Coping with a Wide Range of Emotions During Winter Break

December 15, 2019 Martha Lueck

Students often feel a wide range of emotions during winter break. You probably think of winter break as a blissful, free, much-needed time to forget about school. Perhaps you binge-watch shows and movies on Netflix, make daily plans to hang out with friends or enjoy a vacation somewhere warm. This is the picture-perfect winter break. While many students do enjoy these luxuries, this is not the case for everyone. To learn about the wide range of emotions during winter break and tips to cope with them, read this article.

Why You May Feel a Range of Emotions During Winter Break

Why might you feel a wide range of emotions during winter break and the days leading to it? Right before winter break, the thrill of leaving school behind and the anticipation for several weeks of freedom create positive feelings. Unfortunately, some students struggle with how to use that freedom. Some students have friends who can hang out all the time. Others do not have many friends, or the friends they do have might go on vacation. With days, weeks, or (for some) months of free time, new and unexpected events can trigger emotion changes. School is one less distraction from dealing with these feelings.

Four Feelings You Might Experience

  1. Relief: With final exams out of the way, many students feel relieved. Perhaps winter break officially marks the end of your first semester of college. This is especially relieving, as you realize that you are one step closer to graduation.
  2. Excitement: During and/or a little after the stage of relief, you are probably really excited just to spend time with friends. If you or a family member booked a vacation, you can finally enjoy a new adventure ("How I Travel and Vacation with Depression").
  3. Boredom: After the excitement wears off, you might find yourself wondering what is next. This is especially the case right after the New Year. If your winter break lasts several weeks into January, many of your friends might go back to school. Now that you had so much time to enjoy your freedom, you might feel as though there is nothing else to do.
  4. Nostalgia: In the midst of boredom, you might wonder why you do not feel that same excitement you felt as a child. Maybe you recall winter breaks being packed full of fun things to do. You wish that you could go back to having that much fun again ("How to Enjoy Life and Have Fun While Coping with Depression"). If you are in your first year of college, your winter break will probably be longer than it was in high school. So you might miss some of your college friends.

Coping Techniques for the Negative Range of Emotions

The range of emotions is different for everyone. You might not experience all of them. Your entire winter break could be enjoyable. But please know that even if this is not the case, it is okay. Feelings are ever-changing. If you start to feel bored and/or lonely, here are some things you can do.

  • Think about what you enjoyed the most during winter break. If you can do something by yourself, it might be worth one more try before school starts again.
  • Contact your long-distance friends or family members via text or a phone call.
  • Write a list of fun things you might have forgotten about. Do as many of them as you can.
  • If you are really bored, get a head start on the next semester.

If you have any tips about ways to cope with negative emotions during winter break, please share in the comments.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2019, December 15). Coping with a Wide Range of Emotions During Winter Break, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 12 from

Author: Martha Lueck

Find Martha on Facebook and Medium.

Lizanne Corbit
December, 16 2019 at 12:35 pm

I think this is a gentle, honest read that many can benefit from reading. The holidays are filled with expectations and assumptions in so many regards, especially when it comes to feelings (and how we're "supposed" to or "should" feel), which can come with a great deal of pressure. Recognizing that the holiday break and season may not purely hold feelings of bliss and joy is human and whole.

Leave a reply