Staying entertained and happy over the holidays

Staying entertained and happy over the holidays

As we approach the holidays, we want to ensure everyone feels safe, supported and resourced. If you are staying on campus over the holiday, it may be that many of your friends are departing just as the nights draw in. Some of you may be unable to travel home despite wanting to, while others may feel they have to go home when they would prefer to stay at university.

Good things going on

If you are staying local be sure to book your place now for the social events on 27 and 28 December in Rees Hall being organised by the International Student Advisers. There are plenty of other things happening in Portsmouth to keep you entertained over the Christmas break including social events throughout December. There is a richly stocked public library full of interesting books, ebooks and magazines and more from fiction to philosophy that you can borrow as a student that only closes 24-26 December and on 1 January.

The University Library also boasts a small fiction collection shelved in the 810-820s, up the wooden staircase on the second (top) floor. You can read hundreds of varied magazines through PressReader (read the “how to log in” guide) and stream indie movies, classic films and documentaries through Kanopy all for free courtesy of the University Library.

Sometimes you just want someone to talk to because you feel lonely or are just not okay. It’s okay not to be okay and there is always someone there to help.

Don’t keep worries to yourself

A problem shared is a problem halved. If anything is bothering you now, please call the Student Wellbeing Service and ask for an advice session. These are offered on a first come first served basis and are often offered the same day. A skilled advisor will help you look your problems in new ways and find any more specialised help and advice you might need. Call the Student Wellbeing Service on 023 9284 3466 from 8.30 am to request an appointment up until Friday 22 December. This service will resume in the new year from Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Kooth is another free, live 24/7 text-based service in Portsmouth for anyone up to the age of 25. You can have a one-off chat with a counsellor, take part in online forums with peers, access self-help resources, and set up ongoing counselling online.

Support in Crisis

The University’s Support in a crisis page tells you everything you need to know if you feel desperate, unsafe or otherwise urgently need help. Your mental health is every bit as important as your physical health. You will not be wasting anyone’s time – you matter.

Getting help over the festive period

If you are staying in Portsmouth over the break, you can get emergency advice and support from Res Life and the Chaplaincy. Call the Security Lodge on 023 9284 3418 and ask to speak to the on-call Chaplain or to Res Life.

You can also call the national Student Space helpline between 3-12 pm on 0808 189 5260. Student Space from Student Minds also offer 24/7 access to text support and web chat.

You can also email Res Life or the Chaplaincy. The chaplains will be checking their inbox ( every morning and will respond to any requests that cannot wait until the start of the new term. Res Life ( will answer any emails they receive on or after Tuesday 2 January 2024.

Self-help resources

You might also find some of the many self-help resources available from Student Space useful, including:

·  Making the most of your time at home
·  If you’re going home for Christmas but don’t want to
·  Staying at university over the Christmas break
·  The role of sunlight in your wellbeing
·  Preparing to go back to university

Students have also discussed their experiences dealing with the winter break on the Student Minds Blog:
·  The Family Conundrum – Artemis
·  Seasonal Affective Disorder – beginning to prepare for the winter – Emily
·  Mental Health over Christmas – Tazmin
·  Give the gift of self-care this Christmas – Grace

So, if you feel lonely, unwell or distressed, there is always help on hand. And if you are just starting to get bored and restless, there are plenty of things to occupy your attention!

h/t Sara Gomez-Villa, Senior Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences for inspiring this post.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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