One of the most common questions my patients ask me is, “how do I keep my family healthy?”
It’s a question that comes up often during times of transition – before traveling, sending kids back to school, or when seasons change.
What all of these transitions have in common is that they create or heighten stress levels, which can significantly impact family health and wellness.
Since I get this question so often, I want to formally address it as part of this month’s series on family health.
How can you maintain family wellness during times of stress?
Family can be the greatest joy in your life, and it can also be your greatest stressor, even more so during major life transitions, but there are a few things you can do to keep your family healthy and well.
1. Be Kind and Compassionate
When times get tough, one of the first things that wanes is our patience and understanding, especially with family. However, making an effort to be kind and compassionate with ourselves and our families will help everyone to feel emotionally nourished and supported. Remember, the mental and emotional health of your family is just as important as their physical health and wellbeing.
2. Slow Down
One of the most important things you can do during busy, stressful times for your health and your family’s health is to slow down and create space in your day to take breaks and breathe. You can do this alone, but it’s a great practice for the whole family because it helps to regulate the nervous system and lowers cortisol levels, which allows everyone to respond to stressors from a place of presence and proactivity.
3. Create Joy
It’s easy to get into our daily routines and let stress get the best of us, but make a conscious effort to add joy to your day. Set aside time to play a board game together, watch a funny television show, or read a book together. You can even make mealtime one of celebration and joy by having everyone share one moment from their day that they are proud of and celebrating that moment with them.
Don’t wait until vacations and days off to incorporate joy into your life, make it a non-negotiable part of your daily family health and wellness routine.
Everyone’s health and wellness will improve because of it.
4. Stay Hydrated
Mild dehydration can adversely affect mood, energy levels, and concentration, so it’s important to make hydration part of your family health plan. If you have children and they’re in school, pack a refillable water bottle in their backpack and encourage them to drink water throughout the day. This will help them to be more focused and have the energy they need to get through the day. Similarly, as a parent, you’ll also have more energy and maybe even be a little more present, kind, and compassionate if you are well hydrated.
5. Take these 4 Essential Supplements:
- Probiotics for gut health, regular bowel movements, and immune system support
- Fish oil to support mood stability and brain health
- A high-quality mineral formula to keep you hydrated and help restore the minerals most commonly depleted during times of stress – magnesium, zinc, and selenium
- Methylated B Vitamins to support energy production, and immune, cardiovascular and neurological health
These supplements will support the overall health and wellness of your family during stressful times.
As you can see family health and wellness isn’t just about the food you eat, it also includes our emotional health and the ways in which we interact with each other.
Incorporating the tips shared in this blog post along with my recommendations from the first blog post in this series on family wellness will help you keep everyone in your family happy and healthy.
I haven’t forgotten about the more physical aspects of family health, however. In the next blog post of this series on family wellness, I’ll be sharing recipes and meal planning tips to help you keep your family healthy and well fed. If this is something that you struggle with, stick around for more recommendations and resources!