<2015 feb MM>

Beat the Winter Blues

Winter is in full force. Many of us can get a little down and more cranky, even your kids can suffer from the "winter blues" which are characterized by mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy. Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to both prevent the blues from coming on and get your teen back to normal.

1.      Exercise: Encourage your teen to get off the couch and exercise. It’s great for relieving the stresses of life. Plus, the effects of a good workout can last for several hours after they hit the showers. They will have more energy throughout the day and their metabolism with stay elevated too!

2.      Get Some Sun: Most people know that sunlight provides us with vitamin D. But did you know that it also improves your mood? Winter days are shorter and darker than other months, and because of the cold weather, a lot of people spend less and less time outdoors. Try to encourage your teen to spend a little more time outdoors. Keep the shades up during the day to let more light in. Sit near windows in restaurants and during class.

3.      Plan a special treat: Having something to look forward to can keep anyone motivated. Winter seems endless! But if you plan something exciting, your teen’s mood will improve while they are anticipating it and when the event actually comes. Plan something that’s exciting to them—a weekend trip, a day at the spa, a party, or special event like a play, girls (or guys) night out, or sporting event.

4.      Relax! Your teen is busy with classes, school work, family obligations, friends, after school activities, create time for them to relax. Encourage them to spend a few minutes each day doing nothing! Read a book or magazine, sleep in on the weekend, or go to bed early. This can alleviate stress and leave them with a calm energy

5.      Embrace the Season: Instead of always avoiding the cold and the snow—look for the best that it has to offer! Encourage them to take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, or even sledding! Go out as a family and build a snowman or snow sculpture. Enjoy these opportunities while they last—after all, they’re only here a few months per year. Seeing winter in a positive light, with all the fun activities that it has to offer, will keep their spirits high.

6.      Get Social: Don’t underestimate the power of friends, family, and neighbors. Every one tends to stay in more during the winter, create opportunities for people to get together, host a pot luck dinner, play cards or games, and reconnect with people your teen enjoys hanging out with.
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Monthly Messages are brought to you by the Tompkins County Youth Services Department, a proud partner of The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth.

If you have further questions or comments about this message or would like information on how to become involved with the Community Coalition for Healthy Youth, please email ahendrix@tompkins-co.org

Thank you in advance for sharing this monthly message with your networks.

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