Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Encourage a Positive Mental Health Culture in Your Family

There are times when no one in the family might seem like getting along or even getting out of the house. You try to set up a date night with the spouse only to have it shot down because the person isn’t in a good mood. The children sit around and play video games instead of going outside to get fresh air. From mood swings to simply not spending time together as a family, a negative mental health attitude can have several impacts that often result in someone losing control emotionally or even physically. The overall family life can also affect the mental health of each person, such as parents staying gone all the time because of work or children playing too many sports and not interacting with siblings or parents. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can encourage a positive mental health culture to get everyone on the right track.

Getting Social

When you share a house together, it’s inevitable that you have to talk to each other. As a family, you should want to share your day with each other, learning about what happened at school with the kids or if there were any major developments at work. Even if it’s talking about the weather or the family budget, it’s important to keep lines of communication open as this is how you develop secure relationships with each other and with others outside the home. Consider playing games together or enjoying dinner each night as a family so that you at least talk for a few minutes with each other.

Relaxation Remedy

One of the best things that you can do to encourage mental health is to relax. Take a hike in the woods as a family, or spend a day at the park simply enjoying each other’s company and tossing a ball back and forth. A fun idea would be to have a spa day together. You could even consider installing a hot tub, like those from Robert Allen Pools and Spas, in the back yard. If children will use the hot tub, make sure the temperature is turned down to one that is safe so that it doesn’t burn the skin. Sitting in a hot tub with a good book, a glass of wine and a few candles is the ultimate way to relax the day away.

Healthy Foods

Sometimes, the foods that you eat might make you feel lazy or increase the stress levels of the body as you begin to feel bloated or even fat after eating foods that you know you shouldn’t. Ditch the junk food so that you’re all eating healthy. Not only will you begin to see an increase in the amount of energy that you all have, but you’ll know that your children are getting the necessary vitamins and nutrients that are needed for their growing bodies. Bring the family together by cooking a healthy meal, talking throughout the preparation and while eating.

Get Off the Couch

Movement is not only beneficial to the body, but it has its benefits for the mind as well. When you are moving around, such as walking or playing sports, you get a feeling of accomplishment. When you bring that movement to the family unit, then everyone can get fresh air and a feeling of motivation. Take a walk in the evening after dinner, or set up a few games outside to challenge each other in teams. You could even invite the neighbors over to have larger teams with prizes for the winners.

Staying positive in life is sometimes hard. There are disappointments in everything from school to daily life. It’s important to keep the family encouraged so that you can function as a unit instead of as individual pieces of the puzzle.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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