How To Support Your Family’s Mental Wellness
For some families, the discussion about mental health is often overlooked, especially when the family members are not used to opening up to each other. But, like other things, mental health should be a family affair. It would be best if everyone in the household helped each other to boost mental wellness within the family.
With mental wellness, you can better handle any challenges and curveballs that life will throw into your family. And if anyone is mentally struggling, you can help and support your loved one better when all of you are proactive about promoting mental wellness.
Importance Of Mental Health In Your Family
Before discussing the different ways to support your family’s mental health, it would help to know the importance and benefits of prioritizing mental health in your family.
- Reduce Family Stress And Anxiety: Stress and anxiety in the family could jeopardize harmony in your household. Stress can also create a toxic environment at home, causing you or the other family members to drift away from each other. But when you promote your family’s mental wellness together, you can help reduce everyone’s stress and anxiety. In effect, you can all easily and openly discuss your problems or concerns and solve them together.
- Improve Self-Esteem: The destruction of one’s self-esteem starts in the family. When the family or parents don’t pay attention to the family’s mental health, it can reflect and affect their children’s self-esteem, which they’ll eventually bring as they grow up. But through supporting your family’s mental wellness, you can build each other’s self-esteem and have a better sense of self-worth.
It’s not too late to work on your family’s mental wellness. You and your family members can attend psychotherapy to fix troubled relationships within the family and improve everyone’s self-esteem. Remember, positive self-esteem is a significant sign of good mental health. You may check out some mental health clinics like https://www.pvfcinc.com/counselingpsychotherapy/ or other psychotherapeutic services and take this as your first step to improving your family’s mental health.
- Reduce The Risk Of Depression: Depression can be a fatal mental health condition when not treated accordingly. Supporting your family’s mental health can reduce the chances of having depression. Further, promoting mental health in the family is even more crucial if one of you has a history of mental issues.
- Improve Family Relationship: The quality of your relationships in the family can significantly affect how you interact with people in society. In addition, it’s essential to maintain good relationships with your family members as they’ll be your ultimate support system each time you go through stressful situations in life.
Overall, promoting mental health in the family can improve everyone’s quality of life. When looking after your family’s general health, mental health should be part of it.
How To Support Your Family’s Mental Wellness
Given the importance of paying attention to your family’s mental health, the next thing is to know what you can do to promote it in the family. Below are several ways you can support your family’s mental wellness.
- Normalize Family Discussions About Mental Health
Often, some people don’t want to talk about mental health. This is due to the stigma that people are responsible for their mental health. However, it shouldn’t work that way. To break down this stigma, families should normalize discussing mental health within the family.
Nurturing one’s mental health starts within the family. You may remind all the family members, especially the children, that there’s no shame in talking about their emotions and mental status and seeking help when needed. However, these should be explained in a way they can comprehend.
For example, if they got hurt or broke their arm while playing, they would immediately come to you for help. Teach them that if they’re emotionally hurt or are mentally struggling, they can also do the same—go and ask for your help. The earlier your children learn and understand the importance of their mental health, the easier it’ll be for them to take care of it as they grow up. Overall, make it a habit to practice healthy social-emotional habits at home and encourage everyone to do the same.
- Encourage Everyone To Perform Mental Health Exercises
People often exercise to improve their physical appearance. And while this positively impacts a person’s mental health, certain activities are focused on improving mental wellness. It’s best to encourage everyone in the household to set aside a few minutes each day to exercise their mental health.
For example, you can dedicate a particular room in the house and turn this into a family meditation room. Then, set a specific time wherein everyone is free so you can meditate, reflect, or practice deep breathing exercises that can boost your mental health. Or, if you can’t do this together simultaneously, you can still encourage the other family members to meditate during their most convenient time.
Besides meditation, you can encourage your family to start their journals. This can improve mental health as it helps you keep track of emotions, know your triggers, and learn how to manage them. Other mental health exercises you can all practice in the family are:
- Listening to music
- Starting a gratitude jar
When done frequently, performing mental health exercises will become a habit or routine for everyone.
