I read somewhere about lack of sunlight playing a part in depression. This can manifest not only in adults but in kids as well.
So how do you combat that seasonal depression or lack of sun depression? By getting outside and having outside adventures.
This isn’t only important for the mental health of your family. Its great for the overal health of your family. We are currently in a generation where too many kids are more focused on a screen than they are in actually moving. They’re walking less, eating more junk food because it’s quick and easy. The obese percentage of this generation is higher now than ever. There are many variables that key into these percentages. However, one of the biggest is the technology that kids have so easily available to them
When I was a kid in the 90’s we had one computer but sometimes we didn’t have internet all the time. The one computer had to be used by four people so I didn’t get a lot of time like some kids today. And I know that I am guilty of giving my kids little tablets with educational apps on them. However, I don’t try to allow them to spend so much time on the without getting some sort of physical activity. Back when I was a kid, I got to use the computer when no one else needed it. Then there wasn’t much for a kid to do on there. I played a lot of Solitaire. What I did do to entertain myself. Was actually entertain myself. I played outside with neighbor kids. I ran around. I pretended sticks were wands. I rode a bike through the neighborhood. we raced. We created forts and played capture the flag. We did ding dong ditch to the cute teen next door. We were physically active. Something that the younger generation is not getting enough of now days.
I know when they’re in school they get maybe an hour of gym class in elementary school once a week and maybe 30 minutes of playtime on the playground. But that isn’t enough. They are expected to learn more and do more from the very first year they are in school. They are playing less in class and doing more work. Even the work is done more digitally. They use laptops in Kindergarten, they have smart boards, etc. They are not being active enough.
Not only can a life full of technology and less physical activities lead to obseity, it can lead to mental health issues. Kids now days are seeing less sunlight because they’re stuck in the house behind a screen. They’re getting less Vitamin D than they need. The deficiency of Vitamin D is also higher today than before. And as parents, there is a simple way that we can help our children.
I understand that we are all living busy lives. It is hard to make time to go outside to just do nothing. But it is important. Even if you do it just once a week. I understand some times the weather doesn’t allow it. Sometimes its storming or is too wet from a store the day before. However, just 20 minutes a day of sunlight can help with the vitamin d and seasonal depression. Just spending a few minutes outside creating adventures will not only help your child keep up their physical activity… It will help their mental health.
These moments outside are the ones that they are going to remember. They are going to remember the adventures you had together. These are the days that they are going to think back to when they grow up. These are the moments that are going to inspire them when they become parents themselves.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be a great example as a parent for my kids. So that they can grow up thinking, ‘my mom did everything she could to ensure I lived a happy and healthy life’. Now I am not always too excited to go outside. Life happens, I get tired or sick or I just don’t feel like it. However, if the girls want to go run the yard or jump on the trampoline. I am not going to say no to them wanting to have physical activity. Unless it is snowing raining or just way too cold. We live in the south and the weather gets to 30’s in the winter like the other day when the baby, who had been sick, wanted to go jump. This is when the parenting part comes into play. Knowing when going outside for adventures is going to be beneficial. And going outside in 30 degree weather is not the best thing to do for children. Therefore, instead of just telling them to go watch a TV show. You can simply create adventures in the house. I remember playing the floor is lava as a child or building forts. We like hide and seek as well as tag. As long as there is nothing breakable out that can be knocked down, then there are times where running throughout the house is just the amount of physical activity we need.