We want the best for our family. We want them to find the love of their lives, discover their passions in life, and live all around happy and fulfilling lives. These things don’t just happen, however. There’s usually a strong correlation between a person’s home life and how they’re able to navigate the real world once they step out into the world on their own. If we’re able to instill a positive mental and physical health attitude into our household, then we’ll be giving our children an ideal platform from which they can grow into happy adults. Below, we offer a few tips to make sure they’re as healthy as can be, inside and out.
How’s Everyone Doing?
We don’t often think about our family’s health until something goes obviously wrong. There are too many details of life to take care for us to be able to keep tabs on people’s weight, happiness, and the like. However, taking the time to review how everyone is doing is a great way to pre-empt any problems that might become serious if they go untreated.
It can be easier to notice a decline in a person’s physical health rather than their mental health. If they don’t look well, or look like they’re not getting exercise, you’ll be able to tell soon enough. It’s more difficult when it comes to the mind, but not impossible. You just have to keep an eye on the warnings signs that suggest all is not well. If a family member is becoming more withdrawn and pulling away from the activities they usually enjoy, they might be suffering from depression. However, don’t assume a person suffering from a mental condition will always be down or lethargic. People suffering from certain conditions, such as bipolar depression, can fluctuate between one mood and the next. They might appear on top of the world, but it’s only masking a deeper problem.
Establishing Good Practices
The best way to get your family to live emotionally and physically healthy lives is to develop good practices in the home. For example, ensuring that everyone takes time out of their day to chat to one another will give people a chance to speak what’s on their mind, and may bring potential problems to the surface before they’re able to do any damage. If you have children, you can recreate the old bedtime reading routine, but this time, opt for a chat instead. Younger people (actually, all people) can have a hard time opening up, but if there’s a set time where they can relax and feel comfortable sharing, you’ll be learning more about what they’re dealing with.
Everybody’s different, physically and emotionally. The art of keeping your family healthy rests on your ability to manage the different needs that people have. You’ll want to keep everybody fit and active, and part of that will include signing people up for sports teams or pursuing individual sports activities. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your family members will allow to encourage them to the right degree. If someone is more interested in schoolwork than sports, then they should be invited to follow that passion, but at the same time ensuring they’re getting the right dose of physical activity.
Spending long days inside, playing video games? No chance. When the weekend – or holidays – come round, use your free time to get the whole family out into the great outdoors. There are bags and bags of benefits of spending time in nature, including improving our mental health, calming symptoms of anxiety, and of course getting us fitter and healthier. A family with a strong appreciation for the virtues of the natural world will always be a healthy family.
Everybody in your family, including you, can benefit from having family exercise sessions. This gets everybody up and active, and also improves the family bond at the same time. And when it comes to exercise, this doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym together: it means walking the dog as a group, everybody getting involved with garden work, hosting an inter-family sports match, or anything else. As long as you’re working up a sweat and all together, it’ll be mission accomplished.
Eating Well (and Together)
The importance of eating well cannot be underestimated. While it might be you in charge of preparing the meals, it’s important that you get it right. Cheap and easy to make meal ideas are abundant, and tasty, too. Aside from giving your family what they need right now, you’ll also be instilling in your children the art of eating well. If a child sees their parent preparing fresh, healthy meals each night, they’re much more like to do the same themselves when they’re adults.
Use Technology, Don’t Abuse It
Of all the “positive” things that can negatively affect a person’s mental and physical health, none is more ubiquitous than technology. While it has many obvious benefits, it can also cause families to spend too much of together time lost in screen time. Even if your family is relatively disciplined when it comes to tech, it’s a good idea to have technology-free evenings a couple of nights a week. Excessive amounts of tech can cause mental health issues, sleep problems, and ultimately lead to tech addiction if it goes on for too long.
Become a Team
The ins and outs of how you maintain your family’s health will be largely determined by where you live, your individual interests, and how much free time you have. The best thing you can, something every family can do, is become a team. If someone is struggling with their mental health, then the team can rally around and help them on the path to getting better. If one member of the family is becoming physically unhealthy, then it’s not just on them: it’s on the whole team.
There you have it. As we’ve shown, good family health comes down to taking steps to ensure people’s fundamentals are met. Work as a family and everyone will be healthy!