053: Five Ways to Battle the Winter Blahs

IMG_2041Winter is, hands down, my favorite season – which makes sense, given that I’m Canadian by birth. And yet… when the kids were small it was such a killer! We would make plans and somebody would get sick; a simple excursion to the grocery store felt like preparing for a six week hike through Alaska; we’d all feel so cooped up all the time.

So today I want to help you handle wintertime better with your little kids that I did with mine!

This episode presents my five favorite ways to battle the winter blahs; click here to go to episode 53 at weturnedoutokay.com!

Here they are: 5 Ways to Battle the Winter Blahs

1) Play with your child; we talk about all different ways to just have fun with your littles, everything from playing dress-up, to play dough, to mixing up a favorite recipe of mine, cornstarch and water – mix about a cup of cornstarch with a few tablespoons to half a cup of water, and then just enjoy… my friend Heather Kempskie of episodes 20 and 27 co-wrote a book (with her twin sister Lisa Hanson) which will give you all kinds of ideas for kids and playing, called The Siblings Busy Book, if you’re looking for some great ideas

2) Make simple snacks and then eat them… together; ants on a log, homemade hot cocoa, favorite dip with carrots or celery – making and then sharing food together can be such a simple pleasure; for a fantastic homemade hot cocoa recipe I recommend the book Make The Bread, Buy The Butter by Jennifer Reese

3) Bring music into your day… whether it’s dancing up and down the hall together, singing, or playing musical instruments, music cheers everybody up; thanks to my friend De (whom you meet in episode 000), music became a huge part of first Max’s and then Jay’s lives from a very young age; a favorite song of ours to sing from even before Max could talk was The Ballad of Grace Darling by the Limeliters

4) Get outside; this may not be everyone’s first choice… But once you’re out there, all suited up and everything, it can be beautiful and just-what-you-needed; plus when you come back in from the cold it feels like you really went and did something; if you need something to do and you’re in a snowy area of the country, one thing that always amused us was to build a gigantic mountain of snow – gigantic to toddlers, anyway – which would give me something to do, and some exercise, and give the kids a focus for their play

5) Bath time!… A bath has a way of making everybody feel better; baths can enliven our spirits or have a really calming influence, and either way seemed to always help break up the day

Above all, I’d ask that you try to remember this: the days are long, but the years are short. Even in the toughest times in the bleakest midwinter, remembering that their childhood won’t last forever can help us focus on being in the present now.

Happy winter!

Key links:

Enjoy The Siblings’ Busy Book by friend-of-the-podcast Heather Kempskie, co-written with her twin sister Lisa Hanson

For an interesting take on food, you want to read Make The Bread, Buy The Butter

To find out how I became a podcaster, listen to episode 000, made with my four dearest friends on a night with laughter, tears, and perhaps a shade too much wine

It is in Sherry Turkle’s book, Reclaiming Conversation, that she recounts her fascinating story about the dad who has such different memories of bath time with his older daughter when she was a baby, and bath time now with his younger daughter – at least, it was in reference to this book that I heard Sherry tell that story

My forthcoming book, Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child, launches on April 3! Click here to sign up for your free anti-tantrum chapter 🙂