Thursday, February 20, 2014

7 Amazingly Easy Tips to Help You and Your Child with the "Winter Blues!" as shared by Little Angels Preschool & Daycare Ypsilanti

Have you or your child been feeling sluggish, irritable, or extra anxious?

Are you or your child struggling with concentrating on regular tasks?

Does your whole household have trouble waking up in the morning? 

It’s very possible that Seasonal Affective Disorder is the culprit!  This winter has been especially ruthless!  Between the snow, bitter cold temperatures, and gray skies, it’s no wonder we’re all feeling a bit down.

Studies show that approximately six percent of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with an additional 14 percent of people with a milder form of SAD, generally called “the winter blues.”  While children under the age of nine are less likely to get SAD, they may experience what many people call “cabin fever.”  Ultimately, if you’re concerned about the state of your child’s mental, or emotional health it’s always best to consult with your pediatrician for guidance! 

What causes SAD?

Experts aren’t 100% sure, but they believe it may be caused by a lack of sunlight.   A lack of light may affect the brain chemical serotonin that affects your mood.   Anyone can get SAD, but it’s more common in women between the ages of 15 and 55, who live in geographical areas where winter days are short.  Most suffer symptoms from October through the end of April.

Symptoms of SAD

You feel sad, moody, anxious, or grumpy.
You may cry more often.
You lose interest in your day-to-day activities, and hobbies.
You eat more, especially carbohydrates, like breads, pasta, and cookies.
You gain weight.
You feel more tired during the day and sleep more than usual. 

Here are a few tips to help during a minor case of the winter blues!

  1. When the weather permits, bundle up and get outside for at least 15 minutes for some sunlight therapy.  If it’s too cold, find an indoor location that has large windows with sunshine spilling in: a greenhouse, a sun porch, an indoor pool, or play area with numerous skylights.
  2. If you’re stuck at home, tackle a family project together.  This could be projects like cleaning out closets, or putting together a family scrapbook.  Once you complete the chore, reward everyone with a movie night or a dance party in your pajamas!
  3. Keep your family hydrated with water.  This will combat fatigue, ease headaches, and can also help decrease food cravings.
  4. Help release energy by playing a game like indoor tag, or use a game system ( X-Box or Wii.)  If you’re limited on space, we once heard of a woman who liked to hula hoop while standing on top of her bed.  This works well because there is enough space to move the hoop without hitting anything.  This also challenges your muscles more while you try to stay balanced.  Not only is the physical activity great for increasing your happy endorphins, but there’s sure to be laughter involved too, which is always therapeutic!
  5. Listen to relaxing music, and read a book before bed.  Try using a white noise machine to promote relaxation and help with noise distractions.
  6. Have an indoor picnic.  Spread out a blanket, pack a picnic, and pretend you’re outside.  Look at family pictures from a summer vacation or event.  You could even stage a family photo with funny props and costumes to remember your mini indoor vacation from winter.
  7. Try some aromatherapy in a bath or by placing potpourri around your home.  Citrus, Peppermint, Lavender, and Rosemary help reduce stress relief, anxiety, and fatigue.   

As one of the best Preschool Daycare Ypsilanti has to offer, we understand that being stuck indoors during the winter can be challenge to everyone, especially children.  We hope our suggestions above may help re-charge your batteries and get you excited for spring.  

Contact us today to schedule a tour, or check out our photo gallery to see all of the wonderful things we have to offer you and your child.

We'd also love to hear what you do to fight the "winter blues".  Please leave a comment below! Thank you!