Healthy families aren’t something that just happen over the summer. Although there’s some spontaneity involved, there’s also the need to be intentional. If you’re like most families, you probably can’t believe how fast the summer has rushed by so far. The good news is there’s still time left to stay active and healthy together!
It’s not about just doing something as a family to add even more tasks to your schedule. Instead, it’s about getting out and doing something to remind your family that your lives together are more important than an endless to-do list or a packed schedule.
In his Psychology Today article entitled, “Parenting: Kids and Summer Activities,” Jim Taylor, Ph.D. sums up what to keep in mind for your child when planning summer activities:
“Parents should think about what they want their children to get out of their summer. I recommend anything that fosters kids’ physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, environmental, cultural, and artistic development.”
You still have some time. Don’t let it slip by! Here are five ways to stay busy as a family in a good way, getting more out of your summer in the process.
Activities Revolving Around Physical Health Goals
Life can be crazy busy—you don’t need to be told that again. For that reason, why not “kill two birds with one stone” during your free time? Use your leisure moments to create activities that improve your family’s physical health.
For instance, set a goal to walk five miles (give or take) at a local park. You can also do a dance workout together or research and cook a healthy meal together. Another option is gardening or picking berries.
Do a Kind Deed for Someone as a Family
Think about others around you who may be struggling. Why not make a family activity out of doing a kind deed for someone?
That could include doing yard work for someone who’s disabled. It could also involve bringing a meal to a shut-in or writing a letter to thank a local public servant for their dedication.
Not only will you brighten someone else’s day. You’ll also feel good about making a difference. Your children will also learn a valuable lesson about what life’s really about in the process.
Create A Piece of Art Together
We all have an inner creative side but, too often, it gets suppressed by our daily routines. A great way to get that creative side out is to make some art as a family. That could include any of the following and more.
- Crafting with beads
- Finger painting
- Writing a kids’ story together
- Creating a sandcastle
- Doing some landscaping
- Taking an art class together
- Coming up with some poems
- Making up a fun song about your family
Try “Roughing It” in the Wilderness for a While
Getting into the outdoors for at least a few days can be a healthy perspective changer for your family in the summer. How drastically you apply this one will likely depend on the ages of your children. If you have young children, camping out close to home or at your home may be best.
However, if you’re able, try spending a few days in the wilderness as a family. It can be an excellent way to hit the reset button. It’s also a great way to clarify your life perspective and goals.
Besides that, a well-planned trip in a remote setting can be a lot of fun. It also creates an opportunity for gratitude. You suddenly appreciate things easily taken for granted when you’re in the comfort of your own home.
Tending to Mental Health in the Summer Creates Healthy Families
Lastly, make the mental health of your family a priority. This can be as simple as getting proper sleep and nutrition. It could also mean not neglecting the need to build relationships with others during the unique summer season.
Especially if things have been tough for your family, now could also be a great time to seek counseling. Counseling works well if your family is doing well or if you just want to practice “preventative maintenance”. A “good family” can always get even better!
Valencia Relationship Institute provides counseling at its Burbank/Toluca Lake location and Valencia, CA office. Scheduling an appointment only takes a moment but could be a positive turning point in the life of your family. Feel free to get in touch!