Beat the Winter Blues

The winter season can be tough for both children and parents – it gets darker outside earlier and the cold, snowy weather has everyone cooped up indoors. It doesn’t have to be a gloomy time for you and your children, though. Here are some tips to help your family beat the winter blues:

  • During winter, people tend to crave comfort foods such as pasta, breads and sugar, but continue to include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your family’s diet to keep everyone from feeling fatigued.
  • Spend time outdoors with your family for at least 30 minutes each day, even if it’s cloudy outside.
  • Keep the inside of your home light by opening window blinds throughout your house.
  • If possible, plan a family trip to a sunnier climate during the winter.
  • Establish a set bedtime for you and your children to ensure everyone is getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Too much or too little sleep can trigger depression.
  • Encourage your family to exercise, whether it’s going for a walk, ice-skating or any other form of fun exercise.
  • When indoors, spend family time together by playing a board game, watching a movie or doing crafts and fun projects.

If you notice that your child is feeling down, tired and struggling with schoolwork, talk with your UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics pediatrician.