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Beat the winter blues

Tips to consider

If winter weather keeps you indoors more often than you'd like, why not make the most of it? The next time you face a snow day, choose quiet reflection instead of reaching for the laptop or television remote. Even a few minutes of daydreaming can leave you feeling refreshed and more creative.

If you’re frequently overwhelmed with work and family commitments, it’s even more important to carve out a little quiet. Here’s how to start:

  1. Shut off the screens. Switch the mobile phone to silent, turn off the computer and avoid checking your email. If your job requires you to be on call, try to stay focused on the present until work calls come in. Enforce the boundaries between work and home as much as possible.
  2. Organize your tasks. Stop multi-tasking. Instead, start the day by listing everything that needs to be done. Then, work through one task at a time. You’ll feel more focused and less overwhelmed.
  3. Schedule down time. Give your brain a break by blocking off a little quiet time each day. Let your mind wander, pick up a good book, take a walk or simply stare into space, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

Winter boredom busters

While boredom has benefits, it's also important to stay active. Winter has plenty of classic outdoor activities, like making a snowman, sledding, and building forts. A couple other options:

  • Skiing or snowboarding. Most places offer beginner lessons free of charge.
  • Go ice skating. Find an indoor or outdoor rink near you.
  • Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Find parks in your area with trails you can use, and check online for rentals.

The secret to enjoying the cold is to dress in breathable layers that you can remove as your body warms up. Start with a wicking base layer instead of cotton, which holds moisture. Top with an insulating layer and a weather protection layer. And remember, sunburn happens even on cloudy, winter days, so protect yourself with sunscreen and sunglasses.

When indoor is the only option

When blowing snow and cold temperatures keep you inside more than normal, try these boredom busters. Or, have your kids come up with something on their own:

  • Put the recycling bin to work. There are all kinds of interesting things that can be made with cardboard boxes and plastic containers.
  • Challenge older kids to make a Rube Goldberg Machine. There's a lot of information and ideas online External Site about these engineered contraptions, designed to produce a chain reaction to perform an ordinary, simple task.
  • Encourage theatrical kids to perform their own plays. They may even like to complete the performance with a full set design, costumes, lighting and scripts.
  • Equip kids with a box of art supplies. Encourage them to make greeting cards for people who are living in local assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
  • Check out the offerings in your community. Enroll in dog-training classes to teach your dog new tricks. Check out sewing or knitting classes at local craft stores. Discover special interest groups that meet at your library.
  • Use your creativity. Challenge your kids to create their own board game.
  • Hit the gym together. Find an indoor pool to do laps or take indoor tennis lessons.
  • Find online contests. 
    Create essays, poetry, art and photography to enter.
  • Incorporate more activity. Choose video games that involve movement or dancing.
  • Use technology for creative projects. Make movies, edit photos or make digital scrapbooks.

Send us your ideas

What do you do to stay active, or keep your kids busy and engaged while indoors during the winter months? We want to hear from you! Be sure to include any photos with ideas for wintertime indoor and outdoor fun. We just might publish them on social media or in future Blue articles. Be sure to include your name and contact information.

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