We all know that spending time with family is important – whether that’s your biological family or the loved ones you choose to surround yourself with. It’s also a no-brainer that we live in a busy world where it’s all too easy to let our top priorities fall through the cracks. If you want to be more present with your family but are struggling to find the time or energy, these 7 tips are for you.
#1 - Schedule family fun days
In the words of chemist and author Orlando Aloysius Battista, “The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.” Of course, there are going to be hectic days as a parent where your attention span is all over the place and committing to quality time with your kids can, unfortunately, be a struggle. This is where family fun days can be hugely beneficial. Commit one day (or a few hours) per week to a fun activity that your whole family can enjoy. According to a survey conducted by SWNS, these are children’s top picks for family fun day activities:
- Going to the beach
- Exercising together
- Playing sports
- Going to the swimming pools
- Going to the movies
- Playing at a park
- Taking a day trip to a zoo or museum
- Playing video games together
- Going shopping as a family
#2 - Commit to a weekly date night (or day!)
It’s a lot easier to commit to spending quality time with your significant other when it’s a built-in routine. Choose a weekly time that works within both of your schedules, book in a babysitter if necessary and then stick to that time as your weekly date night/day. As a busy parent/professional, this might seem easier said than done but it’s such an important part of sustaining a happy family. And if you’re stuck on ideas, a survey by dating site Plenty of Fish provides some great suggestions:
- Go for a dinner date at a restaurant
- Step out for a walk together
- Head out to your favorite bar for a drink or two
- Have a movie night
- Step out for a coffee date
- Watch the sunset at the beach
- Go to a concert
- Go for a bike ride
- Visit an amusement park
#3 - Strike a balance
If the first two tips seem overly challenging at this point in time, this idea might be a bit more manageable within your busy schedule. Take a look at your family’s current routine and see what can be adjusted to allow for a bit more quality family time – and be realistic. Can a family member step in to provide an hour or two of childcare so that you and your partner can have a quick catchup? Could you talk to your employer about the possibility of working remotely or more flexibility, so that you’re able to swap out your commute for family time? Do an audit on how you spend your time, and try to block out times within your day that are strictly for you and your family. For example, our CEO Mahara Inglis – despite being extremely busy – tries to keep his mornings free to make breakfast with his children and walk them to school, and his evenings booked in for family time. That being said, go easy on yourself. Mahara notes:
“Whilst my routine has become relatively well ingrained, it's important to note it doesn’t always go to plan. To that end, I just try to mentally acknowledge that things have gone off track and just to try and reset for the next day or week.”
#4 - Create family rituals
According to research published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, family rituals help to enhance holidays because they “amplify family closeness and involvement in the experience”. It was also discovered that families who followed holiday rituals were more likely to enjoy themselves. In this study, the rituals themselves didn’t influence the feeling of closeness or enjoyment that families had – rather, it was just the act of sharing any ritual with family that had a positive effect. So, start planning some family rituals to enable your family to enjoy some quality time.
#5 - Build family-friendly routines
A notable finding in childhood development research has been that daily family routines impact childhood development. A study published by Science Direct discovered that time management is linked to family stability and fewer attention problems. An article published by the American Psychological Association suggests regular bedtime routines help children get to sleep sooner and wake up less frequently throughout the night than children who don’t have routines. In the article, Psychologist Barbara H. Fiese also notes, "Although intervention studies have not been conducted yet there is reason to believe that regular family mealtimes that include responsive and respectful communication among members would benefit all who sit at the table." So, whether it’s bedtimes, mealtimes or just general time management, see if there are a few routines that you can start building into your family's day-to-day life.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re struggling to be present with your family because, like most of us, you’re just so busy. This brings us to the art of multitasking. Need to tend to your garden? Get your family involved. Cleaning the dishes? Turn on some music, hand the kids some tea towels and have a ten minute dance party. Everyone needs to eat, so make mealtimes a designated time during the day when you put your phone away and spend some quality time with your family. Even workouts can be a family activity: check out these 20 fun workouts to try with your kids if you’d like some inspiration.
#7 Take MitoQ
The other reason you might be reading this article could be due to you not only being short on time but also being short on energy. Don’t you worry – we've got an answer for that one too! Your energy is made within your cells. When your cells get stressed, this energy can diminish. MitoQ is an antioxidant molecule that has been scientifically proven to support cell health so you can enjoy life on your terms. It energizes your cells from within, supporting your energy, longevity and all of the areas of life that require you to be functioning at your best.
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