International Day Of Families occurs annually on May 15th. As we celebrate our biological and chosen families, let’s appreciate the benefits we gain from strong relationships and discover tips to strengthen our family ties.
Benefits of Family
Family members support and nurture us. Here are a few of the many benefits we gain from our family.
1. Improve physical health – Family interactions can lower blood pressure, boost fitness levels, and improve immunity. We may live longer, too, thanks to healthy family relationships.
2. Boost mental health – Conversations, playtime and other interactions with family members can reduce a variety of mental health challenges, including stress, anxiety and depression.
3. Receive emotional support – Having someone to rely on, confide in and turn to provides us with a stable emotional lifeline. We also gain a sense of belonging and security that supports us during life’s ups and downs.
4. Gain financial security – We gain financial support and security as we work with our family members to meet financial obligations.
5. Develop self-confidence and resilience – Because we are valued, appreciated, wanted, and loved by our family members, our confidence and self-esteem grow. We gain inner strength and resilience that equips us to pursue our goals and navigate daily life.
6. Appreciate others – Interacting with family members of all ages, personality types, and interests expands our worldview. We develop compassion, understanding, empathy, and appreciation for others.
Ways to Strengthen Family Ties
The average American family spends just 37 minutes of quality time together each day. How does your family compare?
To increase quality time together and strengthen our family ties, we can do some or all of the following activities together today.
1. Tell stories. Remember events from your shared past and recall all the joys your family has experienced and the challenges your family has overcome together.
2. Review your shared history. Break out the photo albums or organize your family photos, watch family videos or assemble a family tree. These activities encourage us to reconnect with each other and the cultures and traditions that form our family’s foundation.
3. Express gratitude. Take time to tell each person in your family what you appreciate about them. Write your gratitude in a journal or notebook for future reference and encouragement.
4. Unplug. Turn off all electronic devices and focus solely on each other.
5. Share a meal. We laugh, learn, and bond as we cook and eat together. Prepare a favorite meal or try a new recipe.
6. Take a trip. Visit a local museum, beach, or other destination.
7. Play outdoors. Walk, hike, run, bike, or play in the backyard, local park or other outdoor location.
8. Make art. From cake decorating to sidewalk drawing, we have fun, exercise our creativity and appreciate each other through artistic expression.
9. Volunteer. Work together in the community to improve life for others.
Celebrate International Day of Families
On International Day of Families, we receive a reminder to appreciate and strengthen our family relationships. Strong families support strong communities, and it’s our privilege to support your family and your health and wellness at all stages of life.