amount that is added to your plate late November through December every year.

Below are three guideposts specifically for you guys. I hope these help during this season and you are able to achieve the goal of not just surviving, but thriving.

 

Guidepost 1: Rest

The majority of individuals in college don’t have a problem with realizing how long their to-do list is during this time. What actually ends up being the problem is the lack of rest.

Your body needs rest, and no, 3 hours a night does not count, especially when you are living on coffee and red bull the next day.

As you are finishing finals over the next week and beginning to enter holiday mode 2.0, my encouragement is that you implement time to rest. Try allowing yourself to sleep for 6-8 hours at least one night. Have breaks during the day where you can walk, read, or just take a mental break. In order to function at its optimal level, your brain needs time to decompress. 

 

Guidepost 2: Nourish

You need food and water.

Yes, I know that seems self-explanatory. 

However, when our schedules get crazy, one of the first things to go (besides sleep) is adequate nourishment for our bodies. We start upping the caffeine intake, lessening the amount of water, and eating a full meal becomes a rarity. How much better do you think you would feel if you had food throughout the day and water to drink?

So let’s see what it would look like to change that.

Instead of picking a random goal, such as cooking three meals from scratch daily starting tomorrow, let’s pick one that is attainable. If you set goals that are easier to meet at first, it actually ends up encouraging you to keep going. If you set the goal too high at first and don’t successfully complete it, discouragement is the primary result. What would be an attainable, appropriate goal to set here? I would break it up so you have one for food and one for water.

 

Guidepost 3: Joyful movement 

Movement does wonders for the body, especially when dealing with a lot of stress or coming out of a stressful time. 

This doesn’t mean you need to go buy a gym membership and start tomorrow. Joyful movement isn’t based on weight loss, calories, or expectations. It is just movement that you enjoy. A leisurely walk, roller blading, yoga, dance, gardening, swimming in the ocean (it’s hot here in Florida), or walking the dog. All of these are examples of movement that can bring joy with no pressure. 

Meditative movement is also very helpful. This is movement you can do while letting your mind wander or focus on specific sensations in your body. I find both can be powerful. Sometimes for my walks, I just allow my mind to go. It allows me time to think through all of the million thoughts that are coming in at once. The walking helps my brain process them as well since my body is now involved. Other times, focusing on my body and the intentional relaxation of it is what is needed. This requires slowing down, deep breathing, and intentional thoughts. 

 

Guidepost 4: Celebrate 

Definitely couldn’t leave this one out!

Please celebrate.

You have worked so hard this past semester to finish so much. 

Pick something you enjoy – whether it be a specific place, people group, or food – and go!

 

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