Managing Your Mental Health During Winter Break

December 6, 2022

While the winter season can be a loving and joyful time, not every College student shares this experience. Whether it’s family concerns, fewer friends, or an overall concern for your mental health, lots of College students are experiencing the same thing. The good news? There’s a healthy way to deal with it.

For some college students, winter break is an exciting time to look forward to. You get to see your family and friends and be around your loved ones for an extended period. For others, however, it may be less exciting for those same reasons.

While the winter season is typically a loving and joyous time, some college students don’t look forward to it as others would. Whether it’s family concerns, fewer friends, or an overall concern for your mental health, lots of college students are experiencing the same thing. The good news? There’s a healthy way to deal with it. 

In the 1980s, Psychologist P.O. Perretti conducted a study on 420 Chicago-area College students to understand their thoughts better as it got closer to winter break. Three of the most common themes prevalent throughout the study were loneliness, anxiety, and helplessness.

Taking care of your mental health as a college student is vital, as it can contribute to your performance academically, professionally, and socially. Below you can find a few tips on navigating various situations while home for Winter Break to maintain a healthy mental life.

Have Difficult Conversations Early

While mom and dad mean well, living up to academic expectations can sometimes be challenging, especially as a first-generation college student or only child. University Health News reports that one of the biggest causes of holiday depression symptoms is unrealistic expectations. Winter break can be challenging for many people due to this, but it’s important to remember that everyone’s academic journey is different. 

To help prepare for these conversations, consider speaking with your parents/family before your return home to voice your concerns surrounding these topics. Additionally, thinking of different coping mechanisms, such as breathing exercises or speaking freely to those you can confide in, can assist in alleviating stress. Bringing awareness of your concerns to your family before you head home can help ease your nerves and anxiety as the break approaches.

Reconnect With Old Friends

The winter season is the perfect time to rebuild old friendships and mend broken ones. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your high-school best friend or your old workout buddy when you’re home for break. You may be surprised they miss the friendship as much as you do!

Keep a broad perspective on the winter season. The break is short; exercise self-care. Enjoy the downtime you have to gear up for a successful spring semester. The stillness of the cold air heightens each of the senses, making the little details of a glimmering blanket of snow or a cardinal’s song even more inspiring. Focus on all the good energy that the winter season brings.

Boynton Health is taking care of  you, even during the winter break. If you need to speak with a mental health professional, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Boynton Mental Health by clicking the button below.

Schedule Your Appointment at Boynton Health

If you require emergency mental health services, don't hesitate to get in touch with our 24/7 Crisis line at 612-301-4673 or text “UMN” to 61222.

Take about one minute and practice this breathing exercise, you can use it whenever you’re stressed or anxious.


Written by Domonique Green , Edited by Maurice Perkins 

Last Spring, Forest and Natural Resource Management major Lauren Thompson constantly found herself on the go. Despite her busy schedule, Thompson began experiencing wrist pain, making the things she loved very difficult. 

Busy schedules can render healthcare a low priority to many people these days. Even if something is wrong, treatment is often put off until the situation becomes dire.

Achieving success in life is no easy feat, but ignoring your health will put you several steps behind. Implementing certain habits into your life will help you pursue a demanding career, maintain friendships, and live life to the fullest.