From picking up a hobby to reconnecting with old friends, Eilis Walsh gives us her list of the top things to do to help you relax after those dreaded Christmas exams.
The University of Limerick had its Christmas exams before the holidays which I think is the best way to go about it. 
 
Every college student knows what the two weeks before exams usually entails: an unnatural amount of hours spent in the library when you normally wouldn’t, loss of a social life and a lot of unnecessary snapping at people for no reason.
 
You really need to escape from the books for a while. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing the most complicated course you can do, with an ungodly amount of hours. You need a break! Otherwise you will burn yourself out. 
 
I planned to completely de-stress over the holidays by doing a number of things. I picked up old hobbies, reconnected with family, explored my home place and read some books.
 
Hobbies
For me, this is blogging. I planned to focus my spare time on doing something that made me happy, writing. 
 
For you, this may be playing a sport you had to give up while studying for the exams. It’s a great way to de-stress, to loosen your muscles and to have a good time. When you exercise your body releases endorphins which cause you to be happy. This is a good thing. 
 
Maybe you’re not into sports and perhaps you’d like to spend time playing a game on Xbox/Playstation that you’ve been craving to play for ages. You know yourself better than anyone, so pick something that makes you happy. 
 
We all know that exam stress brings out the worst in us, so choose something that makes you feel good.
 
Reconnect with family and friends 
If you are like me and you live two hours away from your university of choice, then you won’t be at home as often you might like. I spent many weekends up in Limerick hanging out with friends or getting work done. 
 
You actually miss out on a lot of family memories I feel. So I decided to spend lots of time with my family relaxing in the sitting room and catching up. 
 
Many of my friends and I also had to separate as we all went to different colleges, so you should put aside time to meet up with school friends so you don’t lose your close friendships. 
 
Laughter is great way to de-stress, and spending time with both friends and family does just that.
 
Spend time outside 
For a lot of people, the older you get the more time you spend inside. I found myself spending a crazy amount of time inside, whether that was studying in the library or keeping away from the icy, cold weather we’ve been having in Limerick. 
 
You’d be surprised how much better you’ll feel after spending even twenty minutes outside. I live in the countryside so I can lose myself completely in a traffic-less world. Even if you live in the city, a walk will do you the world of good.
 
These are the main ways that helped me to de-stress over the Christmas break. There are many more things you can do, but I suggest doing these. Then you’ll be refreshed enough to resume working next semester.