10 tips for a happier family life in 2019
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.