A new year equals a new start, new opportunities and … New Year’s resolutions that are sometimes too ambitious and too difficult to achieve, particularly this year. But they don’t have to be!
We put our heads together with Muddle Puddles, to come up with a list of 10 achievable New Year’s resolutions for families that help us feel close, even when our loved ones are 4,000 miles away. What is on your list for 2021?
Get outdoors more
We love getting out and about and spending time outdoors as a family. Northumberlandia is one of our favourite places and it’s a great spot for a walk to blow away the cobwebs.
While we can’t all be together at the moment, spending more time outside help the little adventurers among us feel happier, healthier and more relaxed. The great outdoors offers us a way to bond and we try to spend at least a few hours outdoors every week. We have made it our mission while working from home to prioritise outdoors walks (and hot chocolate) at the weekends.
Enjoy family meals
Persian cooking and eating together brings our family closer and it is a great way to spend a fun evening at home. We don’t worry about our kitchen getting all messy – the most important thing is that we work as a team, make a delicious, homemade meal and really enjoy it together. Trying recipes from different countries is also a great way to tempt fussy eaters to eat something new. Cyrus’s favourite dish is ghormeh sabzi – Persian lamb stew with limes. We also love a living room picnic.
More quality time together
Easier said than done right now with lockdown 3, but we try to spend more time with our loved ones when we can, however we can. Whether it’s dropping off a doorstep food parcel for my dad, a walk in the great outdoors or a chat via our mobile phones. It sounds easy but squeezing family time into our busy schedules can be challenging. The trick is to step back from planned activities, be spontaneous because it’s important to just enjoy the moment and connect with family however we can.
Pick one technology-free evening and leave all the screens behind. We love a game of Soundiculous Kids, Ludo or Snakes & Ladders. Less screen time means healthier children (and adults), better sleep and more time for getting outdoors – and more time for what’s the most important – family.
Our bedtime routine wouldn’t be complete without reading stories together. It’s a fun and super simple activity. You can even start a family reading challenge with older children and see who reads the most books in 2021. Reading to children has lots of benefits, from boosting their cognitive development to developing empathy and improving their concentration.
Find a new hobby
Find a family hobby or project. It can be anything from arts and crafts together to visiting as many local landmarks as possible. It’s important to make sure a new family activity is age-appropriate and not too challenging. A hobby should be fun and relaxing after all! We took to visiting as many castles nearby as we could during our downtime between lockdowns 1 and 2, when restrictions were a little bit more relaxed.
Learn a new skill
Learn something new together. You can be ambitious and try to learn a new language together, but it can be also something simple such as baking cakes together or learning to play a new board game. We recently baked some Cake e Yazdi and C found it such fun! Recipe to follow very soon.
As we’re not able to head out on the town or bounce around at a gig right now, (something we’ve not done since we had Cyrus!), H has become my very own DJ H. We turn the music up every night and get the whole family involved. We choose upbeat Persian tunes and almost anything from the Eighties that will get the whole household on their feet. It’s always a full surround-sound experience and we love to party!
Do something good
You could volunteer together, help someone in need or even make pizzas to feed hungry birds in your garden. Doing something good together as a family will bring you closer and will make you feel inspired and happy.
And … relax!
We’re all busy, stressed and before lockdown life, were always in a rush. However even lockdown can feel like too much at times, so we’ve make self-care our family’s priority. Don’t set New Year’s resolutions if you don’t feel like it or if it makes you stressed.
I’m hearing so many of my friends are full of anxiety, stress and feeling down right now. And I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit that I fight with my emotions daily. However, I will never give up the battle because I’m a warrior. We’re all warriors right now. That said, I’m also always looking for my next weapon of choice and Gusto Organic’s Super DC has recently proved a firm favourite of mine.
Both its blood orange and blackcurrant and elderberry beverages are the next best thing to gin in a tin, but have a lot more health benefits. Made with 39% fruit juice, no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, the drink is high in vitamins A, C and D and zinc for wellness. So, if you’re like me and looking for a much-needed boost, you can’t go wrong with a tin of this. It has proved just the tonic.
Have a lovely new year (and don’t take New Year’s resolutions too seriously – apart from getting outdoors more!)