Here are 3 life skills to help homeschool high schoolers beat winter blues.
3 Life Skills to Help Homeschool High Schoolers Beat Winter Blues
It is the bleak mid-winter…gray skies, cold winds, everyone stuck in the house doing the same thing over and over. Some homeschool high schoolers (and their parents) start feeling the winter blues.
Winter blues can look like this:
- Feeling blah or sort of down
- Feeling lethargic, like you have to drag yourself around
- Wanting to hibernate (that is: sleep in all the time)
- Experiencing carb cravings
- Having a hard time focusing on schoolwork
Sometimes winter blues can get bad enough that it really becomes Seasonal Affective Disorder. If that happens, a good counselor can help. (I know, I do that for a living.) But for simple winter blues there are 3 easy life skills that you can work on with your teens.
*Get a light
I am SO not kidding. There are full-spectrum-light lamps for winter blues. You simply turn it on in the room with your teen while they are doing schoolwork. Some teens need 15 minutes and they’ll feel more *umph*, some need an hour. You’ll have to experiment but it is worth it. (I’m speaking from experience. I use a lamp in the winter months.)
The reason it works is that during the winter, we do not get enough sunlight. God made the rays from the sun to stimulate our brains for health. Sunlight helps the emotion centers in the brain do a better job. A quality sunlamp is a close replica of safe sunlight.
In the bleak mid-winter, teens sometimes just feel like watching Netflix and eating chips. To break the *blah*, teens (and moms) need to increase their self-care. Some self-care activities that are proven to help improve mood are:
- Taking walks…I KNOW it is cold but everyone will feel better. Walking burns off stress hormones and increases dopamine (a neurotransmitter that improves mood).
- Eating good proteins and colorful fruits and veggies. Real food helps our brains create the healthy neurotransmitters that run mood and metabolism.
- Making sure that sleep stays in a healthy biorhythm: 7-10 hours of rest with sleep starting by 11:00 or 12:00 at the latest. Sometimes teens want to stay up till 4:00am in the winter and THEN sleep their 7-10 hours. Over time, this sleep pattern gets the natural biorhythms off rhythm and increases sad mood and lethargy.
*Change it up
If you and your entire homeschool family do some out-of-the ordinary activities, it can help improve mood and energy levels. Honestly, doing new things helps our bodies create oxytocin (a bonding and mood-enhancing hormone). Try:
- Laughing: watch some funny movies or YouTubes together. Laughter causes the brain to release endorphins which help improve mood.
- Do something unusual for curriculum. Have you read a Jeeves and Wooster? Tried some cinema studies?
*Go on a field trip.
- See some new things! You’ll feel bonded and better after it is all over.