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Inexpensive Activities to Increase Family Wellbeing

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Today marks the start of National Families Week 2019; a chance to celebrate the vital role families play in Australian society, especially in teaching, supporting and nurturing children as they grow.

 

Investing the time and energy in building positive family relationships contributes significantly to our mental health and wellbeing. We may sometimes feel frustrated with family members or take them for granted, but when times get tough and we need someone to lean on, family can be the crutch that gets us through.

 

Here are 5 simple ways to increase family wellbeing this National Families Week:

 

1. Plan distraction-free family time
Mobile phones and other electronics tend to prevent us from being fully present with loved ones. It can often feel near impossible to get through family dinner without phones pinging or the TV stealing someone’s attention. Implement a ‘no electronics at the table’ rule to give everyone the best chance of being present and engaged. Or plan an activity where for one hour no one is allowed to look at their devices. (Remember, adults set the example!)

 

2. Get outdoors
It might be getting cooler, but it’s not hard to add a few layers and head outside for some fresh air. Hop on your bikes, play a game of ‘it’, go down the slide with your kids, or invite another family out to the park for a game of cricket or bocce.

 

3. Cook together
Preparing food together is a great way to not only instil a love of cooking and pass on an important life skill to kids, it also creates a casual, pressure-free environment for family members to share what’s going on in their lives. Get kids involved at every step: from choosing the menu, finding the ingredients in the supermarket, setting the table, and preparing and serving the meal.

 

4. Have a night in
Rather than splitting off into separate rooms after dinner, plan a movie or board games night with family. Make popcorn and snacks together, and take turns choosing the next game or hold a vote for the movie choice. Prepare to get cosy!

 

5. Reach out to extended family
National Families Week is a nice reminder to reach out to extended family members you may have lost touch over the years. Pick up the phone or email an extended family member letting them know you’re thinking of them. You may be in a different stage of life now and find you have more in common than you once did.

 

For more resources or to find a public event near you, visit the National Families Week website.

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