I remember last year this time me and my husband searched high and wide for winter activities for our two very active boys. Being in the house with them jumping off the walls can get a bit chaotic and dangerous real quick so we try to help them exert as much energy as possible. This winter we chose not to do organized sports in order to wait out this 2nd wave. Fast forward to a few weeks into the new year and my 5 year old asked "Mommy, why do we have to always stay home". Lip poked out, just the right amount of whining and those puppy dog eyes and he was pulling at my heart strings. At least when we quarantined through last spring, summer and fall we had the great outdoors to explore. But with everything moving indoors I can see where they were getting a bit of cabin fever. And quite honestly mommy and daddy were also.
So, we went on a quest to shake things up a bit. We packed up toys, activities, games, and snacks from home; drove 30 minutes; and arrived at The Courtyard for a weekend slumber party. We could've picked one of the hotels up the road from us but the 30 minutes was simply so they really got the feeling we were having a weekend get away 😊. We had our lysol, sanitizer and masks ready. And was even surprised with the new contact free check-in using a "mobile key" so you can bypass the front desk and go straight to your room.
We played, talked, laughed and danced like no one was watching us for the weekend. This even included some good ol' school Scrabble, Uno & Sorry. We did some activity book problems. That was my way of sneaking some learning in there without them knowing. And when mommy and daddy was tired while the boys energy was still on 💯 we ordered in pizza, had some popcorn and called it a movie night to cover up our hidden fatigue🤣. Because we all know their is nothing like a hotel party movie night😊. It turned into one of our cheapest getaways. And it amazed me how excited they were from start to finish. Yes, we did exactly the same thing we would've done at home but changing up the four walls made a big difference for all of us. It was an unexpected fun filled weekend. I think the other success of the weekend was that being away from home meant that we didn't have to be distracted and take time away from intentional bonding with cooking, cleaning and any adult work that seems to pop up when you are home.
This small gesture helped us hit on a few different aspects of our overall wellness:
✔Tapped into our environmental health. It's ironic that a small hotel room relieved some of our cabin fever. Some times just a different space and not more space can be the answer.
✔Built on some of our intellectual health. Structured activities and games were fun, filled in some of our idle time and electronic usage while also helping to improve our long term brain health.
✔Nurtured our emotional health. Just showing the boys undivided attention and some extra t.l.c. goes a long way in building a strong bonding relationship among us.
✔Nutritional health on the go not only saved us money but gave us the choice to pack nutritional snacks and food. Because we know a weekend of binge eating junk food and can make you start your week off feeling not so good. So, we packed up a case of water, fresh fruit & veggies and healthier option snacks like popcorn.
✔Got some good physical health in there. In knowing we would be home more than we wanted to be this winter we invested in a Nintendo switch for Christmas. Because we knew it had games to move your body physically like Just Dance and Olympic games it was our #1 pick when deciding what game system to purchase. So, we packed that up for the weekend and to my surprise it was very easy to hook up the hotel tv. So, in the end we purposely engaged in idle games as well as movement games.
We all know about those sneaky winter blues. When you factor in almost a full year of quarantining and all the extra adversities 2020 has brought us it's even more important to be sure to stop and do a self care check in to bring a bit more mental balance. What ways are you checking into your mental health?
Whatever that thing is to bring back some balance into your mental health be sure to do it more often than not. Making these small lifestyle changes one day at a time can help you maintain lifelong balance mental health.
Comment below and share some of the ways you are spicing up your winter.