Winter of 2021 looks like it will be long and locked down. It’s hard to start something new when you are mostly confined to your house, but there are ways. Here are a few small but impactful suggestions for improving your body, mind, and soul. 

During a global pandemic, with all of its attendant uncertainty, it is perhaps kinder to switch from New Years Resolutions to New Years Intentions. We have all learned this past year how your plans can get dashed with one press conference. However, there are things one can do, even at home, even during a pandemic. Perhaps visiting the Taj Mahal or Machu Pichu is out for the time being but here are some other, smaller, things that might be possible:

Learn Dutch!

First ask yourself whether it is worth your effort to learn Dutch – here are 5 Questions to Ask Yourself before doing so.

Secondly, don’t be afraid! (especially of those hard g’s!) Learning Dutch is Child’s Play has some easy strategies for tackling this tongue twister of a language.

If you choose to move forward, you can learn or improve your Dutch by attending online classes at one of the Amsterdam Mamas’ community favorite language schools – they suit all levels and purposes. If official classes are not your thing, here is a list of the 16 best TV programs to help your Dutch organized by proficiency level – from kids cartoons to discussion of current events.

 Stay Active and Improve Your Physical Fitness!

Personal Trainers: Here is an updated list of the Amsterdam Mamas’ Community’s favorite personal trainers if you would like one-on-one or small group classes to reach your fitness goals. Alternatively or additionally, all of the finalists in the Amsterdam Mamas Recommends Awards Best Workout Studio offer online (and sometimes free introductory) classes.

Do Nothing!

Did you know there is an actual Dutch verb that means “to do nothing”? Niksen. It is not the same as being bored or restless; it is not getting a massage. Niksen is settling into a guilt free space of, well, not doing anything. A Polish journalist based in the Netherlands caused a media frenzy with her book and New York Times article about ‘niksen’.

Here is our review of Niksen: Embracing the Dutch Art of Doing Nothing. Maybe you will want to explore this very Dutch practice in your New Year.


Best wishes to all of the Amsterdam Mamas’ Community for a lighter, brighter, and happier 2021 from the Amsterdam Mamas Editorial Team.

Anastasia Drost

Anastasia Drost is a freelance editor and writer and former Editor in Chief of Amsterdam Mamas. She fell in love with this city thirty years ago and is now thrilled to call it home.