With the festive season upon us many working dads are looking forward to the break more than ever. These one minute hacks might make it easier.
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives. He shares his one minute hacks to help working dads have a peaceful Christmas.
It’s that time of year again! The adverts are on the telly and the Christmas cake and pigs in blankets are in the supermarket. Whether you celebrate Christmas or enjoy the festivities some other way it’s likely that Christmas 2020 is going to be a little different.
As dads we’ve had a lot to cope with this year. Worrying about our jobs, and the future for ourselves and our families. That can create extra pressure when it comes to the festive season – if we let it. Yes, we want to be the best dads and give our kids the best time, but it is worth spending a minute thinking what we mean by this and focusing on what is truly important.
Can you let yourself relax and help everyone have a good time, whether there are big presents or not? Maybe this year it should be about being present rather than focusing on lavish presents!
I’m a great believer in the power of micro moments and tiny interventions. These are the small things we notice, the little shifts we can make, the seemingly tiny insights that will change our life for the better.
Here are some one-minute ideas to help you, as a dad to change your 2020 festive season. Some of these suggestions are pulled from my ‘Meee in a Minute’ books, Each one offers 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that can help us to shift our perception in life, family and at work.
Thanksgiving. If you do get to spend time with your family this Christmas, take a minute to tell each person what you missed most about them in 2020. They do something similar during Thanksgiving in America, and it’s nice to stop and appreciate loved ones – especially after such a challenging year. Research has shown that taking the time to consciously appreciate what we are grateful for, as little as once a week makes us happier, healthier and more satisfied with life.
Discover Your Local Area. Instead of sitting down in front of the TV after you’ve eaten too much, assuming we are not in lockdown, get outside. Go for a walk and discover something new about where you live. If conditions permit, take a few minutes to have a snowball fight!
Give Knowledge. Instead of buying a gift why not introduce a loved one to interesting knowledge or a fun new interest. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are everywhere. Take a minute to visit www.futurelearn.com or google ‘online courses’. Browse the categories and sign up a friend or a family member to a new experience. Many of these courses are free. Who knows where they could lead – a new adventure?
Begin it. As 2021 marches closer – is there something you want to do but are scared it won’t work out? Perhaps you want to get fit or change career. If ever there was a time to explore that – it’s now. Take a minute to consider what you are putting off. Take one positive step toward that today and keep going.
Buy local. So many businesses are struggling this year and the future is very uncertain. It’s not uncertain for Amazon – their profits have soared. Wherever you can, choose to shop local. Take a minute to consider what you could buy in local stores and little gift shops. Money that is spent locally stays locally and helps to keep those businesses afloat during a tough year.
Focus on Expand-tations not Limitations. For so much of 2020 we’ve faced limits on what we can do and who we can see. But, hopefully 2020 has also taught us that the things we thought were super important are not that important and the things we took for granted – friends and family – are where it’s at. Take a minute to consider what you’ve gained in 2020. Expand into the good stuff.
Make 2021 a Cracker. We live in strange times. Lies and nonsense mixed with information is making truth hard to access. Take a few minutes each week to turn off social media and instead dive into TED. TED talks believe in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately the world. Use their ‘Surprise me’ feature where TED will randomly select a presentation for you to watch. Watch a different TED Talk every day.
Do more of what makes you happy. It’s been a tough year. But happiness is found in so much more than grand experiences or amazing achievements. Happiness is actually easier to find in the little moments – spending time with family, meeting friends (socially distanced of course), reading, listening to music, enjoying nice food or a good coffee. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, surely, it’s to relish in the simple things. Take a minute to write down a list of 10 things that make you happy. Do more of those things.
It’s Not About the Money. Above all else don’t overspend. Everyone you want to buy a present for already loves you. They will love you regardless of what you buy for them. And not one of those people would want you to feel some weird obligation to buy beyond your means and put unnecessary financial pressure on yourself and your family. Take a minute to breathe and remember it’s about love not money.