Life&Style writer Maisie McCormick outlines her fun and festive ideas for nights in during winter
2020 has been a difficult year for everyone but especially students, with around 73% of students saying that their mental health has declined during lockdown. We are facing a second lockdown, uncertainty surrounding the Christmas holidays and now seasonal darkness. It is important to look after our mental health now more than ever and take time out of busy schedules to relax and recuperate. Here is my list of suggestions for maintaining your mental health now that evenings are darker earlier:
A great way to blow off some steam is a fun evening as a house belting out songs until your voice is croaky and unrecognisable. My housemates and I tried out an app called Singa this weekend which has access to over 80,000 songs. We connected a phone to some speakers, had a mojito to ease the stage fright and then all sang some random but incredible songs. From ‘Sweet Caroline’ to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, High School Musical to A Star is Born, the app was a fun way to spend some quality time as a house and perform a concert in the kitchen.
Whether you would prefer to do this as a house or alone, taking an evening out to just relax and unwind is a self-care essential. You could paint your fingernails and toenails, put a facemask on and watch a feel-good film on Netflix or even a Christmas film if you are feeling festive. This is just a simple but great way to properly try and ease the stress of everyday life as a university student.
For me, nothing says taking a day off from work and responsibilities like binge-watching a movie or television series. My housemates and I recently watched the Planet of the Apes series and it was nice to look forward to the next instalment during a long day of work.
Arts and Crafts
A new self-care way to look after my mental health includes paint by numbers. They are easy to order online and are not very expensive. There is something very therapeutic for me about organised painting and watching the picture all come together. Other crafts which you could do are crocheting, decorating your room with doodles or decorating baubles for the Christmas tree.
‘Come Dine With Me’
Why don’t you show off your cooking and baking skills by holding a come dine with me evening? You could take it in turns to cook for the house and even make it a competition – perhaps the worst chef has to do a forfeit like taking out the bins for the rest of the term.
Reaching out to friends
If you are feeling lonely or down, you could facetime your friend from home or a relative that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Organise a Netflix watch party together or just have a chat about your days and take the time to enjoy the moment and unwind.
If you are worried about your mental health, it’s important to speak somebody. Here are some useful websites:
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