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12 Months to Better Health: Spending Time With Family

By Sara Butler

Family Time

Life is busy. It can be difficult to make time for things you know will contribute to your better overall health. Eating right and exercising are two things many people try to find time for, but what about spending time with your family?

Family is important, and not just because they put up with you and all your quirks or give gifts on your birthday. Spending time with your family has real, tangible benefits for your health and wellness.

As part of The Joint Chiropractic’s “12 Months to a Healthier You” series, this month we’re going to explore how spending quality time with family may be the key to your future health.

As a reminder, here’s where we’ve already been:

The Benefits of Family

For better or for worse, your family is your family. And although they may sometimes drive you bonkers, there are some advantages to having them in your life.

Increased happiness is one huge benefit. Studies have found that when you spend time with your family, your stress and anxiety are reduced. That can lead to a healthier lifestyle that can add years to your life. Family members also help provide the support and motivation you need to go after your dreams and be the best you that you can be. They boost your self-confidence, teach you how to resolve conflicts, and even enhance your physical health by improving your brain, immunity, and heart health.

Family is also good, in most cases, for your mental health. They help to promote resilience and adaptability, and they coach you through the ups and downs that life inevitably brings. They make you who you are -- and that can be a happy, well-adjusted, and relaxed person.

How Can You Make Time for Your Family?

You may know how beneficial family can be to your mental and physical health, but finding time for them is another story altogether.

Between juggling careers, schools, and extracurricular activities -- on top of appointments or other commitments -- spending quality time with the people you love most can be a real challenge.

Some easy tips that can help you to get more quality bonding time with your family include:

  • Having dinner together - No matter how busy your day is, you must eat. Make time each day to make dinner and sit down together without distractions (such as smartphones) to catch up with each other. For family members who don’t live in your household, make it a point to get together regularly for dinner.
  • Fixing things together - They may not always act like it, but your kids are interested in the things you do. If something around the house needs fixing or sprucing up, get them in on it. If it’s time to paint the living room, have them lend a hand in planning and executing the job. They may enjoy it more than you think, plus it gives you time to talk.
  • Calling them up - Staying connected with family who don’t live in your home can be even more difficult, so make sure to call or text them regularly just to say hi and ask how things are going. Even a brief interaction will help you stay close and let them know you care.
  • Keeping family traditions alive - Traditions are what bind families together, so share them! You’ll create lasting memories for the whole family by working together to keep these traditions alive through the generations.
  • Setting aside time - Perhaps one of the biggest things you can do to spend time with your family is to simply make the time. If you have to schedule it, then do that.
  • Going on a walk - Exercise is good for your whole family, so round up everyone and go for an evening walk when the weather allows. Plus, these walks can sometimes make it easier for older kids (such as teenagers) to open up to you, making it a win-win!

Sometimes spending time with your family can be an exercise in patience. But fostering relationships that are meaningful to you and enrich your life is not something you will regret. So spend time with those you love and make it a priority this month and beyond.

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