If your family's daily lifestyle has become dull and routine, it's time to mix things up. Mighty Mommy has 7 ways you can get your family energized in the new year.
With the holiday madness just about over and the end of another year quickly approaching, this is a good time to catch your breath and reflect on the high (and low) points of your family's year.
Some of the big moments in my family this past year were the high school graduation of our third child, my youngest son’s baseball team winning the New England championships, Mighty Mommy's return to work full time, my eighth-grader's second victory in the school spelling bee, a magical family vacation in Disney World (check out the picture at right!), and a new family member joining our clan—a pet bunny lovingly named Gansett after our hometown of Narragansett.
But of course, no year is complete without some challenges. And in my case, I think my family has gotten into a bit of a rut. We live a pretty structured and routine-based lifestyle (with 8 kids it’s the only way to fly!). But with most of my kids now tweens and teens, some of our day-to-day duties have gotten a little tired.
So my New Year's resolution is to give my family an energy makeover. How? Stick around to learn the 7 ways you too can energize your family life.
See also: Were You a Good Parent This Year?
Tip #1: Add Color to Your Surroundings
One way to give your family a big burst of energy is to liven up your walls with a fresh splash of color. We recently finished an extensive makeover in our home taking our neutral color palate of cream and pale yellow to an exciting tropical explosion of turquoise, tangerine, and lime green.
Now, every time I walk into our home and see these bold and vibrant colors after a long day at work, I instantly feel peppy and recharged. The vibe in the house is definitely more upbeat because of our bright surroundings.
If you're not read for a full blown Caribbean makeover, you can paint an accent wall in your family room. Choose a rich tone or stick with light gray walls and add pops of color inspiration with bright curtains and artwork. Changing out your accessories and getting playful with some exciting new color is one sure way to get energized this year.
Tip #2: Drink Smoothies
Another easy way to add some oomph to your family’s day is to start them off with a delicious, nutritious fruit and veggie smoothie. I’ve been a huge fan of green smoothies ever since my colleague Get-Fit Guy (aka Ben Greenfield) introduced me to them during the Mighty Mommy Belly Burn Project in the spring of 2013.
As a diabetic and a super busy mom I needed a quick and healthy breakfast to kick-start my day. Nearly two years later, I’m still enjoying smoothies as a regular part of my diet. Smoothies are versatile, fun, and easy to make. Adding these potent and tasty drinks into your family’s menu plan is another great way to get energized this year.
Check out Nutrition Diva's awesome recipe for the perfect smoothie.
Tip #3: Take Power Naps
When my kids were younger and were at the point of transitioning out of naps, I still made sure they had some down time each day—just 15-20 minutes with a book or lying on their bed listening to music to relax and take the edge off their busy little bodies.
Sometimes, even after you've done all you can to stay perky, your body just doesn't respond to your quick energy fixes so on days like these, I like to do what I used to have my kids do when they were giving up naps-- just give in and shut my eyes for a few minutes. When my kids are stressed out from studying for exams or don’t have any real down time between their after-school activities and working or doing homework, I suggest they take a 15-minute power nap to recharge their batteries. Power naps can be a life saver for sleep-deprived parents, students, and anyone else who needs to refuel.
Tip #4: Visit the Farmers’ Market
Going to the farmers’ market is much more than shopping for organic fruits and veggies. Buying from your local farmer allows you to support local agriculture which means that the food you are eating comes from nearby and does not require us to waste lots of energy and petroleum to ship the food halfway around the world.