It is an understatement to say 2020 hasn’t been a walk in the park. The Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in travel restrictions, limits on gathering size and the stress of working and studying from home with little personal space, has drastically changed the way families interact and spend their time together.
But we must move onward. With 2021 around the corner, there is no better time than now to set the tone for how you would like your clan to grow stronger and cope with uncertain times.
With that in mind, here are 10 New Year resolutions to move you to action.
1. Start a family gratitude journal – everyone gets to write one thing they are thankful for each day or each week. Scientists have found that practicing gratitude can lower stress levels and increase happiness.
2. Implement phone-free Fridays. Banish electronic devices from the dinner table and bedroom for at least one evening a week.
3. Read together for an hour a week. The activity can improve focus and concentration. Plus, the little ones can check in with you on unfamiliar words.
4. Get sweaty on Saturdays. Set aside half a day to do something active together, be it heading downstairs for a game of badminton, going hiking or cooling off at the swimming pool. (Also read: 5 Home Workouts that Beat the Crowds)
5. Cook one new dish a week, and get your kids involved in the process too. Homecooked meals are often lower in sodium and fats, and you can sneak in more greens at the same time.
6. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Cutting back on unnecessary purchases will save money and the environment at the same time. (Also read: 9 Ways to Live Sustainably as a Family)
7. Build a family budget. Start a shared spreadsheet that even your older kids can access so everyone can keep tabs on expenses and feel involved in “running” the household.
Have I Told You Lately?
8. Mark important dates in your calendar – the day you started dating your spouse, your wedding anniversary and the birthdays of your parents and in-laws. Make it a point to send your love (at least virtually) if the pandemic doesn’t allow large celebrations.
9. Leave handwritten love notes for your spouse and children at unexpected places – in their wallets, on the refrigerator door or their lunchbox – before they leave home for the day. The discovery will make their day (and yours) extra special.
10. Give your family (and yourself) more compliments. Let your child know how much you appreciate her generous nature; give grandma lip smacking praise for her cooking; and pat yourself on the back for holding the family together in good and bad times alike