In ‘normal’ daily life there is often something fun to anticipate, but our lives are changing dramatically day by day at the moment. There will be no jetting off this school holidays or heading to the beach house with your family. Actually, there will pretty much be no leaving the house at all in our neck of the woods. Many of us are feeling uncertain, afraid of the future and a little bit stir crazy and sometimes it’s hard to distract yourself from these feelings. But hang in there – there are still things we can look forward to!
As a child I would burst with anticipation over the simplest things – an unexpected package in the mail, a shopping trip or one on one time with a parent. The excitement over Christmas or a family holiday would start months in advance. By the time Christmas Eve arrived or I was packing my suitcase, I would be so enthusiastic that the anticipation was almost as good as the event itself. We all need things to look forward too and so often it’s the anticipation of the event and the planning of the details that make it all the sweeter.
The very act of anticipating joy in the future helps you feel joy right now. I think it’s something we all need to hang on too, especially at the moment.
As an adult, my anticipation usually revolves around organising social events I know friends and family will enjoy. I love preparing a gorgeous birthday party, organising a BBQ for friends or planning a family holiday where memories will be made. But what do we do when social events and travel are completely off the cards?
My challenge to you this week – give yourself something fun to anticipate each day – one thing you can really look forward too that will lift your spirits. Focus on the small things. Here are some ideas, that I’m working on as a reward for myself each day. And below I’ve listed what we are doing as a family to make each day special.
10 IDEAS JUST FOR YOU
1 Face Time A Friend
I had my first drink date via phone with a girlfriend, last Friday night and it was so enjoyable! Stay in touch with the people that are important to you. This is one aspect of this virus I’m actually enjoying. I’m speaking with my family virtually every day even though they’re scattered all over the world and feel so much more in touch.
2 Take An Afternoon Nap
This is not something I can do (I just don’t wake up and if I do I am so horribly grumpy) but my Tiger loves nothing more than a quick nap to totally rejuvenate him. You can be guaranteed that if he moves to ‘working from home’ that will be the first item added to his daily agenda.
3 Read A Great Book
Better yet, bask in the sunshine while you read. Studies have proven that sunshine gives you a mood boost, allowing you to sleep better and feel calm and focused. My latest read, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – a historical fiction set in WWII. I’ve been recommended this as my friends favourite book of all time – big call, I know. I’ll let you know what I think.
You don’t need a kindle to download books. I have the free app ‘Libby‘ which allows me to download books from Brisbane Libraries straight to my phone or ipad for free.
4 Prepare A Healthy Treat
It’s tricky to keep your healthy eating on track when surrounded by hungry little ones, demanding constant meals. Prepare some healthy treats so you have something nutritious to reach for when you open the fridge. I’m loving spicy carrot dip (this recipe is via The Original Dish) at the moment with Melinda’s Gluten Free Seed Crackers. Once you’ve tried these, normal crackers will taste like cardboard forever more.
5 Watch A Film or Series
Thanks to self-isolation we have a streaming service for the first time ever – yes, I know – a little behind the times (AND can you imagine my excitement!). We all need some light relief from reality at present and I’m loving the romantic comedy series ‘Younger’ (currently in season 7) on Stan.
6 Online Yoga
Yoga has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. And almost anyone can do it. So now is the perfect time to download a class and take some time out for yourself or enjoy some relaxation with the whole family. Clayfield Yoga Studio is also holding live classes at a reduced price.
7 Get The Party Started
Make yourself a special cocktail for happy hour this Friday, but you don’t need to drink alone. I’ve got some simple cocktails for the whole family including a non-alcoholic version for the kids as well. So, kick off your weekend in style.
8 Self Love
When we’re stuck at home its tempting to hang out in your pyjamas all day without a care for our appearance. I always feel so much better if I get up, have a shower and give myself a bit of love. Wash & blow dry your hair, put on some mascara and a slick of lip gloss, get out of your pj’s and I guarantee the day will feel brighter.
9 Take Dinner Outside
A change is like a holiday they say and when you mix things up with a picnic in the backyard, a simple dinner can become something special. There’s fun in the planning and there will be no distracting TV. You’ll be able to focus 100% on those that are important to you.
10 A Fresh Bed
Sometimes the simplest things are the best. There is nothing quite like getting into a bed with fresh, crisp sheets. It’s an absolute mood boost for me every time. Add a few drops of lavender oil and I’m in heaven!
SOMETHING FUN TO ANTICIPATE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
As a family, the girls and I are also trying to pick one thing to do together after we’ve finished our school and work for the day. We have a jar full of fun ideas – all things we want to do together – and everyone takes a turn at picking one out at the start of the week.
My children range in age from 8-14 years and obviously you will need to customise your activities to the age of your children. It’s fantastic to have something fun to anticipate each afternoon, and a great motivation to get our work and school done. Here’s a quick peek at what this week looks like for the girls and I.
MONDAY – Picnic
A picnic afternoon tea with games was a huge hit for a change of pace, a chance to connect and to burn off some steam. We headed to our local park and had the entire space to ourselves.
TUESDAY – Get Crafty
Magazine collage self portraits provided lots of anticipation on Tuesday. We loved the opportunity to think outside the square and get creative! The girls enjoyed finding pictures of things that told a little of their story. They turned out pretty cool too and I think this project would suit any age group.
WEDNESDAY – Bake
Wednesdays activity was pool volleyball followed by warm cookies & milk (to defrost). The pool was completely invigorating (freezing) but we had so many laughs. Devouring warm home made cookies is always a treat for us. The girls don’t want me to share my family recipe, so you’ll have to find your own:). Apparently, they’re a top secret drawcard to entice their friends to visit over and over again.
THURSDAY – Learn A Dance
Our challenge today is to learn a hip hop dance routine. Mega Jam has online dance tutorials that are great for learning some professional dance moves at home. This is a really fun activity to do with your teenagers if you all love to get your groove on and it keeps everyone moving too.
FRIDAY – Dance Party
Time to show off our new moves. We’re whipping up simple cocktails and Mexican food on Friday night to celebrate the start of the school holidays. We’ll be busting out our disco lights and dancing tunes too. After attending the wildest club in a mud hut of a tiny village in Zambia, we’ll even be whipping out our own hand-made genuine African disco ball.
SATURDAY – Romance
This has never happened before. This Saturday the girls are planning a romantic dinner for Mum & Dad. The girls love this one and are busy organising a menu. I’m yet to see what they create with their very limited culinary skills, but life is meant to be an adventure, right?
SUNDAY – Scavenger Hunt
No one is ever too old for a scavenger hunt. Ours kids love them. I make it a team activity and prepare super hard clues to keep them entertained for as long as possible. I have some secret surprises as prizes too which will keep them busy for the rest of the day.
Love your life. Take pictures of everything you do. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers. Do things that you’re scared to do. Take your life and make it the best story in the world.
10 OTHER IDEAS IN OUR FAMILY JAR
- Play Frisbee in the Pool
- Family Finska Challenge
- Go For A Walk At The Beach
- Make a Home Made Toy For Our Pet
- Camp Out On the Trampoline
- Plan a Work Out Session for Mum (Personal Trainer for a Day)
- Family Puzzle Night
- Girls Nail Spa
- Bake Cupcakes & Decorate Them
- Family Olympics – The ideas are endless for this one. Donut eating contest, 3-legged races, egg and spoon races, apple bobbing, lego building … anything you can think of.
Let’s all plan some small things to look forward to. Embrace the joy of anticipation. Wake up knowing that something great is going to happen each day. Just having something fun to anticipate will immediately make you feel brighter and more optimistic. Do you have any great ideas for simple fun activities, you can share with me?