4 Ways to Cultivate Family Time During the Holidays

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The holidays are an excellent time to bond with loved ones you might not see year round. Whether you’re having your parents or siblings over, the kids who left for college, or even some family friends, don’t miss the opportunity to get closer this holiday season.
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Eliminate the hustle and bustle and stress of the holidays. Keep the focus on family and take advantage of the dedicated time to all be together and cultivate your relationships.  

Promote Family Time in 4 Simple Ways

  1. Share the load
    Instead of one person shouldering all the responsibility of cooking, arranging, decorating, etc,.. bring the other people around you in to help. This not only reduces stress and resentment, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity to catch up with each other’s lives. Additionally, it  allows kids to play a part in creating the holiday experience and teaches them how to carry the tradition on (kids who learned how to bake Grandma’s special cookies will want to carry on the tradition).
  2. Turn off the TV and get active!
    Get a live game of football going in the yard; go ice skating; take everyone skiing; get a group game of Monopoly or Pictionary going; take the younger ones to the park or Children’s Discovery Museum, – do something together!
  3. Share old memories while creating new ones
    You may have quieter folks who are less physically or emotionally able to partake in the active games and outings. Should this be the case, find more calm activities like going through the old photo albums, telling stories, or putting puzzles and models together.
  4. Honor Loved Ones
    Some families are experiencing their first holiday without a loved one. Missed loved ones who have died or have been deployed in the military can be honored and remembered in family activities. Have kids make tree ornaments or candle lit memory alters with the picture of the loved one; set a place at the table for the missing loved one; include their special dish that everyone loves or make the potatoes just the way they used to cook them.

A final suggestion is to keep alcohol and food intake in moderation. It will help everyone come together in a positive, energetic way that is sure to create fond memories and rituals. Whichever holiday you chose to celebrate, may it be a happy one!

Learn more online about Renown Behavioral Health services, or by calling 775-982-4100.

Nancy McNaul, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Renown Behavioral Health

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