According to the NHS an estimated 2 million people in the UK are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) at the moment. Are you one of them? Did you know that it can effect children and not just adults?
Here are some ideas to help you and your children to 'Beat the Winter Blues'
Children should have at least 1 hour of physical activity a day. On a dry day you could go to the park, why not take a football with you. Take the dog for a walk or a game of fetch. Go for a bike/scooter ride or try out those roller skates that have been at the back of the cupboard since their birthday! If you are busy doing housework, send the children into the garden to play on their swing
. You will be able to keep an eye on them while you are doing your jobs. If it's a wet day, let them have a dance party with their friends. Put on the exercise DVD you got for Christmas and let them have a go with you or challenge them to a Wii Sports Tournament.
See the Light
Natural light is important during the winter and as the days are shorter, it is even more important to make the most of it. Open the curtains and blinds to let the sunshine in. Turn off the TV, put the games console away and get out into the garden to sweep up the leaves, play hide and seek, make mud pies and use the Climbing Frame
or Swing that has stood dormant since the last of the summer sunshine disappeared.
If you and your family are spending time outdoors this winter, it is really important to keep warm. Wear extra layers of clothes so that, if the children get too warm, they can take a layer off. Put on an extra pair of socks. It's better to be too warm than too cold! Take a thermos of hot chocolate or soup out with you and some warm jacket potatoes or a bacon sandwich. It's amazing how long they'll keep warm for when wrapped in some tin foil.
Here in the UK, between the months of November and March, we do not get any Vitamin D from the winter daylight. It is, therefore, especially important that we supplement it into a healthy diet. Great sources of Vitamin D are Oily Fish, Eggs, Meat and Margarine.
If you get invited to a social event this winter, accept it! Socialising with friends or family is a great way to cheer you and your children up. Your children will be happy playing with their peers and will give you the chance to relax and catch up with friends you may not have had chance to speak to for a while. Whether it be a family gathering, meeting friends at the park or a trip to an indoor play area.