In our recent wellness survey, our #1 answer to the question “what is the most important aspect of maintaining your personal wellness and ensuring personal growth” was “quality time with friends and family,” was noted by 34% of the participants. However, what are the most valuable ways to spend that quality time? Is spending time with your loved ones defined as having a meaningful conversation that is beneficial to either of you or sitting beside them when one or both of you are glued to your phones? The answer may seem obvious, but it is often difficult to choose to spend your time with others in ways that benefit both your relationship and your mental health. As such, we have some suggestions for activities that may help to improve your quality time with loved ones.
Go for a Walk:
Fresh air, exercise, good conversation and time with your loved one(s) - what more could you need? Take the time you have together to not only spend some quality time, but get outside and increase your heart rate. Not only is it going to strengthen your relationship, it will help you work towards your goal of 30 minutes of activity each day (as discussed in this article). If walking isn’t really your thing, try biking, swimming or doing yoga together; any activity that will get your heart rate up will benefit your health.
Cook A Meal Together:
Cooking is always a great way to spend time with family and friends. You get the opportunity to exchange healthy recipes and learn new tips and tricks. Meal prepping for the week is also a great way to spend your time and set yourselves up for a week of clean eating. When you’re looking for recipes, remember to choose foods that will benefit your mental health and overall wellbeing. In addition to cooking together, sit down and eat your meal together at a table and not in front of an electronic. It’s so easy these days to grab your meal and scatter to your designated rooms, but make the effort to eat your meals with each other as often as possible.
Teach Your Kids:
This one may sound obvious, but many people are quick to give their children a task to distract them while they try to get their own tasks completed. Instead of shooing the kids away, teach them how to help you out; if they show an interest in the laundry, take the time to show them how to wash, dry and fold their own clothes. Not only will it take some of the stress off of you, but it will teach them valuable life lessons and help them prepare for their futures.
Schedule A Family Night:
Dedicate one night per week to family time. This can mean a game night, a movie night, or even a dinner out at a restaurant. Whatever you choose to do, keep the cell phones hidden away and focus on giving your undivided attention to your family. If you keep the day and time consistent, everyone will know not to schedule outside activities and miss out on the time together.
All time that you are able to spend with your friends and family is great, but there are definitely certain ways that can benefit your overall wellness more than others. If you have more ideas, share them in the comments of this post - we would love to hear what you and your family do together that improves your relationships and overall wellness.
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Dr. Diana Garcia
Dr. Diana Garcia has over 20 years of experience in the field of psychology. She has provided psychological and counseling services in Ontario, and the states of Pennsylvania, and Florida