Beating the Winter Doldrums
Why does it seem like the shortest month of the year is actually the longest? It could be because of those cold, short winter days that encourage us to cocoon in our homes. However, the best ways to fight off the winter blues involve getting out!
- Do not discount the importance of natural light. Lift those shades – in your workplace, classroom, and homes. The decreased sunlight can affect us physically as well as emotionally. So many children get on a bus in the dark and arrive home in the dark –you may provide the only opportunity for natural light. If you can combine that with some outdoor activity, even better for both of you!
- Set a post-winter goal – for yourself and/or the youth that you work with. Putting a date on the calendar 6 weeks out will teach goal-setting for those around you, as well as allowing all of you to count down until the end of this season.
- Increase opportunities for social interaction. Although it feels like you want to nestle in with a blanket and a good book, forcing yourself to interact with others will help you maintain a sense of emotional well-being and balance. Encourage activities amongst children that allow for working together, rich discussion, and creativity.
Don’t dismiss the importance of outdoor physical activity. Although it may seem burdensome to put on the layers needed to play or walk in the snow, it is critical for all ages to get some fresh air, exercise, and relieve that feeling we get when we have been cooped up too long!! The chill in the air and opportunity to exert yourself settles your mind, as well as your body.