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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

With Christmas only about two weeks away, the 2021-2022 Winter Season is off to an official start. From drinking hot chocolates at the night to strolling the streets of Tokyo to view the famous illuminations spots, the Winter season is generally festive mostly spent with family and friends. 

However, due to the recent emergence and spread of the new Omicron variant, many nations have now once again started to reinforce border regulations and quarantine rules, once again leaving many stranded and away from family. Japan, for example, has re-closed its borders to new visa applications and the government has also asked all airlines to not take any new reservations until the end of the year. Furthermore, quarantine regulations have also been tightened. 

Not only can the foreign residents not go back to their home countries for the holidays this season, many students and workers are now also unable to come back to Japan. It is never easy to spend holidays away from family and friends and can also result in feeling depressive or saddening moods. 

One way to prevent these feelings from emerging is to go out. I know going out alone isn’t exactly the most fun thing ever, however you will be surprised how much you will enjoy time by yourself. Of course, if you have friends or even some family around with you, then spending time with them is the best, however, going out alone will also allow you to spend time entirely up to your taste. For example, exploring hotspots or just simply exploring the city you live in is a great idea. Due to classes and assignments, we often don’t get the time we need to truly see every corner of the city we live in and this upcoming winter season is a great time to do that. It will also be a great time for you to mentally heal from stress and allow you to take a break from your homework and assignments. Spending quality time alone is never a bad idea and will only be beneficial to you in the end. 

Another recommendation I have is watching movies with your family simultaneously online. There are now many services where you could either share the screen through Zoom or hold a Netflix Party. You will be getting to watch a great movie and at the same time be watching it with your family and chatting about it. 

You could also pick a great book or watch movies or tv shows online at your local coffee shop. Although you will be alone, you will be surrounded by plenty of people who may be going through the same problem as you. Furthermore, cafés offer a comfortable and cozy alternative to your house, and hearing the background music of people coming in and by might make you feel not alone. 

The most important thing this winter season is to make sure to thoroughly enjoy ourselves, despite the situations and regardless of how we are spending it, and take a mental break from our everyday lives. 

Maanya Choudhary

ICU Japan '24

Hi I'm Maanya, currently studying Media Communication and Culture at ICU. I'm from India but I've lived in Japan my entire life. I love reading and writing!
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