Family life around the world rapidly changed in 2020. With the impact of Covid, families are finding new ways to get through lock downs, juggling homeschooling and full-time jobs. To help overcome these changes, many of us have focused on finding health and well-being in a time of uncertainty. Parents are now seeking the right tools to support their children and to create a rounded home environment that includes a winning combination of learning, safe playtime and relaxation.
With this in mind, here are 5 activities you can incorporate into your daily plans to encourage more feelings of well-being in your family life.
1. Eat Meals Together
Sitting down together at meal times without distractions is a great way for your family to catch up about the day. This environment helps your little ones get things off their chest as the group listens and offers advice. This can also be a great environment for both parents and children to unwind and relax into the evening.
Here is what the experts say…
‘Regular mealtimes which are shared provide a sense of rhythm and regularity in lives. They offer a sense of containment and familiarity, and can evoke deep feelings of contentment and security. Humans need structure and routine.’
-Mental Health Foundation 2021
2. Help Others
We all know that helping others feels good, but during these times it can feel more difficult due to social distancing and being advised to stay home, however there are still lots of ways you can lend a helping hand. Why not offer to do an elderly neighbours shopping or on your daily exercise you and your little ones could do some litter picking in the local community.
How does volunteering impact on our well-being?
‘Acts of kindness have the potential to make the world a happier place. An act of kindness can boost feelings of confidence, being in control, happiness and optimism.’ -Mental Health Foundation 2021
3. Hold on to Family Memories
Family memories are a part of our identity and help children to understand more about who they are and why they are here. Telling stories from the past and sharing photos with our families gives us a great sense of wellbeing. The stories you tell can be happy, informative and interesting; these stories help the past live on into the future.
What are the benefits of sharing family memories?
‘They can increase well-being, reduce anxiety and depression, reinforce feelings of closeness among family members, and build resilience for navigating life’s normal ups and downs.’
-Frances Lefkowitz 2013
4. Get Active As A Family
Getting active as a family does not have to involve relentless workouts or mountain climbing; a trip to the park or a little boogie to your favourite playlist is still getting active and let’s face it… a lot more fun! Take the pressure off of yourself to become a personal trainer or class instructor (parenting and teaching are enough!). Getting active as a family can be fun and a great way to get little ones outdoors.
How is being more active as a family good for your health and well-being?
‘Physical activity keeps the body strong and healthy and can improve mental health by decreasing symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain and loneliness. Physical activity can also improve focus, school performance, sleep and energy levels.’
-About Kids Health 2020
5. Create Positive Relationships
We often tell little ones to treat others the way you would like to be treat. Maintaining positive friendships with family and friends helps your children to grow in confidence and self-esteem. Maintaining positive relationships is difficult, especially as we get older. Sharing the challenges of friendships with children helps them learn problem solving skills, which will help them throughout their lives.
How do positive relationships effect our well-being?
‘The benefits of social connections and good mental health are numerous. Proven links include lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships.’
-Better Health 2017
We put these few suggestions together, like volunteering or family meal times to inspire your family on their health and well-being journey. It is important to remember this is a challenging time for families; not every day will go smoothly. You won’t be able to get outside or get everyone around the dinner table every day. We just wanted to give you a little bit of inspiration, so that if you do have time one of the days you can do a small activity.
Our Plum outdoor toys and Discovery range has been developed with family well-being at its heart. Our collection encourages learning through play in your backyard (ideal for homeschooling). Encourage your little ones to get into the fresh air for hours of fun, helping them to burn off some energy and enjoy some screen free play.