Keeping A Healthy Household: A Guide
Your household is your safe place, your comfort zone and, in many ways, the most important place in the world. Your family starts and grows here, so the habits and routines you establish need to be positive to set your children on the right path in the future. From the food we eat and how much we exercise to how we care for ourselves emotionally and mentally, it takes a conscious and sustained effort to create a healthy household. To help you get started, here some of the most important foundations on which you can build and maintain a healthy household.
You’re the parent, so that means you’re in charge of what goes in the shopping cart and your children put in their bodies. If you don’t bring candy and junk food into the house, neither you nor they will be tempted to overindulge. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep treats in the house, but most of your diet should be nutritious.
Eating little and often is better than waiting for a big meal at the end of the day as it reduces the likelihood that you’ll overeat, so keep healthy snacks around such as fruit and nuts. Drink water rather than sugary soft drinks. Take the time to sit down and eat dinner together so you can lead by example; eat the right foods, eat slowly and mindfully and reinforce the importance of looking after our bodies.
It’s well known that keeping active is essential to maintaining our health, but you don’t have to rely on the gym. Just 20-30 minutes of exercise a day can have significant benefits for our health, and often if the activity is something we enjoy, we’ll do more without realizing it. Choose something you enjoy doing and make your workouts short so you’re far less likely to skip them.
Why not get the family exercising together? Play some ball in the garden, have a hula-hoop competition or walk the dog. Dancing is a fantastic and fun way to get moving. Pick their favorite tune and get bopping around the house.
Your family’s mental wellbeing is just as important as their physical health. Adults, teenagers, and children can all struggle with mental health issues, and it’s crucial to understand how your family lifestyle can contribute. Some mental health conditions require professional support, such as social anxiety treatment for teens, addiction or depression, but there are ways to ensure both you and your family’s mental health is as balanced as possible.
Good communication is also key to a happy household. Establish some house rules which everyone agrees to follow such as a shared timetable for chores. Have a weekly meeting to give everyone a chance for their voice to be heard and their feelings respected. Bottled up emotions are detrimental to our mental health so the sooner you can teach your children how to express themselves effectively, the healthier your household will be.
Most important of all, make sure you set aside some special family time each week when you all put away the technology and do something together. This could be a trip somewhere, a board game or even a walk in the park. The crucial part is that you’re together and focused on each other.
A regular sleep routine for everyone is essential. When we sleep, our bodies and brains are repairing and processing everything it’s been through during the day. If we habitually rob our bodies of this time, it can have serious consequences for our physical health and make us more prone to depression, stress and anxiety. You should aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Take the opportunity to make bedtime a special bonding time with the kids. Ask them about their days, their fears and their hopes. Ignite their imaginations an expand their knowledge with a bedtime story.