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Just a week ago it was ‘Blue Monday’, the third Monday in January and said to be the most depressing day of the year. Now we’re a week away and the end of the month is in sight the fog should be lifting, but as I look out of my window and see the rain pouring down it still feels very much the depth of winter and there’s a way to go yet. The children seem more affected this year than I’ve noticed before, they trudge to and from school and complain of feeling tired. The fun of the festive season is a distant memory and they seem to be suffering a case of back to school blues.
To combat this I’m making their home life as comfy as possible, keeping after school activities to a minimum, allowing them to relax and getting them off to bed on time. I might be a softie but I believe it’s normal and natural that we slow down in the darker months and we should listen to our bodies. On top of this, we’ve had lots of snuggly family movie nights, my go-to solution for cold winter nights. Entertainment systems like the Panasonic wireless home cinema system make it easy to turn your own living room into a movie-style experience. Add to this some popcorn or even treat yourself to a night off with a takeaway and a normal night can suddenly feel special.
It’s simple time together like this that makes holidays feel special to children and doesn’t have to stop during term time. Try to sit together for meals whenever possible or incorporate some fun into your evening routine with something like a quick game, craft session or story. Think of things that’ll stop weeknights feeling like the boring ones and help children head to bed feeling relaxed so they can really recharge for the day ahead.
When it’s not pouring with rain, wrap up and get outdoors! Follow Peppa pig’s lead and jump in those muddy puddles, there’s nothing like a bit of fresh air to blow out the cobwebs and boost your vitamin D stores. Talking about vitamins, I am a believer in giving the children a multivitamin in the winter. They have a healthy diet but I don’t think an extra shot of vitamin D on these dark days and vitamin C for fighting off colds can hurt. I usually just stock up whenever Holland and Barratt are having a buy one get one for a penny sale.
Finally, make plans and book outings to look forward to. We started the New Year watching the incredible Cirque du Soleil and then wandered around Chiswick Gardens looking at the beautiful Chinese lanterns of Lightopia. There are fun events on year-round so don’t make Christmas and holidays the only time for special occasions. I pop all our plans into a shared family calendar so the children can see what’s coming up. They don’t have to be big and fancy either just something like a friend coming to tea or Pancake Day is something to look forward to.