We all know how difficult it can be maintaining a happy balance at home, amid the endless piles of washing, arguments over who gets the remote control and trying to juggle a career. Yet keeping your kids, parents, partner and yourself happy can be plain sailing, and it is possible to build a strong, happy and healthy family.
Take a look at the following steps to help you on your way to a stress-free home:
Make family meals fun
Eating together as a family has numerous benefits. Not only can it boost achievement and lower the chance of your kids developing eating disorders, it can also decrease depression rates in boys and girls. Turning your family meals into a fun and friendly affair is great for boosting these benefits and for bringing the family closer. Try a backwards day of serving breakfast for dinner and vice versa. Or play a question game over dinner.
Make time to spend as a family
These days with so much going on in our careers and personal lives it can be hard to find time to spend with our families. Putting aside one day, and a couple of evenings a week for family time is essential for a happy home and contentment. Reading together, baking, and playing games are some of the fun activities you can do as a family.
Families that establish clear expectations and ground rules tend to be happier – especially as kids thrive in a structured environment. Often kids will protest against rules, but generally the idea of doing what they want and being free is frightening for them. Family rules can help them to learn the importance of respect and earning rewards.
Have an adventure
Going on holiday doesn’t have to mean going abroad. There are plenty of great holiday destinations for families to visit in the UK, and many bring an air of challenge and creativity – especially if it’s a camping, adventure holiday. Furthermore, being in a new place has been found to increase dopamine (feel-good chemicals in the brain), which will help bring everyone closer and boost happiness.
Celebrate your history
Putting together a family-tree project is a great way to bring everyone together and boost happiness. Sharing family memories, details from your past and looking through old photos with your children will help them to feel like they belong – making them feel more grounded and increasing their sense of self-worth.
Have no secrets
Families tend to be happier if they don’t keep secrets. Partners who are open about their finances in particular will argue less and may even have better spending habits. Try abiding by the three D’s: disclose, discuss and decide to manage overall spending, decide on saving options and commit to things as a family.
Let perfection subside
It is impossible to do it all to perfect standards, so don’t obsess over little things like getting the house spotless or dinner on the table for a certain time. Focus your energies on enjoying the people in your life and the things you can do together as a family around your daily routine.
If you are worried that stress is affecting your family life, you may want to consider hypnotherapy. Seeing a hypnotist can help you to retrain your thoughts and alleviate the effects stress can have on your health and well-being, as well as those around you. See our stress page for more information.
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