Getting the balance right over the festivities

Make your own traditions this festive period. Reduce the expectations upon yourself. Appreciate your small achievements.

As an OU student, we all have commitments that sometimes mean we cannot dedicate as much time as what we would like. When the holidays begin this means less time and more expectations. Well, I say stuff the expectations! Make your own holiday rules reduce the expectations upon yourself. If you want to not get dressed and eat trifle out of the bowl instead of a roast dinner be that person. Do not be afraid of being you! 

Personally, with my mental health, I often struggle with change and expectations. Putting that mask on and pretending everything is fine is hard and do you know what, I'm not thought of any better for it. I am studying 90 credits this year, work 25 hours a week but I do have a week where I do 36 hours. I have to run my own flat. I don't have much time but I don't let that sink me. In fact, it empowers me because I was always had the glass-half-empty outlook, always bringing myself down because of what I hadn't done instead of what I HAD done! 

So today I give you a request: Write a ''done'' list instead of "to-do" and appreciate everything you have achieved today. It's the small victories that keep us going. 

It might be something that seems irresponsible of me but I find not putting these expectations upon myself means I do not fixate on the things I haven't done and it increases my motivation to study. Self-care is very important over the holidays and if you don't want to celebrate at all feel free. Keep connected with others. Have a video chat game night. Do something different make your own traditions and own who you are. Be awesome and take care of you. Times change and so do people and traditions – it's time to make yours. Be different this year. Be the you that you always are. No expectations. Appreciate the small things. 


  1. Will you be making your own traditions this year?

    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Already have my own
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Stephanie Lee


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