Get happy

10 tips for a hap­pier fam­ily life in 2019

Good (UAE) - - FRONT PAGE - @the­hap­py­place­jour­nal

With the New Year upon us, we wanted to steer you in the right di­rec­tion to a hap­pier and health­ier fam­ily in 2019. Elisha Udoh of The Happy Place Jour­nal shares 10 tips to set you up for an awe­some year ahead.

01 Seek ad­ven­ture

Re­con­nect with this in­cred­i­ble place we call home by head­ing out on a road trip to one of the fab­u­lous Emi­rates. With some won­der­ful hid­den gems here in the UAE, there is noth­ing more pre­cious than be­ing present in the mag­ni­tude of the land­scape while mak­ing mem­o­ries as a fam­ily. From camp­ing in the desert to chas­ing Ara­bian sun­sets, al­low your­self time to get back to ba­sics and ap­pre­ci­ate the sim­ple things life in this busy re­gion has to of­fer.

02 Fun in the sun

It’s time to en­joy the great out­doors, so get your fix of Vi­ta­min Sea by head­ing to your near­est beach to soak up some hap­pi­ness rays and en­joy some qual­ity fam­ily time. Af­ter you’ve taken a dip, throw a Fris­bee or have a hit with a bat and ball to get your heart rate up.

03 Cre­ate to med­i­tate

Get creative at home through arts and crafts to pro­vide you with that el­e­ment of Zen. Colour­ing, paint­ing and do­ing crafts not only en­ables you to use your imag­i­na­tion, it also of­fers you that quiet time that is good for the mind and works as a form of med­i­ta­tion, help­ing to re­lieve stress.

04 Work hard, but play harder

Be­ing thank­ful for our jobs is a must – es­pe­cially as it is the ba­sis of bring­ing so many of us here to the UAE and open­ing us up to so many op­por­tu­ni­ties. With this be­ing said, it is im­por­tant to en­sure that work-life bal­ance re­mains. So when the day is done, close that lap­top and give your un­di­vided fo­cus to your fam­ily, switch­ing off from the of­fice and switch­ing on to fun time.

05 You are what you eat

A healthy, bal­anced diet is so im­por­tant for all of the fam­ily. As par­ents we should act as role mod­els for our chil­dren, and lead by ex­am­ple by en­cour­ag­ing a pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship with food in the house­hold. To of­fer va­ri­ety, plan your meals each week and in­volve the chil­dren where pos­si­ble, mak­ing time for fam­ily cook­ing ses­sions. From fruit sal­ads to cre­at­ing your own smi­ley faced piz­zas, let the chil­dren be a part of this time, and then dine to­gether at the ta­ble so every­one can dis­cuss what they have done that day.

06 We like to… move it!

Here in the UAE there are so many fan­tas­tic events to get in­volved with as well as great fa­cil­i­ties to im­ple­ment some healthy ac­tive habits for you and the fam­ily. With Abu Dhabi’s For­mula 1 track giv­ing you the op­por­tu­nity to walk or cy­cle for free and the new Al Hu­dayr­iat Is­land boast­ing a va­ri­ety of fit­ness events and classes that are sure to get you in the mood to move, there re­ally is no ex­cuse for stay­ing seden­tary. Play games at home, take a ball to the lo­cal park or keep an eye out for com­mu­nity events in your area to get in­spired. What­ever it is you chose, the most im­por­tant thing is to en­sure you all have fun.

07 Make time for friends

As the say­ing goes, sur­round your­self with peo­ple that make you want to for­get about us­ing your phone! Qual­ity time with friends is im­por­tant, es­pe­cially as the ma­jor­ity of us are away from our fam­i­lies. So ar­range some play dates, fam­ily pic­nics and bar­be­cues to lift your spir­its and to give you that el­e­ment of sup­port and a sense of home.

08 Date night

Make time for Mum and Dad! Al­lo­cate some qual­ity time for you and your part­ner, whether it be once a week or once a month – lock it in the di­ary and make it hap­pen! It’s down to you both daily to hold the fam­ily to­gether, so feel guilt-free in tak­ing this time out. You will be amazed by the pos­i­tive ef­fect this has on your chil­dren, while also mak­ing you bet­ter par­ents.

09 Home sweet home

Down­time is just as im­por­tant to your weekly rou­tine as so­cial­is­ing is. So, in or­der to recharge, some­times it’s nice to stay in the com­fort of your own home, whether it be pulling out your favourite fam­ily board games or hav­ing a pop­corn and movie night. Re­mem­ber, the best things in life are free and it’s im­por­tant to teach your chil­dren not to lose sight of that.

10 Ex­pect noth­ing, ap­pre­ci­ate every­thing

Quit com­par­ing your­self to oth­ers – this is a recipe for dis­ap­point­ment. Im­ple­ment a daily grat­i­tude prac­tice, which can be as sim­ple as set­ting aside five min­utes at the start or end of day to think about all the things you are grate­ful for (even bet­ter, write them down). And en­joy your own fam­ily jour­ney, re­mem­ber­ing that these pre­cious days will speed by in the blink of an eye.

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