“Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love.”– Marvin J. Ashton
Family is important. Whether you consider family to be the siblings, parents and relations that you have been provided with because of genetics, or if you consider family to be those that you have chosen to include in your life; looking after the ones that you love is a big deal. Perhaps the biggest familial challenge lies looking after the wellness of your immediate unit, you, your partner, your kids… your pets?
We hope to lighten the load around the tricky task of creating fruitful and joyous relationships in your immediate family and ensuring that you and your family enjoy a wonderful quality of life; physically, emotionally, educationally and spiritually.
1. Family Activity
More and more, we are not spending quality time together in our family units. With devices now very much a part of our day-to-day lives and working away from home no longer uncommon, finding specific times with which to just be with each other is tricky. But you must make the effort; ensure that you schedule family activities. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it could be as simple as eating a meal together once a week, or watching a movie together; what is important is that you are spending the time together. This is not only good for your relationships, but strengthens your awareness of others and everyone’s ability to genuinely connect to other human beings.
2. Work/Life Balance
A good work/life balance isn’t just about you, it is also about the people who benefit from your presence. A parent not being around that much due to work can have a number of impacts. First of all, this puts strain on the other partner, which can lead to animosity. Children are also significantly affected by the input they receive from their carers, if you are not around then you simply won’t create meaningful bonds with your family. Prioritise home time, for your good and happiness as well as your family’s!
3. Sleep for All
Unfortunately, we are not sleeping as well as we used to these days. Devices are generally to blame. There are now countless studies out there to support the fact that spending significant amounts of time with our screens is not good at all; whatever your age. Regardless of how sensible our bedtimes are, the quality of our sleep is suffering because of our tech habits. Make sure you think carefully about the habits in your home, and whether these are habits you want your children to adopt as normal behaviour!
Honesty and open communication is the key to true understanding. To encourage your children to be open and honest, you must earn their trust by offering them the same in return. If your child asks a question, answer it as plainly and honestly as possible. This strengthens your bond with your children, but also teaches them that honesty really is the best way to communicate. Lead by example, and your children will follow.
Health is a huge part of overall happiness. It is so easy to make food an afterthought when trying to balance family life, but feeding you and your family properly, and mindfully, is really important. For centuries food has been used as an opportunity to get together and connect with those close to us; so linked with our emotions and so sensory is the experience. With this in mind, make food an event; prepare food, experiment with food, enjoy food with your family. Cooking can be as bonding and mindful an experience as eating the food itself.
Positivity can be injected in to any situation. Nothing has ever been solved effectively by panicking or grumbling. So, when dealing with family challenges, do your best to always come at them from a positive angle; seeing what’s good, or what can be learnt from a situation, rather than focusing on the negative. By doing this you are setting a precedent for positive solution finding and feeding a safe and positive family atmosphere.
As with all mindful and wellness focused behaviour, it is not enough to desire it in others, we must lead by example. This could not be more relevant when it comes to raising a family. Instil mindful and grateful practices in yourself and your family will follow.
By Chris Thomson
Life is full of the potential for conflict. Don’t give in, kindness is always the best avenue to walk down! Being Kind When You Don’t Feel Like It
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