This school year looks to offer quite the roller coaster ride. However, you can buckle your family in and take better control of their health and well-being by making positive lifestyle changes.
Why not use the increased togetherness to participate in activities that will bring you closer while improving your mind, body and spirit? Try adopting the following nine family habits as the school year begins and enjoy more smiles.
1. Writing in Your Planners
Do you lecture your children about staying organized with their assignments — but then fly into a panic when you forget a work-related task? Why not improve your overall time management as a group by writing in your planners together?
Each Sunday night, sit down with your respective calendars and map out your week. Help your kids estimate the time necessary to complete each task, and then adjust them after completion. You can sleep more soundly, knowing that you won’t forget when your budget report is due — on the same day as your eldest’s ballet recital.
2. Bringing Back Family Meal Time
Far too few families gather around the dinner table anymore. If you typically nuke anything handy and nosh on the couch, it’s time to bring back suppertime.
Turn off your electronic devices — you won’t miss anything vital in 30 minutes. Then, ask your kids insightful questions to get to know them better. Do you know what historical era your children wish they could have experienced in person? Find out!
3. Taking a Walk After Dinner
Do you want to aid digestion while upping your exercise quotient and enjoying more family time? Research indicates that taking a walk after dinner speeds up the movement of food from your stomach to the small intestine, making you feel more sated and less likely to snack later.
A post-dinner stroll also allows you to practice mindfulness as a family. Slow down and listen to the sound of birds. Observe the way your feet feel as they strike the earth.
4. Working Out More Often
Who said that getting your exercise had to be a solo pursuit? With gyms in many areas remaining closed, you can find a fitness app that suits your family’s lifestyle.
If your budget remains too tight to take on any additional monthly fees, why not put on music and dance together? Challenge your kids to see who can invent the slickest, most athletic moves.
5. Dividing Chores Fairly
When your children were infants or next door to it, you probably didn’t have them tackle any chores, minus having older tots pick up their toys. Reassess everyone’s ability level and distribute household chores equitably.
This exercise can also avoid feelings of resentment between spouses. If one partner works when the other does not, it’s natural for the stay-at-home parent to do the lion’s share of chores and child-rearing. However, the situation doesn’t equate to them becoming maid service 24/7.
6. Preparing for Next Growing Season
Did you get into the gardening craze during the spring shutdowns? If so, don’t leave your fields lay fallow. Start preparing now for the next growing season.
Gather your final harvest and freeze what you can’t immediately use. Rake out your gardens and compost remaining annuals. If you have window boxes, plant them with fall flowers like mums to welcome the seasonal change.
7. Making DIY a Family Affair
Do you have a closet piled with sundry items that threaten to topple with a deafening crash each time you open the door? If so, get the gang together to build shelves.
Is your abode short on storage space? Once you master the basics, why not try built-in shelves that create nooks in your walls? If you have children, you have an instant work crew.
8. Volunteering Together
Did you know that doing good for others benefits your mental health? Volunteering raises your levels of serotonin and oxytocin, two neurotransmitters that improve mood.
If your kids love animals, but your landlord says, “no dogs allowed,” why not sign up for a shift as a pup-walker at your local Humane Society? If your children’s grandparents passed away before they could meet, you could write postcards to a nursing home resident who rarely sees family.
9. Keeping in Touch With Distant Relatives
If your children’s grandparents have health conditions that make them loathe to visit, the internet’s power can preserve your family bond. You can use Zoom for more than virtual happy hours.
Your distant relatives might struggle with technology. Consider giving them a device designed for computer novices, such as the GrandPad if you have the means.
10. Adhering to a Scheduled Bedtime
It isn’t only your children who benefit from a regular bedtime. Maintaining your schedule is part of sleep hygiene for folks of any age.
Give everyone a bedtime and stick to it. Doing so will help balance your circadian rhythms and leave you more refreshed.
Adopt These Family Habits This School Year and Improve Your Relationships
No matter how close you are with your loved ones, you can strengthen your bond while improving your well-being. Adopt these family habits this school year and enjoy an improved relationship with those you hold most dear.