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Amira McLaughlin

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“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten”

-Lilo and Stitch 

Rest is a family affair. Not everyone needs the same sort of rest at the same time, but everyone needs rest regularly. Families who rest together stay healthy together. Family members have the unique ability to read one another and provide the support that you can’t get outside of the family unit. Families can tell in an instant when someone is out of sorts or not themselves. This can be a great help in keeping the family unit healthy. 

Make rest a cornerstone of family culture

From parents to infants, everyone needs rest. Making rest a cornerstone of the family culture can help every member learn to identify when they are fatigued and get the proper rest. Some great ways to create a family culture of rest include: 

  • Having a standardized bedtime
  • Creating conversations about mental health status
  • Family game night
  • Eating meals at the dinner table
  • Checking in with family about fatigue 

Making mental health and physical rest a high-value part of your family culture can prevent burnout, reduce negative behaviors, and bring your family closer together. 

Using mealtime for rest and reconnection

`Nourishing your body is a form of rest. Eating healthy foods that restore energy and build stamina is a great way to rest. One of the best things about mealtime goes beyond eating healthy foods. Engaging in high-quality conversations can also help rest weary minds and spirits. Families who have positive conversations during meals can improve one another’s mental health simply by offering positive feedback and a great sounding board. Consider these ideas for creating healthy mealtimes: 

  • Use a round-table approach to check in with each family member
  • Encourage problem-solving and input as a collective group
  • Ask each member to share something positive about their day
  • Use manners and encouraging phrases when handling food or communicating
  • Reward positive behavior and be sure to recognize one another for positive things

Mealtime can be restorative and a grounding part of a busy day for the whole family.

Family is supposed to be a safe place. Being a part of a unit is an important way to build each other up and buffer against the problems of the world. Families who can rest and restore simply by together having an edge in life. Use family time as a bonding time and a way to rest and restore from a busy world and prep for going back into the community. 

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