For improved relationships with your family
Written by Carolyn King from Empowered Happiness
We all know our time is precious, and even more precious is the time we spend with our family and those closest to us. Relaxing with family is a great way to not only recharge our own batteries but also encourage stronger connections with those we love.
But let me ask you, how much time do you spend on social media? How many hours are lost checking Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and any other social media platforms you may be on? 1 hour… 2 hours… 3 hours… or more? While on the surface, scrolling through your social media accounts may feel relaxing, and feel like you are connecting with your family, it can actually have quite the opposite effect.
What if you see something that upsets you? A friend or family posts something and you begin to feel left out. You see a news report about a terrible crime, and you begin to feel upset. You see a post on your community pages about break ins, and you begin to feel unsafe. Any or all of these posts may increase your fear, increase anger or worse still, keep you up at night. And all of these emotional responses will affect your ability to relax. The flow on effect of this is that it will impact your relationships with those around you.
While social media is a great way to help bring us together, especially if you have family interstate or overseas, it can also rob us of the precious time with those closest to us. Studies have shown that prolonged use of social media platforms can make us feel more isolated and alone.
So how do we relax with our families and those closest to us? Firstly, put your phone down! Turn off your laptop or PC and spend some quality time with your family or those closest to you. Nurture and invest in those relationships.
It’s also important to remember, that it is not only adults that get stressed and need to relax. In fact, kids may also need to take some time to learn how to slow down and unwind, particularly if they are feeling overwhelmed by life’s events. Have an open dialog with your children about the importance of taking time to relax. And share with them that relaxation with the family will strengthen the bonds and improve relationships with all members of the family.
Great Ways to Relax with your Family
Here are some great ways to relax and connect with your family:
Find hobbies that you all enjoy. It could be gardening, cycling, or even collecting coins. A mutual love of something is a great place to start.
Go to the cinemas or make Friday night Movie Night. Relaxing on the coach, nibbling on popcorn and enjoying a movie is a great way to relax together.
Have you ever had a Games Night with your family? It’s a great way for some laughs, healthy competition and chillaxing. A few of my favourites are:
- Monopoly, which can go for hours;
- Uno is a fun and quick game; and
- Pictionary is hilariously entertaining.
Who doesn’t love getting in the car for a road trip? Head down to the coast to experience the refreshing sea breeze, head to the mountains for some glorious views or head to the country to enjoy the fresh air. And on the way, why not play a bit of Eye Spy. It’s an oldie but a goodie!
Fun at the Local Park
Most people live fairly close to a local park, and what a fantastic, inexpensive trip for the family. Depending on the distance, take a walk together or a short drive to the local park. Bring a picnic or snacks and grab a ball and play some friendly soccer or football. Or throwing a frisbee can be a great way to unwind and get some exercise. I personally love to get on the swings and slide down the slide to reconnect with my inner child.
Go for a Walk
Going for a ½ hour walk every day or every other day is a great way to get the blood pumping, destress and chat to your loved ones. Depending on what time of day you like to walk, it can be a great way to deconstruct your day or start the day off on a positive.
Breathing exercises are a powerful way for us to regulate our emotions and relax our nervous system. Breathing exercises with your family are a great way for you all to relax and spend time together. A simple exercise would be just to sit in a circle and all breath in through your nose and then release all the stress on your out breath through your mouth.
Meditation is another great way to connect with your family. Meditation relaxes your body, activates your parasympathetic system and allows you to create a sacred connection. Imagine a household of calmer individuals and a deeper connection with those we love.
The Benefits of Relaxing
The benefits of relaxing with your family are far too numerous to mention here but include:
- Increased connectedness with loved ones.
- Increased connectedness with self.
- Improved sleep.
- Increase in happiness.
- Decrease in anxiety and stress.
- Stronger bonds with others.
- A willingness to share in each other’s’ lives
And remember, the time you invest in relaxing with your family will pay off in years to come with a closeness that is sacred and special.
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