While it’s exciting to look forward to the warmer days of summer camp, the long, cold winter days continue to drag on. Camp starts to feel too far away. These days have been difficult with the ongoing pandemic, shut downs, and seeing fewer friends and family. Maybe like us, the anticipation for summer camp seems more powerful this year.
Here at camp, we have been gathering and learning some new tips and practices to help us fight the winter blues and live more fully in the hope of Christ! We want to share a few with you that we hope will help make these winter months a little more manageable.
- Build a toolkit. Take some time together as a family and write down all the things to do and what makes you happy. Maybe it’s a favorite comfort recipe, the perfect song or dance party playlist, a movie marathon, or your favorite games. Write all them down on a small sheet of paper and place them in a jar. When you or a member of your family starts to feel down, pick one (or two or three) to try.
- Get moving! Play, run, dance, jump whatever way you want, get moving in a way that feels good. If you have snow, go sledding, build a snowman, or shovel your driveway. Shovel your neighbor’s driveway! Moving your body is a great way to clear your head, ease your anxiety and feel good.
- Be intentionally still. Do some deep breathing. Pray together. Make a family prayer journal or wall. Take a moment to just be present.
- Be in it together. Check in with family and friends to ask how the days are going and discuss what is coming up. Encourage one another to share your thoughts and feelings, and acknowledge those in each other. Work things out together. Take time to support and encourage one another.
- Get outside. Research shows that nature is not only “an amenity, but a necessity.” Being outside, in nature, taking in all of God’s creation is what we were made to do. It’s a great way to change your perspective and get away from all the screens.
- Get into God’s Word. Set a specific time each day to read the Bible with each other. Find joy, peace and comfort in the words of the Lord and His great love story for each of you.
- Be thankful and do for others. Remember and name the blessings and care for others. Make a giant list of all things your family is thankful for. Make cards for care facility residents.
Remember to take care of yourself, take time to rest and recharge. You have a lot going on, a lot to navigate and manage, take a moment for yourself.
Tackle the Winter Blues with Mental Health First Aid
Supporting Families During COVID-19 with Child Mind Institute
Four Things You Can Do To Support Your Teen’s Mental Health with Unicef
Nature is a Necessity with the Christian Camp and Conference Association