Child health experts agree on few things, but consistency and family focus is one thing most agree boosts wellness for your whole household. Summer is a great time to establish your own family routines, without the school, sports and extracurricular activities driving the household schedules. But even after your children are back to school, it is not too late to set certain daily habits that support wellness for the whole family.
- Vocalize your intentions Daily. During the summer, lack of structure can create listlessness for the whole family. During the fall, a deluge of new obligations can deteriorate your best laid plans to remain a coherent family unit. Take a minute first thing in the morning for each family member to state one intention of the day. It can be anything, like be grateful for Jan and Evan, make the soccer team, have vegetarian dinner tonight, or finish a certain task before bed. Just go around the breakfast table or bar and in a sentence, each state their intention. This allows the family to support each other at the end of the day.
- Be Outdoors as much as possible, mindfully. Your schedule may have changed but the weather is still great. Possibly at the end of the day, stand in the backyard, breathe deep and revisit the day’s intentions, or focus silently on your senses. These few moments tend to give more balance to the lives of those who take the time to reconnect. If your schedule doesn’t give the whole family this time, why not set up dinner outdoors. Even with people joining the meal at different times, the time outdoors can be a great reconnector.
- Eat fresh produce in your food. Plan meals around newly harvested foods for as long as this is possible. In many areas, fall is a great time to enjoy fresh local produce. Pick it yourself if time allows.
- Try for balance of activities. Overpacking kids’ schedules can limit their creativity. With a little time of their own, kids can engage in creative thinking.
- Prioritize sleep schedules. It is important early on to create consistent routines and sleep schedules. Take the new activities as well as the child’s age into consideration and figure out the best sleep schedule for your family. You may have to be the bad guy until the routines are established, but this is important for the wellness of your whole family that the routines are adhered to, as often as possible.
- Sleep with the windows open. Obviously, this isn’t a habit that works everywhere. If your location is secure enough leave the windows open enough to allow fresh air into your home.
- Check out your local Wellness Center for more ideas on how to protect your family’s wellness.