Wellness in Your Family
“It is now clear to me that the family is a microcosm of the world.” — Virginia Satir, 20th century family therapist.
Wellness in the family is about communication, personal responsibility, and creativity. Family stress can have a huge impact on our physical, mental, and emotional health, but with the right mindset, families can feel calmer and stronger. Resilient families stay in contact even when there are challenges. Each family member is able to decipher what their own responsibilities are in the family, and they find creative ways to work on healthy goals together.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with family drama, then it’s time to evaluate how you can make space for wellness with your loved ones.
- On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not at all, 10 being very much), how much is wellness prioritized in your family?
- If you could wake up tomorrow and have the perfect day with your family, what would it look like?
- How much energy do you feel you have when you spend time with family?
- What family relationships result in intense stress or anxiety?
- What family relationships result in feelings of joy?
Creating distance by avoiding family members usually is only a temporary solution to problems. You can stay in touch with difficult family members and still maintain healthy boundaries. Rather than gossiping about other family members, talk about what’s going on in your own life and ask about theirs. The more solid one-to-one relationships you have in your family, the less anxiety has a grip on your mind and body.
When times are stressful in a family, it can become all too easy to take on more than your actual responsibility. Maybe you do things for your children, your spouse, your parents, or your siblings that feel like helping but really are preventing people from making their own decisions and growing as individuals. You’ll have more mental and physical energy when you are able to decipher what is your responsibility and what is not.
If multiple people in your family have a goal of exercising, eating healthy, or reducing stress, consider activities you can plan that encourage wellness. Plan outings to favorite and new locations that energize. Examples include group personal training sessions, going for long walks, or learning how to cook healthy meals together. It is important to remember, however, that if a family member is not ready to make a change, pushing or pulling is rarely effective. Focus on your own health, and you will be an inspiration to others. Share your successes with your family and invite them to participate in healthy activities.
Outline for Growth
What family members have you not contacted in a while? How can you reach out to them to build stronger connections? What family members do you gossip or talk about with others? How can you reduce this negative talk and focus on one-to-one relationships?
When are you tempted to step in and take on more responsibility in the family? What responsibilities do others take on for you that you’d like to reclaim? How can you facilitate a conversation with family members about personal responsibility?
What were moments with your family when you felt the most energized and active? Who can you recruit to help plan active outings and health goals for yourself and your family?
Look over your answers and consider three changes you can make in the next month to improve wellness in your family.
Want more actionable tips? Visit our wellness resource page to develop a personalized plan for wellness in your life!