Posted by Peggy Farber on 8/10/2016

Home is where the heart is and we all want to make sure the heart of our home, our family, is healthy and happy. Creating a home that sets your family up for success towards becoming a healthier, and therefore happier family can lead to happy memories you can cherish forever. Keep reading for tips and habits you can enforce and lead by example in your home to encourage your family to make healthy choices both mentally and physically. Practice gratitude. At the end of each day, perhaps even around the dinner table review your family's favorite moments of the day and what they are grateful for. Creating space for these moments is akin to writing out gratitude lists which have been scientifically proven to help increase happiness. This habit also has the added benefit of bringing your family closer together . Spend time together at home. Whether it’s a weekly game night where your family gathers around the kitchen table to play board games, huddles up in the living room to play some video games or spend the day playing a game of ball in the backyard. Taking time to enjoy each other at home base creates happy memories and helps your family become more tight knit. Create zones in your house. Set up zones for activities such as tech only, homework, play, solo time and even family time to help encourage focus on the activity at hand while maintaining balance. By creating specific zones you help hardwire your family’s brains to focus on the activity at hand and allow a way for other members of the family to respect that person’s time while they are engaging in an activity. Healthy Choices. Set out bowls of fruits, pre-cut veggies to snack on and keep a jug of cold water on hand to guide your family towards healthy choices on their own. This works especially well with younger children so that you can allow them to make their own food choices at snack time and ensure you are making it easier for them to reach for the good stuff. Encourage physical activity. If you child is interested in an afterschool sport, practice being enthusiastic and supportive of their new interest. Spend time practicing with them in the backyard and volunteer to host their friends over for a group practice in the backyard. If your partner is interested in joining the gym or an adult league, leave room in your family’s schedule for them to easily stick to and enjoy their new commitment. Make relaxation easy for your family. Consider what each member of your family’s go-to technique to relax is and set up ways for them to easily do so. If your children love to draw or paint set up an art station they can easily access at their discretion. If your partner enjoys curling up with a good book and some hot tea arrange a bookcase with their favorite titles within reach and keep tea making supplies at the forefront of your cabinet. Get outside. Sometimes it's important to get out of the house too. A few times a month schedule times for family trips to get outside and visit nearby trails. Whether you walk, hike or ride bikes as a family getting outdoors to enjoy fresh air and be active will improve your family’s health and guarantee some quality time together. We all want health and happiness for the ones we love. You can help promote healthy habits that lead to increased happiness for your family with a little preparation and guiding by example. Working with, playing with, and supporting each other along the way will guarantee a healthier, more tight knit family with loads of memories to cherish for years to come.




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