If you were to sit and list all the things you need to do the next day, week or month, would family time feature at all? In many cases, it probably would not. We are all so busy trying to make a living, running errands, trying to do all the things that seem to be expected of us, that the simple pleasure of being with our families is overlooked. To change this, we need to make a point of dedicating some time to be together as a family and enjoy one another’s company. Here are some ideas to make that easier.
1. Family Night
As busy as everyone is, each doing their own thing, an effort should be made to set aside one special night each week that everyone commits to – your family night. No other plans are made, and everyone gathers together in one place. It might be at home for a meal and to play board games, or watch a movie together, or it could be an outing where you each take turns picking the activity. It can be as simple as getting out for a nature walk. Make it something fun, and everyone will look forward to family night each week.
2. Family Vacation
Sometimes one night a week is just not going to be enough, and a family vacation is in order. If your budget is limited, don’t worry! You can have a family getaway at a local hotel that has fun facilities, for example. A change of scenery will work wonders, even if it's camping out in your own backyard. Book some time away from work and choose dates when the kids aren’t in school. Use the time you have together to explore and re-connect. Make some beautiful memories and de-stress so that when you go back to work, you are calmer and happier, too.
3. Exercise Together
Everyone should exercise regularly; this, combined with a healthy, well-balanced diet, is what will keep us fit. If we all need to exercise, and that exercise is taking you away from your family, why not include everyone in it? That way you still get to work on your fitness, but you can spend time with your family at the same time. By taking up a sport that you can all participate in, you will have something in common as well, so there will always be something to talk about over dinner, or in the car on the way to school, for example. As long as everyone is enjoying the activity, you can choose any sport you want from running to tennis to swimming or even some form of martial arts. There are dozens to choose from.
4. Eat Together
Eating together at mealtimes is a great way to spend quality time with your family. Sitting down at the dinner table to enjoy food and talk about your day, getting to know more about what's happening in your partner’s and children’s lives, is so important for family bonding and nurturing healthy relationships. It also provides structure and a solid family foundation which is good for everyone's mental health. If you have no proper place to sit and eat together that doesn’t involve watching TV, then you may want to consider purchasing a dining table so that you can really enjoy your family time without distraction, and eat in a more positive, healthy way; English Georgian America has some beautiful styles to choose from online.
To make your family dining experience even better, why not prepare the meal together too? Getting children involved in the kitchen at an early age is good for them as they can learn skills that will help them later in life, plus it will show them exactly what goes into their food. As an additional benefit, it will give you another hour or so to be with them that is both fun and productive.
5. Be Creative
To take your family togetherness to a more challenging, and therefore, more rewarding, level, why not take on a creative project? This can be great fun, such as designing and building a garden feature, for example. Creativity is also a great stress buster. These types of activities exercise and engage your brain in beneficial ways, and you're not likely to be thinking of your problems. Creative tasks help to clear your mind, and when you ‘emerge’ from your creative session, you will feel more able to deal with life.
If your family prefers to appreciate creativity rather than take it on themselves, why not visit a gallery or museum? Doing so can be an excellent way to find some common ground and have a fun day out, plus it will give you something to talk about afterward.
6. Help Others
There are always people who need help, and if you can assist them as a family, this is a way to make your time together especially meaningful. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who needs help getting their groceries and doing chores around the house, or perhaps there is a new mom nearby who would appreciate a homecooked meal or a chance to have a rest while someone else watches the baby. There are dozens of different ways that you can make a difference in your own neighborhood, so take a look around and see what you can do. Just a small act can make a massive difference to someone else’s life.