New Year Resolutions: Pandemic Edition

by Maris Lemba

If you made a list of resolutions for 2020 at the end of 2019, then reading them now will probably make you both laugh and cry.  Simply getting through the year and making it to 2021 seems like an achievement enough today.  You may choose to take 2021 one day at a time, and strive to make it to the end as healthy and happy as can be.  However, if you are one for resolutions (I am!), here are some suggestions.  No, we are not going to suggest ‘travel more’, or ‘have more playdates’ or ‘find new extracurriculars’ or any of the other things you may have written down a year ago.  Instead, we handpicked our top 3 family ‘challenges’ you can take on right here on the North Shore that won’t break the bank, that are most likely doable even with the strictest of social distancing measures, and that can act as self-care for you and your family in times when our regular outlets may not be available.

#1: Embrace all weather and take on the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge.  Numerous studies have demonstrated the superiority of outdoor play, particularly from the standpoint of sensory stimulus, providing opportunities for risky play, and enhancing creativity.  The 1000 Hours Outdoors Challenge simply encourages families to spend more time outdoors.  1000 hours a year breaks down to about 20 hours per week, or 3ish a day: challenging enough for most families, but also achievable for many.  You can download a free tracking sheet if you wish, and/or join a global Facebook group for inspiration.

#2: Lace up your shoes and those of your family’s - or grab a carrier for the youngest of young - and get your hike on: the quintessential North Shore activity.  The 52 Hike Challenge aims to promote connecting with your family, yourself and nature and exploring new places (local, COVID style - I bet there are plenty of hidden parks and trails you haven’t explored yet).  A hike doesn’t need to be an arduous trek to a mountaintop; simply getting out for a mile (1.6 km) in your local urban forest counts.  You can sign up - for free - for the basic version, or kids series, or any of the more advanced options like having all 52 hikes be unique. 

#3: Find comfort and connection in reading.  The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Challenge strives to promote reading to children aged 0-5 - critically important for the development of literacy and language -, and child-parent bonding through reading.  If you want to track your books, you can download the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten App.  We suggest you try out North Vancouver Public Libraries’ take-out service with personalized recommendation assistance: simply describe your child’s interests and what you’d like them to read, and receive a personalized take-out bundle from your local library!   

We hope these ideas help you move from the dreaded "resolutions" into fun and achievable "challenges" to bring your family closer throughout the year.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and safe 2021!