If you make new year’s resolutions for your family, they might sound like “be more organized,” “always arrive on time,” or “keep the house clean.”
If you want to change it up a bit, we have a suggestion. Make a goal to “feel whole” this year.
Feeling whole is about making choices that nurture your body, soothe your mind and lift your spirit. It’s an attitude of gratitude and a focus on finding joy. It’s the little things that make a big difference to you.
And fortunately, simple lifestyle changes can be surprisingly effective. Here are five ways to give your family a whole-health boost this year.
Get Out of the House
Exercise can do amazing things for the body, mind and spirit of your entire family. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity a day. A walk, hike, bike ride, or game of kickball in the backyard will not only get your heart rate up, it will be quality time spent together — and away from screens.
Make Time for Rest
You definitely don’t feel like your best self when you jam-pack your schedule and lack sleep. Kids, too, can’t function academically, stay healthy or control their weight without enough sleep.
Children and teens need 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night, and babies need even more. If you feel like your child is getting enough sleep but still seems tired, that’s a problem for their overall health. Be sure to let their pediatrician know.
Reinforce Healthy Eating Habits
This year, challenge yourself to try a new cookbook, healthy recipe, or even just a new vegetable. Your child is watching the foods you choose and will follow in your footsteps.
If you'd rather your kids reach for an apple instead of a cookie, lead by example and show them how it's done. Teaching them to make healthy choices can give them a big nutritional boost.
Schedule Well-Child Visits
Your child’s annual checkup is important for staying proactive about their health, growth and development. But these visits are also a chance to go beyond the physical and discuss your child's emotional and mental health and any concerns you have. How is his attention span? Does she seem overly tired?
All of these things are connected to a child's overall wellness. Your pediatrician should also use this time to discuss preventive measures for infectious diseases, obesity and sports injuries.
Volunteering has been shown to increase happiness levels while reducing stress. From community involvement to church work, there are many ways to be of service. It can be such a rewarding family activity that teaches kids about their place in the world and that they’re capable of making a difference. Your family will gain a stronger sense of purpose, satisfaction and spiritual growth.
Once you decide what feel-whole goals are best for your family, discuss your plans for the new year as a team. Because feeling healthier, happier and more balanced is something everyone can get excited about.