Updated September 2020.
Winter can be a difficult time for everyone in the family. Depending on where you live, your children may have a lot of energy if they're spending more time inside with shorter days. The winter wears on adults too; little sunlight and persistent cold weather can impact our moods and also our immune systems, making us more susceptible to sickness. So, how can we work to counter the winter blues?
- Eat healthy! Boost your diet with Vitamin C by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. If you have trouble accessing fresh, affordable fruit this time of year, consider ordering a box of fruit and shipping to your door or focusing on seasonal foods. A good activity for kids could be cooking healthy meals together. Remember, to stay hydrated too.
- Summer exercise can be year-round. Just make sure to bundle up! Activities such as hiking, walking, playing soccer, or games like tag can still be options in the winter months. It all depends on the outdoor conditions that day; as long as you are well aware of the weather and adjust accordingly, you can enjoy the outdoors. Regular exercise for 20 minutes, 5 times per week can reduce your risk of illness and keep the winter blues at bay. For those extreme, blizzard-bound days, focus your energy on a cleaning project. These tasks can actually provide you with some good exercise and leave you feeling satisfied with your productivity.
- Set yourself up for solid sleep. Studies show that sleep affects your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Create a schedule for the evening that allows you to unwind from your day. Take a hot shower, drink a cup of milk or chamomile tea, and climb into bed with a good book at least an hour before you go to sleep. Try to avoid checking your phone or using screens one hour before bed.
- Have a social gathering. Host family and friends for dinner or drinks by the fire and connect with the people you value most in life. If you're not able to spend time together in person, you can also schedule virtual hang-outs to catch up.
- Plan a fun activity. Thinking about upcoming travels will give you something to look forward to, even on dreary days. It could be as simple as visiting a new town for the first time or taking a daytrip or a drive to a park you've never been to. Having future plans can help boost your mood.
Throughout the colder months, remember that you don’t need to leave the house to see a doctor for non-emergency health concerns. Connect to a board-certified physician from the comfort of your home anytime. Download the app for free from Google Play or the App Store.