Healthy Family Time in the Summer Time

Think about one precious memory you have of summer time. I bet this memory involves interactions with the most valued people in your life. The hectic mundane routine of everyday life can often lead us to not enjoy our families and loved ones as much as we would like. Even vacations can become stressful because we may be too focused on the activities/schedules and forget to stop and appreciate the people around us.  Being intentional with the planning of activities that promote family bonding time is the key to nourishing those extra special relationships in our lives. Here are some tips on how to promote intentional family time:

  • Put away all technological devices. 
  • A special one-on-one time with each member of the family doing something that is different from everyday routine (date with your spouse, special ice cream outing, going to a different park, visiting a different beach, etc.)
  • Eat dinner together at the dinner table at least once per week (no technology allowed!)
  • Put your family time first before play dates, friends, work, phone calls, etc.
  • Families with multiple children plan a “date time” with each child individually doing an activity of the child’s choice. 

 

Most of us are creatures of habit and finding new and creative activities can often be difficult and frustrating. Family activities that encourage a healthy mind and body lifestyle are wonderful in building stronger relationships. Summer time can be a great opportunity for families to start new family traditions and figure out what works and what does not. You can also plant a seed for healthy family time for future generations.  Here are some healthy creative activities:

 

  • Have a weekly movie night at home.
  • Eat a special meal that is completely different than your usual meals. Go around and say what your favorite memory of the week was and what you are looking forward to next week.
  • Go to a new library, new park, new beach, new fishing spot, etc.
  • Plant a garden together (you can start very small!)
  • Paint together (set up special area for younger kids) or have a dance party in your house.
  • Go for a hike and pack lots of water and a favorite lunch!
  • Involve the family in making healthy meals: make a smoothie, fruit/veggie plate, healthy desert, etc. together.
  • Go bowling or play a board game together on rainy days.

 

Get a calendar and write down one intentional activity you will do with your family per week. Make sure to include the whole family in the planning of these new activities. The process of just planning together can be a fun and exciting family activity. Make sure to follow through with the plans and enjoy your special time together! 

Sometimes it can be difficult getting the family together or figuring out how to make family time memorable. Our qualified therapists at Southwest Florida Counseling Center can provide individual and/or family sessions to help your family thrive. Give us a call to start today!

It's All Relative

It's that time of year again. The holidays arrive the same time every year so why should we be surprised? With the blink of an eye the days and months turn into years. As holidays approach and time passes, people can become impatient with family, friends, and coworkers as well as strangers.  Tensions rise, anxieties increase, traffic becomes challenging and of course our favorite, family time. Family gatherings, family outings, family photo shoots, family group text messages and emails, family dinners, and the dreaded introductions of family members to a significant other.
 
Family gatherings are meant to be happy and joyful. However, at times we are on family/emotional overload. Before reaching emotional overload, remember the following:
-It's OK to set time limits with social events.
-It's OK to have an escape plan.
-It's OK to say no.
-Take your own car, you don't need permission to leave early. It's fun to carpool but not     fun to be stuck waiting for the person who's had too much wine or hasn't yet had     enough.
-Take time for YOU.

We all know people who will overspend choosing what they think is the “perfect” gift when in reality the greatest gift is not the present you bring but your presence. Be kind to yourself.