by Nancy Peplinsky, founder of the Holistic Moms Network
New Year’s resolutions can be tedious. We seem to recycle the same objectives year after year, often setting ourselves up for failure: lose weight, get fit, save money, etc. This year I’m tired of adult resolutions. They seem like one more thing to add to my never-ending “to do” list. Instead, my only resolutions for 2022 are going to be to live life more like my children. For this year, I’m resolving to:
Be in the Moment. Children are the greatest teachers of mindfulness that I know. They are ever present and focused in the moment, experiencing it to its fullest. Their minds are not elsewhere worrying about what to make for dinner, which bills need to be paid, or how many emails are piling up in their inbox. They turn all of their senses to focus on whatever it is they are doing, a skill I have been trying to relearn throughout my adulthood.
Laugh Often and Heartily. Whether a silly knock-knock joke, a funny situation, or the joy of a playful puppy, kids will belt out the biggest laughs or the cutest giggles without reservation. As adults, we build so many social filters we often lose our ability to just laugh into a situation and let go. Laughter is physiologically good for our bodies. This year, I want to lean into humor and laugh until my face hurts and tears roll down my cheeks.
Play More Games. My kids love to play a wide variety of games. From a simple deck of cards to an elaborate board game, playing games has been shown to reduce stress and help with depression. Game play can develop your creativity. Interactive games build social connection, improve your memory, and sharpen your mind. Even video games can improve coordination and develop strategy building skills. Fortunately, my older son is turning his love of games into a profession so there is never a lack of opportunity for play!
Spend Time with Friends. My kids are always seeking out an opportunity to connect with friends. Even throughout the pandemic, the kids are making use of digital opportunities through Zoom and other platforms to stay connected and current with their friends. Sometimes it is too easy for me to fall into a pattern of isolation as the pandemic chugs along but every time that I get to reconnect, I am forever grateful for the social interactions that I have. Friends and community renew my spirit and energy for life.
Create Fun. It is magical to watch a bored child create play. Everyday settings or objects are transformed through their imagination and their ability to celebrate the simple things, and being present makes fun out of nothing. We all need more fun in our lives and learning to manifest delight is a resolution worth striving for.
Love Openly. My kids are rarely shy about how they feel. They happily announce their affection for people, pets, their favorite foods, and whatever charms them. They are unencumbered by toxic relationships or social norms to reserve their affections. While there is wisdom in knowing whom to share your love with, the ability to be open and expressive with feelings can help us all to develop healthy relationships and set clear boundaries with others.
What can you learn from your kids this year? Let’s capture some of those skills for 2022 and see where it takes us!