Ideas to Ward Off the Winter Blues
Winter is upon us and whether we like it or not! Students who come from warmer climates are especially affected by the sharp seasonal shift. Many students (in denial) respond by continuing to wear their flip-flops and even shorts, but in the end, wearing summer attire cannot prevent winter’s arrival.
As the days shorten and temperatures drop, it’s not uncommon for many students to start feeling the “winter blues” and the urge to hibernate can set in. This can lead to isolation and lethargy (not qualities normally associated with Deerfield students). It is essential for students to get outside every day, even if by simply taking a brisk walk to the “Rock”. Fresh air and sunshine are helpful to maintaining better moods, allowing the absorption of some vitamin D. You may also want to suggest that they keep shades or blinds up during the day so that their rooms stay lighter and more cheerful. Other winter activities they might want to try are yoga, ice-skating, and paddle tennis. There are two paddle courts located behind the swimming pool. It is an easy game to learn and play throughout the winter.
When the snow does arrive, life on campus can be even more fun than usual with sledding and snow ball fights and for the more adventurous–skiing and snowshoeing! Students’ favorite sledding hills include behind the DA hockey rink and at Eaglebrook School. It is easy to borrow a sled from a faculty dorm parent, use a cafeteria tray or even spare cardboard (students are resourceful!). Deerfield organizes ski trips on winter weekends to a variety of mountains near school. These day trips are a great way to take advantage of the wonderful snow.
Socializing and getting together with friends is vital during winter months. Popular winter gatherings include preparing a fun meal or feed with a dorm parent, going to a restaurant or movie in town, attending a school social (e.g., December Semi-Formal dance, January “KFC” talent show) or cheering on the winter teams. Students look forward to sharing cookies and cocoa in the Main School Building on winter Fridays. They also welcome a more relaxed winter dinner schedule with walk-through dinners on week-day nights during the winter term. With more freedom and flexibility in choosing dinner seating, students have the opportunity to get to know new friends.
A balanced diet and good sleep habits are also helpful to maintain energy levels in the winter. Encourage your children to have healthy eating habits throughout the winter term. Sleep should be at the top of every student’s priority list. Students should monitor their sleeping schedules and strive for the eight hours recommended. If a student feels “under the weather,” he or she should go to the Health Center. The nurses and doctors on staff there are very capable and experienced and sensitive to the needs of students and help them to stay calm about missing work.
Last but not least, nothing brightens your child’s day like a care package and note from home. Pack up a favorite treat, special items from home and/or newspaper clippings with hometown news and send it off to Deerfield. Let your child know you were thinking of them on a cold, winter day!
We can’t stop winter, but we can help our children be prepared to see the positive side of the season and have the tools to brighten their outlook.