by Mika Edison, Child Care Supervisor
You’ve read it everywhere this year: these are unprecedented times. Throughout 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic, families have been experiencing heightened stress around changes in their routines, such as breaks in the continuity of learning, changes at work, the loss of security and safety, and so much more.
Now that the weather is turning cold, families are facing a December holiday season unlike any other in the past. We won’t be able to have our big celebrations, extra family time, or build on long-standing traditions to keep our families and communities safe — and it’s okay to feel stressed, or anxious, or overwhelmed (or all of the above). It is, however, important — now more than ever — to focus on the mental health and wellness of yourself and your family.
Here are some new ideas on how you can combat the winter blues and stay healthy! Try them out. You’ll have “snow much fun!”
Snowball Target Shooting
Create targets from leftover cardboard from all your online shopping or empty food boxes and head outside for some friendly competition. You can include your extended family by sharing videos and scores or live streaming through Facetime, Facebook Messenger, or Zoom.
Make Snow Sculptures
Make a snow version of the person, people, or places you’re missing and then share pictures and the love.
Go on Scavenger Hunts
Pick a place (neighbourhoods or public parks), print or download a list of sites to visit, and walk or drive around with your family to find them. You can send the list to friends and extended family and share pictures of your finds.
Family Story Time
Create an online chat group with friends and family. Have each person, young and old, share a story or a memory — video chat is best!
You could also pick a book and record yourself reading it. Send the recording and a copy of the book to a young loved one that you miss cozying up with.
Have a Bake Off
Try new recipes and get messy making new memories in the kitchen! If you used to bake with friends or family, create a chat group for sharing recipes or live-stream to bake together in real-time. It may look different but the feeling (and taste) is the same.
Take this activity as an opportunity to try something new. Ask your kids what they love to eat at daycare and recreate the meal. Maybe you have a relative with a famous secret recipe. Do you think you could re-create it and share the delicious (or hilarious) results?
Take Small Steps to Find the Silver Lining
It won’t always be easy, but even the smallest steps will help you and your family find a reason to smile every day. You may even find some new traditions in the process.