We’ve all been there before - especially in the Mid-West. The cold weather blues have become a part of life that often sneaks in unnoticed. As you continue reading, you’ll gain a few tips and tricks on how you and your family can avoid feeling SAD This winter.
Let in the light
Give your kids an added immunity boost by opening the shades! Natural light can offer a variety of health benefits, such as reducing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and increasing productivity and energy. In fact, The National Institute Of Health notes that exposure to natural lighting can reduce sick days by roughly 6.5 percent!
Be Active Outdoors
Yes, you read that correctly - there’s no way you’re going to change the weather, so you might as well embrace it! Kids can always find something to do; build a snowman, make a fort, go sledding - there are tons of options. You can always take part in these activities with your kids, or you can learn something new with them. Perhaps Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is in order. These activities will increase your heart rate and give you a reason to enjoy the scenery.
According to Dr. Emanuel Maidenberg at the Semel institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, physical activity is an effective treatment for mild symptoms of depression. How often should someone get out and get physical? Studies suggest 3-4 times per week is enough to enjoy the benefits.
Studies show that Vitamin D deficiencies are common in regions that experience harsher winters. To help your family avoid this common ailment (and a few less common ones) try upping your daily dosage of fortified dairy, citrus fruits, and vegetables. Check out this full list of winter superfoods or try a few of these kid-friendly recipes.
Even if you’re not feeling all that social, Dr. Maidenberg suggests that spending time with others - even for a little bit - is enough to kick some of your cold weather blues. Plan a play date with other kids and their parents, attend local events, or take an art class as a family. There are plenty of ways to socialize during the winter; some just require a bit more research!
Like everything else that’s worthwhile, this takes some effort -but don’t fret! It can be done one reassuring step at a time. You’ll notice your mood change significantly after trying out one of these tips - beyond that point, everything meshes well together. Here’s to a happy and healthy new year from all of us at School-A-Thon!