Those pesky winter blues can set in for us the moment the Christmas tree hits the inside of its storage box, so long ago, we decided to be proactive in how we handled those not so fun feelings!
1. Plan your next vacation as a family. In the cold winter months, we love to look forward to our next great adventure. A fun way to pass some time while trapped indoors, as well as promoting some planning and research skills in your young travelers, is to enlist them to pitch in on the warm weather vacation dreaming! Our kids will help us research destinations, hotels, even modes of transport – it’s quite the project!
2. Make a holiday memory book. This is something we’ve started doing recently (in the name of homeschool) for our vacations, but it also applies to holidays and other big experiences! We have our kids spend a few days collecting memories and even some scrapbook type items and compiling them into a journal! It’s a great way to reflect on the time spent together, encourage gratitude and presence, and to keep little hands and minds busy for a hot second.
3. Donations, Thank You cards, and acts of service. It’s fairly easy to find opportunities to serve as a family across the winter holiday season, but once that ‘good will to all men’ vibe dies down a little, it can be easy to forget why we encourage our kids to reach out and help others. Life gets busy, routines kick back in — we all know how it goes. Post holidays is a great time to continue serving others as a family (and solidify it as a habit). Whether it’s donating your unneeded items together, volunteering with an organization, or simply sending out thoughtful thank you cards to loved ones, it’s important to keep that giving spirit alive with or without the jingle bells.
4. Lots of fresh air. If you’re anything like me, you tend to hide curled up in a blanket draped ball from anything that even looks like cold weather. I like snow and ice just fine, as long as I’m staring at it through a fogged-up window and am not outside in its midst. However, it can be so beneficial for us and our littles to wrap up tight and make sure we’re still getting vitamin D and fresh air to prevent cabin fever!
5. Cuddle party. So we’re going in the opposite direction with this one, but in the words of the great Olaf, “Winter’s a great time to stay in and cuddle.” Our lot likes to make a big deal out of our cozy indoor time by having spontaneous movie days/nights, game nights, or simply building things like make believe forts and rides etc. without distractions!
6. Set some goals together. We all know about those pesky new year’s resolutions, but in our clan it’s more about new year’s goals, and we like to talk to our kids about what those should look like. Each of us comes up with something we’d like to have done by the end of this new year, big or small, and then we all know we have the support and encouragement of our family as we pursue that one special thing. Honestly, it can be really fun to find out exactly where your child’s heart lies at this particular point in their life.
7. Pick out a summer camp. A great way to beat those winter blues is by fantasizing about the summer fun to come! Our kids are finally approaching the age where a day camp is a possibility, and so we like to have them browse the themes and options local to us to see what they fancy!
8. Encourage creative projects. Cold weather coziness is such a great time to pursue some indoor projects such a learning to draw, creative writing, building (think Lego, STEM, or simply with a few old cardboard boxes!), learning to bake, etc. Find out what your littles fancy trying and then start learning a new skill together!
9. Call in on family members. Just like with the post-holiday season service dip, some family members (especially those who have more of a challenge getting out and about in colder weather), may also be hit with a touch of the blues. A great way to encourage compassion and consideration in your family unit (as well as to get out of the house for a stint!) is to pay a visit to those who might enjoy hosting some madness for a few hours! One small caveat is, of course, to be mindful about winter bugs and viruses, especially for those with compromised immune systems.
10. Design a garden or redecorate a room. This seems like a bit of a big one I know, but our lot often has a good time simply moving furniture around for a fresher look, building a new book nook or reading corner, or starting a little indoor fairy garden that can be moved outside as soon as the frost clears!