Preparing for a Quarantine Winter

As the weather is starting to turn colder, are you staring to wonder what you are going to do this winter as we are still in the middle of the pandemic and in many states starting to see an increase of cases? It wasn’t a breeze when the weather was nice, but you at least had more options since you could play outside. This is not to say that you cannot still go outside and play as it gets colder, but you and your children may not be willing to stay outside as long so this will not last as long. Depending on whether or not your children are in school in person and whether or not you are working remotely. Whatever the circumstances are for your family, there are few things that you can consider doing to help during a winter with less options available for everyone to stay entertained.

· Determine priorities of what to accomplish each day: What needs to get done? Are there items on your to do list that are optional to get accomplished that day and it is acceptable to push off to the next day if needed?

· Create a family schedule: If children know what is coming next and know what to expect, it is easier for them to make transitions to new activities when needed. With the current uncertainty, reducing how many things are unknown will give children a better sense of control. If something needs to change, make sure your children are aware of the change.

· Stay active and healthy: What do you need to do stay healthy? How can you stay active during the day and keep kids active as well? You can use free programs such as GoNoodle or Cosmic Yoga Kids which many children find fun. Create an obstacle course in your home if you have room. Go out and play in the snow.

· Be creative: Creating an outlet for the emotions that everyone is feeling can help to reduce stress. Find some art supplies, have a dance party, have a family singalong.

· Spend quality time with your children: This is a difficult time for children as their lives have been turned upside down and no one really knows when it will be over. Extra love and comfort at this time will help them better be able to handle all of this uncertainty. It does not need to be hours every day, but having some time each day, even 15 minutes, can provide them more support and comfort.

· Holiday changes: Most likely, the holidays will be celebrated differently. Talk to your children about why it will be different this year and ask them what they would like to do. Is there some special way that they want to celebrate this year? Be aware that your children may experience more intense emotions this year as they may be losing some traditions that they are used to.

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