When I first heard about International Happiness Day I thought it was just another one of those made-up holidays, but I was wrong. I was surprised to learn that it was actually created by the United Nations to help show people that happiness is not something that is only for the rich.
Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live.Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury. It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family. It should be denied to no-one and available to all. This aspiration is implicit in the pledge of the United Nations Charter to promote peace, justice, human rights, social progress and improved standards of life.
What does happiness mean to you? One of the things that really makes me happy is spending time with my kids, and with Spring Break coming up, I wanted to share some tips for having a happy and low-stress break. Here they are:
1) Let the kids burn off some energy outside by heading to a State Park or going to your local arboretum.
2) Avoid the crowds - If you're planning field trips, "plan them for later in the afternoon when attractions are less likely to be crowded" says Jennifer of Jersey Family Fun.
3) Just Relax - Jessica, of DelcopaMoms says "I don't know about everyone else's families but mine runs from soccer to t-ball to gymnastics and back again. If there is one week this spring where the kids don't have activities, we're vegging out! We have one planned activity the entire week. I also plan to hang, watch tv, probably do a TON of coloring but we're relaxing!"
4) Let your child help plan an activity. Allowing my kids to choose one special activity during Spring Break helps to keep them happy. I have scheduled a playdate for each of my sons with one of their closest friends. Doing this ahead of time makes me feel prepared and gives us all something to look forward to.
5) Don't overplan! - Jacquie from KC Edventures says "We don't overplan for spring break because we love not having a schedule. We sleep in on most days, enjoy a movie or two together, head to a nature center etc. Low key days."
6) Expect the Unexpected - "My biggest piece of advice after our break this year is 'have a back-up plan'. We've had temps in the 30s and snow!! I know - crazy -- so have a few things in mind in case you get bad weather. Visit a museum for an afternoon, maybe an indoor pool, etc. Oh yea - Take advantage of library programs during break - they are great too!" says Jacquie.
7) Keep a good balance - Kristen from Busy Moms Happy Kids says "Make them "work" for their electronics time. Balance it with creating, playing, outside time, reading, chores, and exercise. Every 30 minutes they spend doing the above, earns them 10 minutes of electronics."
8) Trust your instincts - You know your kids best. Some kids like to go with the flow and other kids thrive on a strict routine. Kristen uses a schedule to help her kids know what is what is expected of them. If you have a child that flourishes with a routine, check out Kristin's post about scheduling your day.
10) Do something completely spontaneous! When my son and I took a spur-of-the-moment trolley ride, we had the most amazing a
fternoon. It wasn't anything extraordinary and it didn't cost very much money, yet it was a day I will never forget.
Sometimes, I feel like we're over scheduled, and other times, I'm rushing to set up last-minute play dates. It's not always easy to find a happy medium, but I think that these tips are a great start in the right direction. Do you have any other tips for a fun & happy spring break?