After what’s been a rather challenging year for everyone, I think most people were excited for the festive time to relax and indulge a little. Now the festive period is over, I have some suggestions to avoid those January blues and stay uplifted.

Firstly, a few points to help with your safe return to university.

5 tips to stay uplifted

1. Get Organised

When I returned to uni this September, I wanted to get organised and spend my time wisely. I bought a diary where I wrote down small tasks for each day, as well as making sure I set time to relax! With term 1 ending soon, stay focused on those upcoming deadlines and prepare for the work you need to complete.

It can be difficult to adjust back into a routine of suddenly being back at university and needing to crack on with work after being at home and having a break! A diary has really helped me and it’s satisfying to tick off all the things you get done.

Setting New Year's resolutions can be a little cliche, but I find it so rewarding to set a few small achievable goals that I want to complete. They can help you focus and because they can be tiny goals they are easy to manage and achieve. Perhaps you can set goals about your own growth, happiness, career, friendships or health?

2. Decorate on a budget

My flatmates and I visited Wilko and B&M during Halloween and Christmas to get some decorations to decorate our flat. We bought decorations for a small cost, and split it between us. Although the Christmas decorations are now taken down, we’ve replaced them with bunting and a few plants in our kitchen. Something as small as this can have surprising benefits to make where you live feel a little more homely.

3. Organise a Flat Meal

My flatmates and I organised a fake Christmas Day where we gave each other our Secret Santa presents, watched Christmas movies, had a Christmas dinner and indulged on too many chocolates. If you didn’t get the chance to do this it’s never too late to celebrate with your housemates – it can be a lovely gesture to welcome you all back to uni and living together if you didn’t spend Christmas together. 

We went to Asda to buy all the food we needed, and it didn’t cost more than around £6 per person! My flatmate and I oversaw cooking the dinner, and all I can recommend is to make sure you get your timings correct! We’re hoping to make it a tradition to have a Sunday roast together, or even just to eat together more often. It’s something I would recommend and is a great pick me up for during the week.

4. Get out and about

I find going for walks with my friends really helpful to switch off for a bit. My favourite spots to visit are Southsea, Canoe Lake, Old Portsmouth and also walking further along to Eastney beach. There are lots of beautiful places to explore in Portsmouth so I’m trying to make the most of living by the beach!

I love going to the gym but as it’s closed I’ve been doing workouts with my housemates found through Instagram and on Youtube (this is a great account on Youtube with funny dance workouts).

When covid restrictions allowed us to, I got the train with my housemates to Southampton (which takes around 40 minutes to an hour) and had a great day so would recommend it! This year I set this as a little goal as I wanted to explore more of what was in and around Portsmouth, and have so far been to Southampton and Winchester. It’s easy to forget all the places around you when you go to uni, so try to make the most of it.

5. Support local businesses! 

I was excited to suggest that local theatres need support more than ever after facing huge difficulties from the current climate. Sadly due to lockdown they are closed, but you can look into booking for shows in future months.

We can still support other local businesses during lockdown, such as shopping online, ordering from local small businesses (I love the shops on Marmion Road and Elm Grove, especially Rose Clover the flower shop!), using takeaway services and leaving reviews when you visit these local shops. Any small contribution we can make can help massively!

Finally, stay in touch with those at home and your friends and family. It’s so important to keep in contact with one another especially at times like these.

Thank you for reading! Speak soon, Sam.

I find going for walks with my friends really helpful to switch off for a bit. My favourite spots to visit are Southsea, Canoe Lake, Old Portsmouth and also walking further along to Eastney beach.
Sam Watkins, Student blogger