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The holidays are upon us! One of the greatest gifts families can offer one another is the gift of time together. The holiday season presents a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with what is truly important; family, love, laughter, and gratitude. Quality time as a family not only builds stronger bonds, but also provides each family member with a feeling of belonging and security.

Spending time with family extends well beyond feeling close with one another. Engaging in special moments with family is also beneficial for your health. Time spent with those you are close with:

    • Helps you cope better with stress
    • Can extend your life
    • Improves psychological well-being
    • Boosts self-confidence
    • Improves communication
    • Teaches effective conflict resolution

One of the easiest ways to spend family time is by engaging in fun activities together. Simple, free or inexpensive, home-based activities offer great opportunities to bring the family closer. There are a variety of things you can do together, and here are just a few ideas our therapists thought of to get you on your way:

Cooking 

Cooking together is an act of love. Food not only nourishes our bodies; it brings people together and becomes a way to strengthen emotional connection. There is nothing more fulfilling than cooking together and then enjoying your creation as a family. Mix things up by having each family member choose the meal the family will cook together. You might discover exciting culinary concepts while forming new traditions, building stronger bonds, and making lasting memories.

Tracing Your Family Tree

Tracing your ancestry can turn into a fun quest that brings the family together. There are many ways to tackle the project. You can start with what you already know about your family, initiate conversations with extended family and relatives, access church records, or utilize online resources. This will give everyone in the family an opportunity to discover where they came from, their connection to the world, and to learn about relatives you might not have previously known about. You may even get a history lesson and learn really interesting facts!

Playing Games

Board games are an interactive activity that family members of all ages can enjoy. Planning a weekly or monthly game night gives everyone something to look forward to on a regular basis. Mix up the game of choice by having a different family member select the game for that day. You can also expand the playing field by taking things outdoors for a game of pick-up kickball, or other sport, at a local park.

Volunteering

Research has shown that the act of giving and helping has a direct impact on our mental well-being and helps us feel happier and more grateful. Giving your time and energy to make someone else’s life better is also a powerful learning experience. By sharing these experiences together as a family, you are guaranteed to strengthen your family bond. You can do something as simple as rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbor, send cards to children in hospitals, make care packages for nursing home residents or our military who are away from their families, or gather donations for your local food pantry or animal shelter. We recommend Project Helping to find volunteer opportunities in your area that resonate with your family’s interests.

There are so many ways to strengthen your family bond. Choosing activities that are interesting to all members of the family will keep everyone engaged for the long haul. Plan activities, do them, and watch the impact togetherness can have on strengthening the relationships within your family.

Contact Creative Counseling Center