You want to take care of your family the best you can, yet some factors are difficult to control. Sure, you can preach vegetables, water, and exercise all day long – but what about the health concerns we can’t solve by keeping a healthy diet? Stress has a massive impact on our physical health, mental health, as well as general well being – and it can affect your younger family members as much as the older ones.
Less stress means happier days, friendlier family dinners, and a better family dynamic in general. Incorporate these brilliant tips, straight from other households who also just wanted to live together as a healthy and happy family.
Relaxed families have mutual goals
Have you ever argued over whose turn it is to do the dishes or the laundry? Even if you haven’t had one of these in a while, you’ve probably experienced the circular discussion and uselessness of keeping scores when trying to find a fair balance between chores.
When studying thirty-two families and attempting to pinpoint the habits of the household that seemed to stress the least, scientists found that the ones with the least arguments didn’t divide chores in a fair manner at all. They seemed to have a mutual understanding of what needed to be done – and each of them did their part without questioning it.
Across the study, it was the women who did most of the work – but they were fine with it as they felt that their husband had an understanding of what needed to be done. She would cook dinner, for example, and he would tidy up a bit as she cooked and set the table.
The typical arguments are eliminated when you both know where you’re heading; whether it has to do with daily chores, finances, or how to raise your children. If you don’t feel like you have this balance, it’s necessary to talk about it with each other and find ways to take care of the stress factors you keep arguing about. This could mean a chat with your boss about an employee financial wellbeing scheme to feel more secure and a conversation with each other where there is a sense of we-ness rather than you and I.
Low-stress families cook together
Believe it or not, but the families who stressed the least didn’t serve convenient meals or ready-to-eat dinners. They cooked it from scratch, usually asked their children for help, and always ate the same meals together as a family. What the study found was that families who served those convenient meals often stressed more by wasting time and cooking up a side-dish or serving a separate meal for the children – who rarely helped out in the kitchen.
The message is therefore clear; cook dinners from scratch, do it together, and you’ll all feel happier.
Other factors of low-stress families were the focus on spending quality time together which were usually small and seemingly insignificant events, such as braiding your daughter’s hair or watching your son’s favourite TV show with him.
To be happy together is not about the grand days out with loads of expectations; it is about the little things, working together, and spending time as a family.