Did you know Canada.. we have a guest post today from Trudy Abood, on how to help your child beat the winter blues.
When we think of children in the wintertime, we usually conjure up images of kids tobogganing, snow ball fights, snow angels, and building snowmen. Warm fuzzy feeling things like sipping hot cocoa by the fire also come to mind.
But unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Oftentimes it's too cold or wet to play outside, and families are too busy too sit down and relax long enough to enjoy some rest and relaxation. The kids end up sitting around the house, watching TV, playing video games, complaining about how bored they are, even of all their fancy new Christmas presents. This, by the way, could be part of the reason the rest of the winter seems so dull. All those fantastic gifts and yummy food, the sights and sounds, and the getting together drops suddenly away to the cold, grey days and long, dark nights.
Watch out for Seasonal Affective Disorder
If any of this sounds familiar, your child could be developing symptoms of what is know in adults as Seasonal Affective Disorder. It's been shown to occur in about 1 in 20 adults who live in regions which experience major seasonal shifts. While not as serious, SAD is a form of depression, and if you have concerns they should be addressed. For more info on SAD, click here.
What is important is to not take a day of feeling bored and down in the dumps and slap a label on it. More often than not it could just be a lack of energy or inspiration. People of all ages tend to move around less in the winter, and by doing so we tend to shut down a little. The same thing happens in kids. They maybe aren't quite as creative as usual when it comes to inventing ways to keep occupied. There are a few ways you can help.
The two biggies that go hand in hand are diet and exercise. I'm not talking about protein shakes and a workout, here, just good old fashioned nutrition and some steady active play. Be sure to keep the fruits and veggies readily available for snacks, as well as adding them to meals. They're full of all kinds of nutrients to help boost energy and keep the brain buzzing along.
Finding things to do
As for staying active, outdoor play when possible is obviously the best. But when the weather won't permit, encourage active indoor games like charades, or hide and seek. Anything to keep them moving a little bit helps. Another good way to keep kids active, if they're old enough, is having them help out with chores. Offering a slightly larger than usual incentive on one hand can get them moving, but also by having something exciting to look forward too you're helping to keep the mind active.
If possible, contact parents of other children and organize a group activity of some kind. Social interaction has been shown to improve activity levels and spark interest in new things. Whether it's a bunch of kids tobogganing or simply inside playing a board game, being around others helps to stimulate the mind and pass the time.
There are all kinds of ways to keep your kids active both mentally and physically in the cold winter months. For more tips, check around the web and ask other parents what kinds of things they do to keep their children busy. There's a chance you may benefit from a little interaction yourself!
About the author; Trudy is the VP of GourmetGiftBaskets.com, one of the top suppliers of quality gift baskets. She is a mom of 2 boys, one of which founded GGB and the other is also VP at the company. She formally owned Chalifour's Flowers in Manchester, NH; the largest flower shop in the state.