Since the Winter Solstice I've felt a change. The days are slowly getting longer. Until you've experienced it, it is hard to imagine the cold and the darkness of a European winter. This winter I've often picked the boys up from school in the dark (complete darkness at 4pm) and we've been to Forest School when it's only 0.5°C. In the spirit of sharing here is what has got us through (so far!).
Kids Coughs and Colds - what's in my toolkit:
- Warming and Aromatic Chest Rub - my older boys love this just when they can feel the sniffles coming on, we use the Badger Chest Rub, it's a good/safe alternative to the Vicks rub.
- Elderberry Syrup - game changer. We don't use it all year but when colds start going around school, this keeps us healthy, for adults too.
- Infant/Child Reflexology - the course I've followed has a cough and colds protocol that hits all the right places - head, eyes and ears, lungs, immune, digestive and lymphatic systems. They have protocols for all types of things including teething and tantrums, if you have access to training I highly recommend it.
- Superfoods - in smoothies and yoghurt, we don't stop just because it's winter. Frozen fruits work well but we also use Immune Boost when we have it!
- Organic Hot Chocolate - need I say any more? This is good for the spirit, especially after playing outside and when the kids come in super cold, or during a snow storm!! Marshmallows are a must.
- Essential Oil Blend Diffuser - there are a few blends that are suitable for children through winter like the KidSafe Organic Germ Destroyer - we use this in the diffuser, or a couple of drops in the shower, the hot water creates steam and acts like a diffuser.
- Essential Oil Blend Roll On - we love the KidSafe Sniffle Stopper.
- Warm Bath
- Books, Blankets and Snuggles
For surviving the winter:
- Forest Bathing - time outdoors can be difficult but I believe even in winter children and adults need to be surrounded by fresh air, light and nature.
- Colour Therapy - ok, I'm half kidding here but there is no need to get all dark and gloomy, I ensure our home is still as bright and colourful as usual.
- Plant Therapy - now is not the time to neglect your indoor plants. In winter more than ever I feel the need for nature and greenery in our home and feel a sense of wellness with surrounded by healthy and happy leafy plants. When the heater is on and all the windows are closed they can be fantastic for improving air quality.
- Natural Light - I have not used light therapy but we strive to not only spend time outdoors in natural light but to bring as much natural light as possible into our home. In some rooms, we have removed the curtains/blinds and in other we make sure the blinds are open as much as possible especially in the morning. We encourage our children to sit or read/work near a window as opposed to turning on a lamp with the curtains closed.
- Wool Layers - naturally staying warm assists wellness, our whole family have benefited from a slight adjustment in clothing including lots of warm wool layers. At Forest School, Otto wears three layers and usually, two of these layers are wool.
- Warm Boots and Hat - my family are ok with scarves, gloves and coats outside but need reminding for a warm hat and boots. With Otto, we found snow boots essential for cold weather not just for snow. It took Otto a long time before he would keep his boots and hat on, but just as with a sun hat in summer, we stay patient and persistent. We all have boots that are wool lined, it just makes going outdoors a little warmer and more comfortable.
I know many people experience more severe winters, please leave any tips for me, how do you do it??