- Spend Time Together Outdoors
Families should spend time together outdoors as often as possible. Being outdoors can bring numerous mental health benefits, such as:
- Improve your moods
- Make you feel more relaxed
- Offer a sense of tranquility
- Enhance self-esteem and confidence
- Reduce feelings of anger, anxiety, or stress
- Foster a deep connection with nature
Spending time outdoors as a family can strengthen your relationship and bond. You’ll have the opportunity to go on adventures and make memories together. Furthermore, when you and your family are active outdoors, it’ll help you control or minimize your dependence on technology. Instead of spending the entire day scrolling through your phones, being outdoors will mean no phone signals, limiting your screen time and redirecting your energy to your family.
- Talk To Your Kids, Loved Ones, And Yourself
Sometimes, due to what you see on social media, it’s easy to assume that people are fine and having the time of their lives. However, assessing one’s activities on social media shouldn’t be the basis of the person’s current mental health.
Therefore, it’s best to reach out and connect with your kids, loved ones, and yourself every day.
- Talk to your kids: Every day, after your kids get home from school, you can help them relax and settle down. You can give them snacks or serve their favorite beverages to help them decompress after an exhausting day in school.
Likewise, you may ask your kids questions about how their day went. Instead of the usual, ‘How’s your day?’ you can ask more open-ended questions, like:
- What’s a good thing that you did in school today?
- Who are the kids you often talk to or eat lunch with?
- What subject was the easiest or hardest today?
- What’s the most interesting thing your instructor said in class?
- What problems or difficulties are you encountering in your subjects?
Phrasing questions this way will encourage your kids to talk about their day. Most importantly, this will allow you to know more about kids and what they’re going through and closely watch their emotions and mental health.
- Talk to your loved ones: Besides your kids, you may also reach out to your loved ones—like your spouse, siblings, parents, grandparents, extended family, or close friends. You can talk about the wins or challenges you’re both going through in life. Moreover, checking in on each other can help people feel supported and will let them know that they have someone to turn to when in need.
- Talk to yourself: Most importantly, don’t forget to make time for self-talk. Practicing self-talk can improve your mental health by managing stress, improving your self-esteem, and boosting your general well-being. Remember, supporting your family’s mental wellness starts with how you look after your own mental health.
Overall, looking out for other people’s mental wellness is essential, but this doesn’t mean you should disregard yours.
- Make Time To Connect As A Family
Sometimes, losing time with your family is easy when you’re too preoccupied with your commitments and responsibilities. Unfortunately, the lack of quality family time can adversely affect the family’s mental wellness and contribute to poor family fitness.
Thus, despite your hectic schedules and other personal tasks you may have, everyone should make time to connect as a family as often as possible. Family quality time isn’t something you can buy, and it’s not something you can take back once you lose it.
Connecting with your family doesn’t necessarily mean spending money on expensive vacations or road trips. Even simple activities like planning a family movie night, reading a book together, volunteering in the community as a family, or eating outside are enough to foster happiness and satisfaction, improving the family’s mental wellness.
- Promote More Physical Contact Within The Family
Physical contact can boost your brain’s production of dopamine and oxytocin, which are your body’s feel-good hormones. If you’ve noticed, people feel satisfied and happy when hugged, kissed, or cuddled by their loved ones. Likewise, babies feel comfortable, safe, and loved when their parents hold or swaddle them.
So, find ways to incorporate more physical contact in the family. Some of the easy ways you and your family can engage in appropriate physical touch may include:
- Playful wrestling
- Holding hands
- Giving a high five
- Making personalized handshakes
Being held is not only for physical connection but for mental and emotional connections. Therefore, make frequent connections with your family members, as it is among the best ways to promote and support mental health in families.
Cultivating a mentally-healthy environment for your family and yourself is essential to creating a happy and peaceful family life. So, start checking in with your and your family’s mental health and incorporate these practices into your daily routine to support your family’s mental wellness. And if one of you is facing some mental health struggles, don’t hesitate to seek help so you can heal together.