Tips and Strategies to Build Healthy Habits
2020 was a bit of a rollercoaster and the events of last year will most definitely shape 2021. With everything going on in the world around us, it is hard sometimes to ground ourselves and to remember what is truly important for us and our families. With that in mind, we wanted to share some tips and strategies moving forward to help you and your family, especially those in military families, build healthy habits to see you through this upcoming year.
Create and maintain consistent routines
One key to building healthy habits for the family is to create and maintain consistent routines. “Consistent routines help children experience a sense of safety, predictability, and control in their world” (Jacoby, 2021). This can include ensuring bedtime and wake up times stay consistent, prioritizing family mealtimes, and consistent exercise/ outdoor activities for the whole family. The more these routines stay consistent, the more in control and natural these activities will feel for all members of the family.
Prioritize quality family time
Other ways to help our families stay happy and healthy are to prioritize quality family time while practicing healthy communication among family members. Planning events around family time can be something each member of the family gets to do and enjoy. “All members of the family should have a say in how quality family time is spent. Doing this can bring families together and strengthen both parent-child and couple relationships” Military OneSource (2020). Also, healthy communication should be honest and open, with each member of the family getting to express themselves and their needs.
Finally, self-care is an important aspect of staying consistent in complex and sometimes stressful family interactions. You must take care of yourself to take care of others, right? “Self-care looks different for each person but includes doing meaningful activities that enhance your physical health, personal joy, spiritually nourishing, or a sense of learning or accomplishment” Jacoby, V. (2021).
We hope you can take some of these suggestions and apply them to your family life today. Here is hoping for a new year in which we can support each other and support ourselves.
Jacoby, V. (2021). 5 Healthy Habits to Promote Mental Wellness For Military Families. One in Five Minds. Retrieved from: http://info.1in5minds.org/blog/5-healthy-habits-to-promote-mental-wellness-for-military-families
Military OneSource (2020). Staying Safe While Staying Healthy: Tips for Military Families. Retrieved from: https://www.militaryonesource.mil/family-relationships/family-life/preventing-abuse-neglect/staying-safe-and-healthy/
This post was written by members of the MFLN Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Learn more about us at https://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/family-development, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter. Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.