Even in a normal year, the winter months can present challenges when it comes to getting out and staying active.
In a time when many would be transitioning to doing more activities indoors, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced additional challenges. However, there are still many ways to stay active and have fun this winter.
Gillette Children’s wants to remind you that that there are some precautions to keep in mind:In addition to following COVID public health guidelines, make sure to wear a helmet while skating, skiing, sledding or doing other outdoor activities where a helmet is appropriate.
There are also some safe winter activities to help you stay active and improve your physical and mental health:
- Go for a walk
- Build a snowman or a snow fort
- Have a snowball fight
- Go sledding
- Go ice skating
- Go cross country or downhill skiing
- Go snowshoeing
- Hike on local trails
- Take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood • Build a fort inside and have an indoor campout
Additional Advice for Parents and Caregivers
Being a parent or caregiver often involves helping children during difficult times. Here are some tips from the Gillette Children’s Child and Family Services team:
- Talk about it...start with a question then listen and respond.
- Aim to display “calm confidence” rather than “fearful reactivity.”
- Include age-appropriate discussion about feelings and stress in your daily life.
- Be mindful of how much TV news your child is exposed to.
- Children learn and cope through play! Provide opportunities for children to engage in play.
Below are some resources that may be helpful:
Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health: Call 1-800-528-4511 or visit macmh.org
Crisis Text Line: The 24/7 emergency service is available if you or someone you know is experiencing a psychiatric or mental health crisis. Text MN to 741741
Minnesota Warmline: Adults can call 651-288-0400 or text “Support” to 85511
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Helpline: Offers crisis counseling and support if you or a family member is experiencing emotional distress related to a disaster. Call: 1-800-985-5990