It is hard to believe, but it's that time of the year again. The fall is over, and the long dark cold winter is here. Seems like the spring is so far away. Each day is getting shorter and darker, and you find yourself drawn to that couch in front of the TV, where you spend hours each night unable to get to all of those things on your list that you were heroically planning to accomplish in the winter time. It is easy to fall victim to the laws of nature, and blame it for your lack of motivation. 'May be if I can hybernate my way through the winter months, the spring will eventually come and I will feel better once again, and then I will start the spring cleaning, and painting the walls, and organizing the closets', you tell yourself. True, winter is the most challenging time (at least for most of us in the upper northern hemisphere), but it doesn't have to be the lost time between fall and spring.

Let's begin with our bodies. In the cold months we wear more clothes, tend to get more hungry, almost certainly gain more weight, thinking we still have plenty of time before trying on the new swimsuits. However, the more we eat, the more we want to eat, and the more tired and less energetic we feel. Instead of thinking that the memorial weekend is ages away, why not shift your focus to Christmas and New Years parties approaching? That will help keep tab on your daily craving attacks. Try to keep up with your summer diet - choose fruits, vegetables and protein over deserts and starches, and keep your energy high to keep you going through the day. It is essential to keep yourself active. Limit your screen time in front of the computer and TV. Do go outside for a walk with a carriage, or take your kids for a stroll in the park. Don't worry about freezing them, dress them warm, and they will reap benefits of fresh air. Did you know that researches say the indoor air is 50 times more polluted than outside? That definitely compounds the winter problem. So make sure you get your daily doze of oxygen! And how about instead of a weekly trip to the mall on the weekends, taking your kids to the nearby skiing mountain (plenty within a couple hours drive from Boston) or at least to the nearby hill for sledding! Another latest trend is outdoor ice skating. Other towns, like Salem, are following Boston with it's popular Frog Pond, and installing new skating rinks in city parks.

After spending time outside you will feel better physically and emotionally from interacting with your children. When you get back home, use that energy to prepare a delicious and healthy meal for your family (you will loose more calories by cooking yourself, and home cooked meals are usually smaller and healthier than take out or restaurant food). After the quality family dinner why not play games with your children or grab that book you have been long waiting to read for them. At the end of the day everyone will sleep better and will feel more renewed and energized the next morning, ready to conquer the day!

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Comment by Kristina (Boston Family Life) on December 12, 2008 at 11:54am
Thank you for your comment! I have been noticing that I tend to feel the 'blues' more often in the winter time. But I realized, that the problem is not with yourself - it is the season! Don't let it get to you!
Comment by Maureen Daniels on December 12, 2008 at 11:37am
These are great tips Kristina. I'm always very blue during the winter months and don't go out much during the winter months but maybe I will take some small trips outdoors with the little ones to get out dose of oxygen. I'm sure it'll make us feel better. Thanks for sharing~~Maureen~~


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