Grow Yourself: Make Self-Care About Family

Because this is one of the few times of the year you’ll get everyone in the same space, the holidays are the perfect time to discuss matters of health and wellness with your loved ones. Without pushing an agenda or being dogmatic about any particular way to be healthy, you can implement sustainable lifestyle changes that everyone can integrate into their lives, without having to use deprivation or willpower to make it happen.

Instead of waiting until January 1st, start now by sharing your wellness goals and come up with strategies to help support each other.

If your family members have an email address, consider creating a private group on Yahoo! Groups or Google Groups. If they are on Facebook, you can create a private Facebook group. Facebook offers an additional benefit of posting photos of your progress and milestones. Use these groups to check in and share tips and support. You can also create a Google calendar for check-ins, events, and deadlines.

Start out with simple, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and timely goals. This way, you and your relatives can ease into these new habits without feeling burned out or overwhelmed.

Here are some ideas to get you started. Choose 2-3 of what you feel can be accomplished as a group, and then choose an additional 1-2 things that each of you can do to meet your individual goals.

Together, you can

  • take a walk at least 3 days a week for 15-30 minutes
  • find new and interesting ways to drink more water throughout the day (like adding fresh fruit or making unsweetened herbal tea)
  • plan and cook dinner together
  • add a salad or a green smoothie three times a week
  • go meatless on Mondays
  • offer to babysit so the parents can get in some quality time with themselves and each other
  • do a round robin of decluttering/housecleaning at each other’s homes
  • sign up for a financial literacy class (or, deepen your relationship with your family by entering into a space of forgiveness and healing by starting a Money: A Love Story circle)
  • start a susu
  • create a media-free zone (try 1-2 hours upon rising on the weekend or before bedtime)
  • host a weekly game night
  • get a family membership to a cultural institution and organize monthly visits
  • start a garden
  • research your family tree
  • create a family scrapbook, quilt, or cookbook
  • learn CPR/First Aid
  • have a family day at the spa
  • deepen your spiritual practice by attending church, yoga, or meditation classes, and/or hosting a spiritual study group
  • pursue a creative endeavor, like singing, dancing, or building something
  • spend time in the outdoors, such as hiking, boating, swimming, birding, and swimming

How do you and your family make time for self-care?

Let me know what you think!