Long Island Child Psychologist- Mental health in Winter Gloom

The long, grey and chilly winter season can cast a thick cloud of depression on anyone, be it adult or child.  As an adult we are familiar what it can be like to succumb to a winter-induced depression, so one can imagine how challenging the winter gloom can be for kids.

We often underestimate the thinking and emotional processing abilities of children, assuming that they have little idea of everything happening around them. That’s not true at all. Children are keenly observant and curious, and they investigate everything and think very deeply.

Children and adolescents struggling with broken home dynamics, divorced parents, or other emotional stress tend to isolate themselves, marinating in depressive thoughts. We’ve put together some tips to help children, adolescents and adults handle the winter gloom with a healthy and positive disposition.

Start a Gratitude Journal

Regardless of whether you enjoy journaling or not, starting a gratitude journal is a great way to count your blessing and feel positive. A gratitude journal is used to recover all the blessings, bounties and moments of joy that make you feel blessed, loved and nurtured.

It could be anything, as small as an ice cream cone and as significant as a visit to Disneyland. Recording all the big and small blessings that make you feel grateful will help you channel positivity and mindfulness.

For a child with disabilities or too young to write, have them draw pictures or print a photo of an experience and tape it in the journal. Make sure to have a discussion about that event.

Bundle Up & Go Outside

Don’t let the chilly winds force you within the confines of your home. Bundle up the layers and head outdoors for a brisk warm, or a walk around the block. Socialize with your family and friends, and go outdoors to dance the night away. Staying cooped up indoors will make you feel isolated and lonely, intensifying the winter blues.

Start a Home Exercise Routine

Starting a home exercise routine is a great way to stimulate the release of feel-good hormones and chemicals in the brain. Regular exercise releases dopamine, serotonin and endorphins – brain chemicals and hormones related to feelings of happiness and contentment.

A little exercise goes a long way in regulating our mental wellbeing and inner satisfaction. You don’t need a gym or expensive equipment. Just play some upbeat music and sweat out all the stress and sadness!

Final Thoughts

Little things, like meditation or investing in happy lights, make a profound difference to our mood, wellbeing and surroundings. Remember, beating the winter gloom is crucial to feel positive, happy and content.