A few years ago, I recognised that I tend to feel a bit down during the winter season. To me winter meant not wanting to get out of bed because I’m so cold… going out in the wind and rain… defrosting the car… dealing with colds and flu… shorter days… less sun… and I actually dreaded it.
It is well-known that weather can influence one’s mood. Some people actually suffer from a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m thankful my situation is less serious but that still doesn’t make it enjoyable! Having a few tricks up my sleeve to deal with my negative associations with winter really goes a long way to helping me have a more positive attitude. When I’m more mentally (and physically) prepared for the time to come, I’m not only happier myself but I’m a better parent as well.
Will you join me in gearing up for this season? Here are five ways to ease your family’s transition to winter.
This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and the NSW Government.
#1 Prepare the winter gear.
As soon as there’s a chilly day, it’s time to get the winter wardrobe out of storage so it’s ready to be used! Coats, hats, gloves, scarves, long socks, undershirts, warmer pants and long sleeve shirts. Kids grow, so checking sizes is essential to see if we need to plan a trip to the store.
In our house, it can sometimes be hard for the kids to stop wearing their warm weather clothes, so I store the summer gear away – that way they won’t choose unsuitable clothing when they pick their outfits in the morning. Wearing the right clothes makes all the difference to kids staying warm and keeps the complaining about being cold to a minimum!
Our beds also get extra blankets and when we lived in even colder climates, electric blankets!
We also get out special heat packs for our bedtime routine (find out more here). One minute in the microwave, and getting into a cold bed becomes much easier.
#2 Plan ahead for winter bugs and get a flu vaccination if it’s recommended for you.
It’s pretty much inevitable that someone in our family will get sick this winter (fingers crossed it won’t be all of us!). I like to make sure we have a good supply of tissues, Vicks VapoRub, honey and lemon (for making hot drinks) and cough lozenges… because there’s nothing worse than having to go out to get those things when you are already sick (or caring for a sick child who would rather stay in bed than go to the store).
Our family is also big on flu vaccinations. My husband, being a doctor, is exposed to all sorts of germs and he always gets vaccinated. Last winter because I was pregnant I was vaccinated, and this year because I have a young baby I also got vaccinated. Did you know that pregnancy actually makes you more at risk for influenza because you have a suppressed immune system? You can read more details about influenza and pregnancy here. The influenza vaccination is free for pregnant women… and it’s very important to get it because influenza can actually affect an unborn baby and possibly bring on pre-term delivery. Often the elderly and children of a certain age are recommended to get vaccinated as well, so it’s best to check with your GP to make sure everyone is prepared appropriately.
#3 Adjust the meal plan.
When it starts to get colder, I really crave warm breakfasts. I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ways to top our oats in the morning, and there are so many great ideas! Shredded coconut, raisins, maple syrup, and frozen berries to name a few.
I also love using the slow cooker and bread maker more in the colder months. When it’s cold, I’m not as motivated to stand over a stove at 4:30pm when its already getting dark outside, so having dinner in the slow cooker earlier in the day really helps me out! I have made a list of new crock-pot recipes I want to try and have it in an email to myself, for easy reference before I do the weekly grocery shopping.
#4 Make a list of indoor activities.
If your kids are used to spending a lot of time at the playground or at the pool, it can be hard to change gears and be indoors more during the day. Of course with older kids, going out into the cold weather is not such a big deal because they can get dressed in multiple layers, be active to stay warm, and deal with the cold. But for my younger kids, and especially my baby, it’s more likely that we’ll be indoors more this winter season.
I find activity lists like this one often help me when I’m tired and need some ideas. Board games, audio stories, cards, movie nights (see my tips for planning your media consumption wisely here) and winter crafts. Here are a few ideas for you:
Make Your Own Play Snow by Danya Banya
Nature Printables by Mother Natured
Painted Sticks by Be a Fun Mum
“The Key Jar” printable conversation starters by Momastery
#5 Maintain an attitude of gratitude.
Lastly, whenever things are hard and people are uncomfortable with the change in season, it’s always helpful to take some time to think about what you are grateful for. Here are some of my posts about fostering gratitude:
Do you find the transition into winter time difficult? What makes it easier for you?
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. To read more about reviews on my website, visit this page.