In this space, you’ll find pressing topics and clinical insight from one of our clinicians, Shannon Tavis, LMSW. She offers feedback on mental health and your child that are relevant towards every day living. 

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Helping Your Child Beat the Winter Slump: Tips for Boosting Motivation and Focus

Dear Parents,

As winter settles in, many students find themselves facing a common challenge: the winter slump. It’s that time of year when the combination of colder weather, shorter days, and the monotony of school routines can diminish motivation and focus. If you’ve noticed your child struggling to stay on track with their schoolwork or lacking enthusiasm for school, you’re not alone. The good news is that there are several strategies you can utilize to help them overcome this seasonal dip and reignite their motivation and focus.

  1. Encourage Physical Activity: It’s no secret that movement has a positive impact on mood and cognitive function. Encourage your child to engage in physical activity regularly, whether it’s playing a sport, going for a walk, or participating in indoor exercises. Even a short burst of movement can help boost energy levels and improve concentration.
  2. Create a Cozy Study Space: The dreary winter weather can make it challenging to feel motivated to study. Help your child create a cozy and inviting study space that they look forward to spending time in. This could involve adding soft lighting, comfortable seating, and personal touches like photos or artwork. 
  3. Offer Support and Encouragement: Be a source of encouragement and support for your child during this challenging time. Let them know that it’s okay to struggle sometimes and that you’re there to help them navigate through it. Offer words of encouragement and praise their efforts, no matter how small. You can even create a countdown for the number of days left until summer break or another event that they are looking forward to. Sometimes, a little positivity can go a long way in boosting motivation and morale.
  4. Explore New Opportunities: Winter can be a great time to explore new hobbies or interests that can help with some of the winter blues. Encourage them to pursue activities outside of school that they find enjoyable and stimulating, whether it’s learning a new instrument, trying out a new sport, or delving into a creative project.
  5. Practice Self-Care: Remind your child of the importance of self-care, especially during the winter months when the days are shorter and the weather can be gloomy. Encourage them to prioritize activities that promote mental and emotional well-being, such as meditation, journaling, listening to music, or spending time with loved ones.

In conclusion, while the cold weather may present challenges for students, it’s important to remember that it’s temporary and manageable with the right strategies put into place. By putting the above tips into practice, you can help your child beat the winter slump and thrive academically and emotionally. Remember that every child is different and what works for one may or may not work for another. It can be helpful to review these tips with your child and let them have some autonomy over which tips they would like to implement into their schedule.

Learn More about Shannon or our Clinical Services.