It’s that time of year isn’t… when we use that phrase to cover a multitude of things
- Bad weather
- Lots of sickness
- Short dark days
- Staying inside
- lots of complaining….
I admit, I used to absolutely hate January (and February too come to think of it). I decided to change my thinking and stop being so miserable for a whole month… after all, if I felt like this, how long would it take before my children copied me. Also I decided it was just how I had programmed myself to think. ‘Oh no.. cold miserable January, no money after Christmas, nothing to look forward to..’ you get the picture. But I decided to stop that type of thinking, because it only made me more miserable to wallow in it, and let’s face it January and February are 1/6 of the entire year. If we didn’t have winter we wouldn’t appreciate summer so much. I often talk my kids about the people who live in darkness through the winter months, in Finland, and how lucky we are to have daylight. The sun sets at the end of November and doesn’t come back up until mid January! (But I read a couple of articles recently that said they get through those dark months by complaining to each other.. which I thought was funny.) Seemingly it’s like dusk and dawn for hours on end so there are some fantastic colors in the sky during those dark months, hours of sunrise, or sunset I’m not sure, or maybe a bit of both.
So I’ve changed the story of January in my head – I am glad it’s January, I love lighting the fire and a few candles on a dark evening. Movie nights at the weekend. At the same time, I’m also counting down the weeks to the brighter evenings and Spring is most definitely on the way, we’ve noticed a few buds!
The condition SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is used to describe people who feel depressive symptoms during winter. The best way to ensure you don’t slip down this road is to:
- Get Exercise
- Go Outside
- Be Social
- Take Vitamin D tablets
If you carry this advice to the entire family it’s important not to allow everyone to stay inside on their screens for too long. I posted a message last Friday about my goal to get the kids ready for the return to school after the holidays – getting them back to a normal sleeping pattern by waking them up early at weekends & returning to meal times, about weening them off screens, seeing friends and getting them outside into the fresh air. We all know instinctively what to do, but it can be hard to actually follow through. This week the kids are actually back to school and everyone is tired, but it’s easier to get into a good routine, because we have to get up in the morning. My sister often tells her children ‘sleep makes us happy’; however earlier bed times don’t work unless the kids can actually go asleep (which is not happening in our house) – the cycle of tiredness continues! I think being outside and getting fresh air is key to getting the routine sorted and also listening to some relaxing music or a guided meditation works wonders for my kids at night time to switch off their brains.
I’m going to make a promise to myself here and now, to
- Walk to and from school as much as possible, and get outside as much as we can
- Make sure we are well wrapped up when we’re outside (as the saying goes there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing) and
- Invite friends over as much as I can this month
- And of course plenty of unwinding time before bedtime for all of us…
- Be kind to myself and the kids – changing routine takes time and patience. Try to catch my tone and temper when I’m feeling frustrated. It’s not their fault!
By the way – the picture is of the character ‘Sadness’ from ‘Inside out’ a fantastic movie to watch with your kids, if you haven’t seen it.
From my family to yours – Happy New Year and have a fantastic January everyone…