Health and Wellbeing

Christmas Survival Guide Part 4 – Top tips for staying healthy and positive over the holidays

Having to spend the Christmas holidays at university can be hard, especially if you are usually at home with family. Our 6 part Christmas Survival Guide should help you to banish those winter blues…


The Christmas holidays are pretty renowned for being a time when people can become a bit bogged down with the cold and wintery weather, with many people suffering from colds and flu. It’s important to look after yourself during this period and make sure your wellbeing is still a priority. Here we provide some tips for staying healthy and positive over the holidays.


Keep active

I know that’s its cold and possibly wet (we are in Wales) but that is no excuse. Wrap up warm and get moving. For those of you who usually hit the gym, this is no time to neglect your membership, get your trainers on and work up a sweat. Not only will you feel much better for it, it will raise your heartbeat and therefore your temperature (no more feeling cold). Don’t forget to check the opening times for your gym, just in case they change during the holidays. The university gym will close on the 23rd December at 3pm and reopen on the 4th January at 9am, other than that the gym will be open same as normal. If the gym isn’t your thing, the local park is a great place for a festive stroll, you could even walk via the winter wonderland and have a nice warm drink to get rid of those winter chills. Or alternatively for something a little bit different, give ice skating a go, for more details see the Christmas survival guide part 1.


Maintain a healthy balanced diet

Yes, I know it’s the words some people dread to hear over Christmas. I’m not saying avoid any foods you would normally enjoy, I mean it’s Christmas, you’ve got to allow yourself some treats. What I am saying is remember to maintain a balanced and nutritional diet over the holidays, if you are unsure what to eat and where to shop, refer back to our previous post about eating healthy on a budget. It contains all the necessary information you need to not only eat healthily and feed your brain, but it also tells you how to do this without breaking the bank. When you are thinking of what to indulge in for a Christmas treat, do check back to the festive recipes blog.

e Mindful

I think the concept of mindfulness is still an emerging topic, so for those of you who haven’t heard of mindfulness, it s is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Anyone can learn and practice mindfulness and ultimately it can help you achieve a healthier, happier life. To find out more visit the BeMindful website. You can also download a number of apps that help you practice mindfulness, like head space for example. If you do find yourself being one of the only people in your house to be spending Christmas in Cardiff, utilize this time, make the most of the peace and quiet, and give mindfulness a go!



Stay warm and wrap up

This may seem like a bit of an obvious one, but it’s easy to underestimate how cold it is and how easily you can catch a cold. Don’t forget to wrap up warm, both inside and outside. It is recommended that you layer with many thin items of clothing in order to trap heat in the body. This’ll keep you warmer than one thick layer. Perhaps invest in thermal leggings, which can be bought cheaply online. You may think you look silly, but no one will see them under your clothes and it may save you getting ill. Also it is a good idea to buy a hot water bottles, they are the age old solution to those wintery nights. You can pick one up from Primark for about £5. Remember to use a cover so you don’t burn yourself.


You can find more advice on staying healthy during the winter season in Winter Health on the NHS website.


Even more ideas for you

We hope this blog post has given you some ideas on staying healthy and positive. Please read our other blogs for even more ideas, these will be published here and include:

  • Activities and things to do over the holidays – Christmas Survival Guide Part 1
  • Top tips for combatting homesickness – Christmas Survival Guide Part 2
  • Festive Recipes – Christmas Survival Guide Part 3
  • The mobile apps you need this holiday – Christmas Survival Guide Part 5
  • Need someone to talk to? – Christmas Survival Guide Part 6


Share your ideas and tell us what you’ll be doing this Christmas

Tweet us or post to our Facebook page and share with us and your fellow students what you’ll be doing over the festive period, and if they can, how students can get involved.



Season’s greetings

Annie, Student Intern


Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.



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