Do our kids get January blues as well?
For some time, there was some doubt around the January blues and the authenticity of the term. However as we learn more about mental health, it’s becoming apparent that it is in fact, a ‘thing’.
It could be down to how most of the population seems to be a little bit broke after Christmas, starting back (or starting full stop) on a diet, the gloomy weather, being back at work etc, a whole number of things that we all probably have somewhat in common could be the cause of this feeling. But we only think of these things affecting adults, what if they’re affecting our children, too?
If we stop to think about it, there are in fact a few different factors that could cause this effect in our kids. The main one that springs to mind, is going back to school. In my memory, this always came as a very up and down experience - there’s the excitement of going back to see all of your friends and having a bit of a boast about your Christmas presents, and just how many pigs in blankets you ate in one go… but there was also the sudden crash back into a routine, brain ache inducing lessons, and of course, early mornings.
So what can we as parents do to ease the January downers our family might be feeling?
Be sociable, it’s so tempting to hide away in the safety of your own home, but it’s probably better to not do too much of this, and spend time around people outside of Netflix… Why not arrange after school/work meetups?
Be active, gym, running, jogging, walking dogs, workout apps, anything that all the family can do, that gets you up and moving around is always a good thing. Exercise is proven to have a positive effect on mental health, so especially if money is slightly tighter than usual in January, now is a perfect time to take on some light exercise.
Minimise screen time, find other ways of occupying your free time instead of binge watching or tweeting.
Read, take some time to find books that you/your family will actually enjoy reading. Something that doesn’t feel like homework!
Get as much daylight as possible, this isn’t easy considering how short the days are at the moment. But getting what little sun is available is good for us - take advantage of any free time at weekends. You could take being active outside and then you’re knocking a few of these off of your list at once.