Spending Time With Family During The Holidays

Strengthening Your Bond As a Family Can Improve Your Overall Well Being

Research shows that families who spend time together share stronger emotional bonds. Spending time as a family is associated with a sense of belonging and enhanced communication, particularly with children, who have higher academic performances and are less likely to have behavioural problems.

A favourite time of year for most friends and families to gather, reminiscing about old memories and making lots of news ones is, of course, Christmas.

 

Amid the busyness of the season, it is essential to remember that the most important part of the holidays is spending quality time with those you love. It's a wonderful opportunity to disconnect with everyday stresses and reconnect with what life is really all about; friends, family, laughter, love, graciousness, gratitude and spreading warmth and smiles.  

It's a season of softened edges, with the worldwide acceptance and anticipation that it is okay, if not completely expected, to be with those you love to enjoy well deserved and absolutely cherished family time.

There are also many other notable and positive benefits of relaxing and spending time with those special people in your life who you can truly let your guard down around.

Your Health Reflects the Health of Who You Spend Time with

Have you ever noticed that your health and lifestyle choices often reflect those that you spend the most time with?

According to a global survey done by The Edelman Health Barometer in 2011, 46 percent of people cite their friends and family as having an impact on the state of their health, reported Huffington Post.

In the interview of 15,000 people, 36 percent of people stated that family and friends were the biggest influence when it came to their health.

31 percent of people surveyed stated that they want to distance themselves from loved ones who make negative health choices due to the impact it has on their personal health.

 

Big Budgets and Complex Itineraries Not Necessary

 

Spending more time together and indulging in leisure activities strengthens the family bond.  This holds true to all type of activities. They don’t always need to be such that require a bigger sum of money.

Even home-based, low-cost activities such as playing a board game, gardening, camping, arts and crafts, cozying up for a family movie or playing outdoors have a big impact on the health of a family.

They make everybody in the family feel closer emotionally to each other, which is always a good thing. These mundane everyday activities are known as a family’s ‘core’ activities, whereas those that require more time, money and planning (special events, vacations) are called ‘balance’ activities. Both of these are deeply related to a family’s ability to better adapt.  The strengthening of family bonds is one of the important benefits of family time.

Importance of Family Traditions

Almost every family tradition has its roots in necessity. Over time, that necessity becomes nostalgia, and eventually, it becomes a way for families to relate and connect with one another. In fact, as families evolve and change, those traditions once again become necessities, as they assume new meaning in the context of our need to communicate and understand our loved ones.

The holidays can provide a healthy reminder to let the world go on spinning while we connect with our families and engage in our heritage together.

As such, it is important to pass the torch of family traditions; this imparts a sense of continuity, bonding and more importantly, love. It is incumbent on each generation of parents to keep the family tradition up and running. Family traditions are valuable tools for raising kids, as they help to instill social values and contribute to creating close family ties.

Sharing

Sharing is a key ingredient for creating quality moments. Traditions make sharing easy by offering a common ground of knowledge and experience. A favourite holiday cookie recipe is not simply a recipe, but an opportunity for a shared experience. For example, making the cookie, discussing special techniques and ingredients, decorating them a certain way, etc. There's a shared expectation of the time and method the tradition will take place and each role that will be played. There are also the shared memories from previous occurrences of each family tradition.


Distinctive History

Family traditions make it possible for the family's distinctive history to pass down to the next generation, which often expands the family story. It can cultivate a special connection between family members and between generations. Each special family tradition creates warmth and closeness among family members and it will remain a special tie that binds them. Familiar and predictable family experience brought about by family traditions, fosters the feeling of safety and security. It gives each member something to look forward to and the assurance one needs.

Old and newly introduced family traditions, no matter how grand or simple, brings about the sense of belongingness, emphasizes good values and more importantly, creates happy family memories.

In Summary

Spending time with family is a positive activity, which can be enhanced even further when woven with simple or complex family traditions.  Perhaps it's time you make some of your own family traditions and strengthen your family bonds in a world that has become increasingly disconnected, with the essence of family interaction becoming a lost art.  It's never too late to make your own memories to pass down from generation to generation, helping preserve the sense of lineage that is unique to each family's namesake.