May is Family Wellness Month
by Rocio Fernandez Lugo
Did you know that May is Family Wellness Month? Family Wellness Month was created to encourage families to improve communication and make lifestyle changes that promote the emotional, mental, and physical health of the entire family.
Here are some ideas to promote positive and healthy practices within your family:
1. Make Healthy Food Choices
Start simple, find a healthy alternative to a favorite recipe, switch to non-fat milk or replace soda with water. Take the “rainbow challenge” and see who can eat the most colorful combination of fruits and vegetables. Cook dinner together as a family one night per week and slow down and eat dinner at the table instead of on the run.
2. Stay Active Outdoors
Get your family moving with a walk after dinner, a game of tag or a bike ride. For a fun and inexpensive activity in town, try to visit all the parks, playgrounds or walking trails in your neighborhood. On rainy days, practice a new yoga pose or take on an active video game such as Wii Fit or Just Dance.
3. Volunteer Together
Find opportunities in your neighborhood to volunteer as a family and connect with the community you live in! Clean up a stretch of the road you live on or a local playground, visit a nursing home, donate to a local food pantry, or plant trees.
4. Family Game Night
A classic game of cards or a round of charades during game night will allow your family to relax, laugh and spend some quality time together. Games also teach kids patience and fair play and help to improve their strategy and reasoning skills.
5. Grow a Garden
You don’t have to have a green thumb or a yard to enjoy gardening. The city of Long Prairie has a community garden where you can rent a gardening plot at a very affordable price. You can also consider a container garden, hanging tomato plants or an indoor terrarium.
6. Go Unplugged
Encourage your family to unplug from television, video games, phones, and social media. Try a weekly challenge such as “no text Tuesday” or “phone free Friday” and ask everyone to turn off their phones at the dinner table each night.
7. Sleep Well
Set bedtimes and develop a positive bedtime routine to ensure that kids are getting enough sleep. Keep bedrooms quiet and dark by removing televisions, computers, cell phones and other gadgets.
8. Connect with Family
During this month, make it a priority to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. If your family is too far away to visit in person, send a card or make a weekly video chat date to stay connected.
9. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care can help keep your family’s well-being. Whether you want to practice meditation, quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight or further your education, use this month to set an example for your family.
Hands of Hope Resource Center wishes the families in our communities a safe and wellness-rich summer season!