You can hear it. You can’t see it, most definitely can’t feel it, but hear it? Yes, you can! Spring is just around the corner, and the only indicator we have right now -- aside from the mathematical equations given to us by the local meteorologist -- is the sound Spring generates prior to making its presence felt. Listen once on your way to your car when zipping through the cold, or when taking the recyclables out, or the dog for a walk. Listen for the sound of Spring.
It is this moment, just before Spring begins to emerge that cabin fever is at its worst, we can sense the outdoor activities are about to begin, but the weather keeps us indoors watching the thermometer and wondering when that blasted thing will go above freezing. We must endure a few more weeks of exercising indoors when what we really want is to go walking around our favorite trail, or hiking in a state park, swimming at the local pool, or competing in the local club sport. Instead, we plan, make goals, and are patient.
If you are a parent, coach, teacher, or anyone that with the young it can be the most trying moments of the year dealing with youth and spring fever. Where do you channel that exciting energy? How do you deal with the impatience? How do you tell a child, for the hundredth time, not to throw that ball in the house, not to run down the hallway, not to wrestle your sister in the kitchen? Growing up, I had parents that had a very simple method on dealing with this problem. It was called “outside time.” When we got home from school, with a few moments of daylight left, we were given a quick snack and put outside right away. What we did was anyone’s guess: sledding, snowball fights, snow wrestling, football, snow forts, the list and injuries could go on and on. At first, my brothers and I didn’t enjoy the prospect of going outside, but eventually it became a habit that we just expected. It helped us expend some energy and was part of the process of developing us to who we are today.
The point is, is that cabin fever is a condition that derives from being inside, and the cure is getting outside the “cabin.” At first, it may tough – and downright mean – to put your respective child outside in this cold. If you have reservations, send them to open gym here at the Y where there’s plenty of room! As parents, leaders, or community members it is our responsibility to care for the youth, and that means helping them stay active. Spring really is just around the corner!
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