Staring at the Same Four Walls: Fun Family Activities to Banish the Winter Blues
If you’re like a lot of people, you battle the winter blues. By the last week in winter, you may be half out of your mind with the blahs. It happens to kids and teenagers, too. In the interest of keeping everyone happier even when stuck inside on a snowy day, we present a few family activities that banish winter blues.
Big box fun
Before the snow comes, obtain a large cardboard shipping box and save it for a snow-in. Kids can turn it into a spaceship, playhouse or submarine. Novel indoor activities that kids don’t play in summertime can provide hours of winter amusement, say parenting experts at Washington Post. Before you turn your kids loose with the box, use duct tape to close one end and reinforce the sides.
All kids like Legos, but they’re awful for a parent to step on in the middle of the night. Instead, let kids build fanciful structures with marshmallows and uncooked spaghetti noodles. If your little ones have energy to burn, let them wear one of your biggest tee shirts. Stuff the shirt with pillows and call a Sumo wrestling match.It’ll crack everyone up and lighten a low winter mood.
Read aloud. Create art. Do these things together to encourage family happiness. When it’s time to be quiet, let your kids use the Coloring Book for Me & Mandala app from Apalon to create colorful mandalas that relax the mind and banish the blues.
Don’t be SAD
We didn’t use too many capital letters in that line. It’s an acronym for Seasonal Affective Disorder –a sort of depression that typically affects people between autumn and spring. SAD saps energy, decreases motivation and makes wintertime more or less miserable. Doctors say the disorder may be caused by a lack of sunshine which disturbs the brain’s natural chemical balance. The farther one lives from the equator, the more likely they are to be affected by SAD.
Persons suffering with SAD wake up feeling depressed. They may oversleep, overeat and crave high-carbohydrate foods. Weight gain is common in this seasonal disorder. Wintertime SAD make people more sensitive to rejection and may make it hard to get along with friends and family members. Low energy, irritability and utmost crabbiness are typical of this disorder. SAD is more than just a low mood –it’s real depression that can be treated in a number of ways, says Mayo Clinic.
Let the sun shine in
Put full-spectrum bulbs that mimic natural sunlight in reading lamps to boost a SAD mood. Dump jigsaw pieces on a tabletop and let the whole family help put it together. Crayons and coloring books are fun amusements that can take a family’s mind off the wintertime blues. An assortment of musical instruments real and handmade can provide hilarious fun for the whole family.
Please note that Seasonal Affective Disorder can be a serious depressive condition. If none of the above tips work, please consult your family physician.
Leo Wright has a 7 year old son and lives, together with his wife and 2 dogs, in the South-West. He writes parenting and lifestyle articles.