Barbara Johnson, guest contributor
As fun as winter can be for your child, it can also be a source of bad moods and negative behavior. The gloomy, snowy days can take a toll on both you and your child. However, there are a few things you can do to help your child combat the winter blues and even perk up your own mood along the way. Take note, though, if you are concerned that your child may be suffering from more than just a few gloomy days and has seasonal affective disorder (SAD) seek out professional medical attention.
Do Activities Together
Sometimes all your child needs is a little distraction to get their mind off of the sad weather and dark interior. Don’t limit yourself to playing board games and watching television though. This is time spent together but it isn’t always quality.
Find some crafts that you can try together and make your own holiday decorations. You can also play some active games indoors that will help spend some of that pent-up energy. Go on a scavenger hunt that leads to a movie theater themed evening indoors. Or test out a new cookie recipe with your child’s help. Share your treats with neighbors or friends. One of these activities can easily take up one afternoon.
Just because there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean that you can’t have outdoor adventures. In fact, it’s all the more reason to get out there, especially if you live in an area where snow is a rare commodity.
It can be a pain to bundle your child up just to discover they need to use the bathroom or they want to come inside after ten minutes. But if you can make it part of your routine to go outside a couple of times a week, you will surely notice the difference in your child. The cool, fresh air will do them good. Part of the problem with winter blues is feeling cooped up in one place for too long.
Get Out of the House
Winter driving is frightening for some people. But with a little preparation and courage, you can get out of the house for the afternoon and save your family some sanity. Sometimes all you need to cheer up your young one is a change of scenery.
Doing a fun family activity like ice skating, sledding, getting hot chocolate, or looking at Christmas lights is a good way to escape your home but keep everyone together. Noticing the fun aspects of winter and celebrating the cold can be a way to help your child’s mood improve.
Let the Sun In
A very real cause of seasonal affective disorder is lack of sunlight. Keep your own home bright and cheery to contrast the cloudy skies outside. Use lighting that brings a room to life, rather than dimmer, low lighting.
For an even better experience, find ways to let in the sun. Install overhead roof windows while the weather will still allow it. Open up your blinds and let the sun pour in (this is an excellent way to warm your house as well). Wherever you live, find a way to utilize the natural light from the sun. Canadians who experience less sunlight during the day will want to invest in glass doors for Vancouver homes or larger windows for Edmonton.
Your child’s mental health should be a high priority to you. It will be worth it to both of you if you make the extra effort to help them have a more enjoyable winter. Work together to overcome and avoid the winter blues that afflict so many people.
Barbara Johnson works in real estate and enjoys finding her clients the perfect homes. In addition, she shares her home improvement and gardening tips with others through blogging.