(4 minute read)
Lockdown has given us the opportunity to ‘reinvent’ our families, be present, support each other, and find new ways to teach and learn. In the midst of big changes, we can still create positive memories, spend quality family time and make sure everyone is well, inside and out!
These 5 simple ways will increase your family’s wellbeing, boost everyone’s mood and create extra fun memories!
1. Express gratitude
It can be easy to think of a list of reasons why we’re thankful for each of our family members, but lets write them down so that they know too! Feeling and showing gratitude is such a quick and reliable way to boost your feelings of happiness, and expressing gratitude makes those around us feel more valued and increases their confidence too!
Ask each family member to write their name in the middle of a sheet of paper. (Decorating it with hearts and flowers is optional but highly recommended!) Pass the sheet around and ask each family member to take a minute and write down what they appreciate about the person whose name is on the sheet. At the end, it may be a nice idea to read the comments out loud and celebrate what a wonderful bunch you all are!
2. Get active
Family that moves together, stays together! It’s no secret that exercise reduces negative emotions and increases positive ones, it makes us more alert and energised, but at the end of the day it may actually help us sleep better which is so important for your wellbeing!
So, put on some music and show off your best dance moves! If your family is up for a challenge, introduce a couple of dance variations such as ballet, tap dance, ballroom or Hip Hop. Once you have found your rhythm, come up with a fancy dance group name! And yes, I am afraid, Boogie Thunder is now taken.
3. Get crafty
Working on a creative project together can really boost your sense of self-esteem, wellbeing, help connect with each other and have fun! We do so much of this in all our Citywise Projects! Begin with an easy winter craft and create a fruity bird feeding station that will surely be a hit with the local birds.
You will need:
- Oranges (1 half per person)
- String (2 pieces of 80cm per person)
- Bird seed (e.g., sunflower seeds, pressed corn, crushed peanuts, Nyjer seeds, cooked rice)
How to make your bird feeder:
- Cut the oranges in half and scoop out the juicy bits.
- Make 4 holes on the opposite sides but do not to go too close to the top edge.
- Thread one of the strings through the hole and out the opposite end.
- Repeat it with the second piece of string, you should see an X at the centre.
- Gather the string ends and tie a knot at the top.
- Fill your bird feeders with bird seed mix and hang them on the branches outside for the birds to feast!
4. Try mindfulness
Stopping and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings is not an easy task but so essential when doing something hard or dealing with big emotions.
Create some time and space for your family to pause and notice how everyone is feeling. One way to help everyone feel calmer and a bit more grounded is to visualise your favourite place to be in.
Close your eyes and imagine you are in a place that brings you peace. Look around and notice all the details, sounds and smells around you. Some of your more artistic family members may like to draw it too!
5. Put on a show!
If you are familiar with Citywise programmes, you know that we always finish our holiday projects with a talent show! They are always such joyful events, filled with pride and admiration for the confidence and creativity children have. And most importantly, everyone LOVES watching it as much as participating!
So, put on a family talent show and pack it with magic tricks, musical skits, apple juggling, kitchen pot drumming and pie eating. A night of laughter and surprises is guaranteed! Who knew boosting your wellbeing could be so much fun!