By Student Champion: Victoria Cornelio
The coming of the winter break is sadly not the end of term, and with assignments still left to do, it can be hard to forget to enjoy yourself during this time. However, Tis the Season to take your mind off university for a little bit, and I have the perfect “Wellbeing Dates for the Winter Break” to help you. All of these dates are great fun with friends, or for spending quality time with yourself!
Picnic in a Park
Okay, I know it is freezing out there and the last thing you want is to leave your cozy blankets. However, a sunny day in wet-Bristol during the winter is such a beautiful thing, it would be great if you enjoyed it. This idea works both as a solo-date or with company. Just grab some snacks, drinks, a nice blanket to lie on the grass and a thick blanket to keep you warm and enjoy the sunset or stargazing. My personal favourite places are:
- Brandon Hill: The slopes make it a perfect place to get a full view of the city below and a nice sunset at the horizon.
- The Downs: although not great for sunsets always, benefit from the little light pollution in this side of town and enjoy a clear night sky and a vast space to set up a picnic and some nice music.
- Clifton Suspension Bridge: My ultimate favorite because it has an amazing view of both the sunset and the night sky. The contrast of the stars with the bridge lit up is quite an experience!
Disclaimer: Make sure to dress accordingly to the cold and stay alert and safe as these places tend to be a bit more isolated.
Bristol’s transport links give you endless possibilities to spend a day away. Go to Bath and find some inspo of what to do here, from ice skating to going to various unique museums or catching a comedy or theatre show, there is sure to be something for you to enjoy. Another idea is taking a trip to Cardiff for the day, and exploring the many options the city holds. Look here to book some day trip options, or make your itinerary with activities of your choosing.
Fancy something else? Stay closer to the city and visit Thornbury instead. This little market town, better-known for its castle and parks, is a great getaway from the city and into a little magic town. You can also go to Weston SuperMare on a sunny day and enjoy a nice walk around the city and meal by the beach. Visit some of Weston’s unique museums and get in touch with the history of this coastal city.
Facemasks night (not those ones!)
As with all of these options, feel free to do them with friends or by yourself. I find there is a great feeling on doing your skincare routine with some wine, snacks and then cozy up to binge watch a show or movie. On the other hand, having a social night with friends, and doing your skincare together paired with some old school karaoke – that was my 20th birthday party in a nutshell actually – is also a very fun experience. So whichever idea you vibe most with, head over to Boots, Superdrug, the Body Shop, Lush or get your products online, get snacks and drinks and take the night for some selfcare.
*Disclaimer: make sure to drink responsibly, have a meal before, or switch out wine for your drink of preference (Facemasks and Tea also has a good ring to it) Also, beware that skin types vary and some procedures/products may be harmful to some. *
Personally, this is how my Facemask nights go if it’s of any help:
- Start with pouring something nice to drink and using a makeup remover / micellar water to prep your skin.
- Then, wash your face with a scrub soap to get all the dirt out of your pores, and rinse with warm water.
- Pat-dry your face and apply the first facemask – I like a cleansing mask at this point, to take advantage of your stimulated pores and get all remaining impurities out of the way.
- After the time of the mask has passed, most of the time 10 to 15 minutes, wash of the mask with warm water and move on to a nose strip.
- Make sure you’ve topped your glass off here and remove your nose strip carefully as to avoid any hurting yourself.
- Next, wash your face with soap (any is fine, but if you have one for your face specifically that’s great) or apply toner to liberate your skin from any residual products.
- Lastly, put on your night cream or moisturizer (pro-tip water based if you have oily skin), and put on some lip balm or lip moisturizer, and you’re all set to carry on with binge watching or karaoke.
The most obvious in this little guide, but something I recommend strongly, get out of your comfort zone (literally), and explore Bristol. There are many things happening around the city that you might be unaware will be your new favourite pass time.
- Walk around Gloucester Road: We all know what it is, but how many of us have actually gone and explored the extents of this street. Best of Bristol have compiled a list of 129 things to do on Gloucester Road, so even if you have been already, you are sure to find something new to try in this compilation.
- Have you been to Bedminster? The BS3 postcode is better known for its busy North Street and Windmill Hill City Farm which has Free entrance for everyone. Find other things to do here.
- Take the walk to Ashton: Right Now, until the 24th, run over to Ashton Estate and enjoy the beautiful Light Up Bristol Make It a whole day thing, and go play Golf, FootGolf or DiscGolf at Ashton Court for a nice day out around Ashton. Also, make sure to check the activities calendar at Ashton Stadium and maybe catch a game or show.
- Enjoy by the Harbourside: Although a great place for drinks and parties, the harbour harbors (I had to make the pun, sorry), some of the best attractions in Bristol. Check out the We the Curious Museum, the M Shed, Bristol Aquarium, and of course, 2018 worst rated spoons in Bristol, the V-Shed.
- Step into the past at Avon Valley Railway: This little area feels like an original local country station, perfect for instagrammable pics and enjoying a day out in a restored Victorian old town.
And yeah, I hope you do take my word for it and enjoy some time out and about, making the most of your break. I know with assessments and assignments coming in January, it’s hard to fully let your guard down, but remember to take time off because Tis the Season to take care of you!
Enjoy your Winter Break with these Wellbeing Dates, or any way that helps you disconnect and relax. It is important to stay on top of your mental health and wellbeing first and foremost.
There are lots of resources available to you if you need help over the holidays. Our Winter wellness page has lots of useful information or you can check out the support in the holidays page if you are looking for more advice and University opening times during the break.