Home Health & Wellness 71% of Parents Can’t Wait for the Warmer Weather and Summer to Begin

71% of Parents Can’t Wait for the Warmer Weather and Summer to Begin

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Package holiday provider Holiday Best has surveyed parents to reveal the challenges they face through winter, which ages struggle the most through the winter months, as well as what the main symptoms of winter blues are.

With the Christmas season well and truly over, it’s easy to be affected by the winter blues and it can be particularly impactful for children. The NHS estimates that 1 in 15 people – including children, will experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) each year.

13- to 17-year olds suffer most from winter blues, according to their parents, with 15% suggesting it impacts their children very often and despite Christmas, 79% said their children much prefer summer to winter.

It’s easy to see why 71% of parents can’t wait for summer to begin, especially when you consider that for 10% of Brits, the winter blues aren’t over until April, although for the majority (47%) it’s March.

It’s not just children who are impacted by the colder, wetter weather; the new study revealed that more than one in four (28%) British parents said they suffer from winter blues often, with a majority (62%) experiencing a lack of motivation as their top symptom. Over a third (38%) reported experiencing unhappiness, sadness, or depression, with 44% of 18–24-year-olds saying they felt this way. 

Over half of parents (58%) find winter the hardest time of the year to parent 

For parents specifically, 58% say they find it much harder to parent during the winter, and 76% of parents find it much more difficult to keep children entertained. 79% of parents say their children much prefer the summer months as they can do more outside, while 53% say they find parenting in the winter a hassle with having to remember enough warm clothing for everyone.

According to the study, the most challenging years to parent are 0–2 years old (31%), followed by 3–5 year olds (27%). The easiest age to parent are 16–17 year olds (63%), followed by 10–12 and 13–15 year olds (60%)

The causes and symptoms of winter blues

Poor weather conditions (59%), fewer daylight hours (58%), and feeling the cold over a long period of time (50%) are the top causes of winter blues for parents of children.

Over a third (37%) also said that feeling low during the winter months can be caused by financial worries, such as paying for more heating, which can also be exasperated by Christmas time.

Over half of parents (55%) also notice their children are more subdued and less energetic during the winter months, compared to other times of the year. In fact, the survey found that over a third (32%) of parents claimed that when their children aged 0–5 suffer winter blues, the symptoms can affect them severely.  

Top 5 symptoms of “winter blues” in children 

  1. Lack of motivation (40%) 
  2. Lack of energy or tiredness (38%) 
  3. Not wanting to go outdoors at all (34%) 
  4. Being more irritable (33%
  5. Lack of concentration (26%) 

How to combat winter blues 

Dealing with the “winter blues” as a parent can be difficult. That’s why Holiday Best has partnered with health and well-being expert Dr Radha Modgil to provide helpful guidance on managing winter blues symptoms for parents and adults.

Dr Modgil, a GP, wellness expert, and BBC Radio 1 daytime show presenter, said: “Anticipating experiences may also bring us more happiness than having material things. This can be lots of small, simple things, like a family movie night at the weekend, or a big event in the future, like a summer holiday. It is worth getting out your diary, sparking your imagination, and planning something lovely to look forward to.”

Expert tips to fight the winter woes 

For any parents struggling, Dr Modgil has some tips to help get them and their family through the spring:

  • Find the light. It’s great to get as much natural sunlight as you can. Try to get outside during the daylight hours and fit this into your routine so that you stick to it regularly. You should also try to make your indoor surroundings as light as possible and sit near windows if you are working or relaxing for a period of time.  
  • Get moving. Regular exercise and getting active can help boost your mood. Small, simple changes, like using stairs rather than a lift at work or going for a lunchtime walk, can add up. Make sure it’s something you enjoy and can have fun with, because then you’ll be more likely to stick to it and try doing something with a friend or a class to make it social too. 
  • Manage stress. Stress can have an impact on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Try different techniques, like having some time for self-care, talking it through with people you trust, and getting the support you need. Find practical solutions to things that are worrying you and use simple breathing techniques to feel calmer.
  • Plan things to look forward to. Having lots of small, simple things or a few big events scheduled in your diary to look forward to can reduce our stress levels and boost our mood and wellbeing. It is easy to forget to plan or the demands of life make it hard to do so, but if we proactively sit down and plan or book some lovely activities in advance, we can help ourselves feel better.
  • Connect. Our relationships and healthy, frequent, and meaningful connections with others – friends, family, colleagues, and neighbours – are key factors in our ability to deal with tough times. Talking things through with them, having activities to experience together and making new memories can all help. 

The way we try and combat the winter blues can vary, with men favouring spending quality time at home with family (49%) and women preferring to get out of the house and go for a walk or walk to somewhere, such as a café (53%).

Aside from the day-to-day activities, almost half of Brits (46%) think that going on a holiday at some point during the winter months is the best thing to fight winter blues. Over a quarter (26%) admit that jetting off to escape the winter cold is something they have done in the past.

When it’s cold and bleak outside, it’s no wonder that 60% of Brits find themselves often daydreaming of lying on a beach in the sun. 

Top 5 ways brits fight the winter blues 

  1. Get out of the house; for example, go for a walk or to a café (49%) 
  2. Spend quality time at home with the family (47%) 
  3. Do a family activity outside the home (41%) 
  4. Do any form of physical activity (32%) 
  5. Book a spring or summer holiday to have something to look forward to (28%) 

As Dr Modgil has stated: “Having something to look forward to – whether that’s next week, next month, or even next year – can help kick-start those endorphins into gear. If you are looking to go away at some point this year, which we know can be tricky, try and get the kids involved in the booking or planning process and encourage them to get excited as well. A holiday is a light at the end of the long winter tunnel for all the family.”

Win a family holiday to help beat the winter blues

To help combat the winter blues for families, Holiday Best is giving one lucky winner the chance to win £2000 worth of holiday vouchers. To enter, simply fill in the application on the Holiday Best site and tell them your favourite family holiday memory.

Applications are open now and until 23:59 on 15th February 2024. To find out more about Holiday Best, the expertise from Dr Modgil, or the competition, visit their website.

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