Now that Daylight Savings Time has come, the days are seemingly impossibly short with dusk arriving well before dinnertime. How do you and your family beat cabin fever?
- Stick to routines.
Children do best with predictable, consistent routines, and with the early onset of dark, this can be particularly challenging. Continue having dinner at the same time each night and if you haven’t established a settling routine for bedtime yet, consider starting one now. Set a time for a bath, brushing the teeth, and a bedtime story that will help keep your little ones on their sleep schedule.
- Get outside.
Winter is coming – but nothing refreshes a family like time outdoors! Worcester County is full of kid-friendly parks, hikes, and extracurricular activities; even a walk around the neighborhood can provide the Vitamin D that we are deprived of through the winter. Research shows that 90% of our population is Vitamin D deficient, so let’s get outside to work on this!
- Find a new recipe to make once a week.
The next time you head to the grocery store, bring a list of ingredients to purchase for a new recipe you want to try. Get out of your comfort zone and try baking pumpkin bread that fills the house with the scent of cinnamon, or perhaps an autumn squash soup that has exotic spices new to your taste buds. Share with coworkers and friends!
- Take turns planning family outings.
Make sure that your family has activities to look forward to on the monthly calendar. Rotate each week with each member identifying an outing they want to do as a family.
One of the best ways to keep your endorphins flowing and motivation high is to start your day off with exercise. Maybe there’s a new Yoga center in town that’s offering a free class; or perhaps there’s a Turkey Trot 5k you have your eye set on. Make personal goals and work towards them each day; you’ll notice a considerable increase in your energy as well as positive effects on your mood. Starting your day off sweating releases brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which repair brain cells from stress. This also increases your metabolic rate, which is going to give you energy – something that is so valuable to us!
- Disconnect from technology.
Commit to spending at least one hour a week without technology and build from there are you start to reap the benefits. Research shows the increasing dependency society has on technology and the harmful effects; make a rule that the family spends one evening spending board games for one hour with all of the phones, iPads, etc. off and put away.
If you find yourself trying the above and still having a difficult time battling fatigue, lack of motivation, and an overall sense of sadness, contact us at ABC and consider booking an appointment with one of our providers. Saving a space for you to spend time working on you is one of the best ways to foster self-care in the upcoming wintry months.
Kasey Pendexter, LMHC, LMFT