What does good health look like? Finding Balance in Life is a Personal Journey

Think about how you would answer this question. “What does health look like to you?” »

Very often, in our current state of busy lives, I would dare say that many of us don’t really pay attention to it. We may do our best to exercise or eat a few extra fruits and vegetables, but what is your health goal?

It seems like we are so focused on the challenges we face that we may not make time for the things we can do personally and as a family to be healthy. The physical, mental, spiritual and emotional domains are elements of personal well-being and can also be linked to the health of the family, workplace and community.

Although finding a balanced life is a personal journey, there are certain elements that are important in the foundation. Balancing work and family, eating a healthy, nutritious diet and activity, and setting a budget to spend and save each month. Finding balance can be stressful, especially if you’re trying to balance everything at once. It takes time, and there seems to be less and less time in the day as we seek to balance work and family.

Mélinda Colline

Tips for spending time with family

This naturally leads us to the question: “What should a family do?” » Although it can be difficult to leave work at work, families have developed different methods to make the most of the limited time spent together. Here are some tips that my colleagues and I have implemented, see if these ideas work for your family too!

  • Establish weekly family time. Try to think of this as quality time where the family is doing something that everyone can participate in and enjoy. Try to make it an active and healthy time. It doesn’t have to be an expensive outing (remember, we want to spend smartly!). Some of our best times together have been planting seeds, going on bike or horseback rides, swinging in the garden, visiting one of the parks, painting, dancing to silly songs, or working together like going shopping or doing the dishes.

  • Try to eat several family meals together each week. Whether those meals are breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and no matter the day of the week, sit down and spend some time talking about what’s going on in each other’s lives while eating healthy foods . If children are able, they can help or prepare the meal. It’s a great time to chat.

  • If you have children, especially young ones, dedicate a few moments to each child each evening. Many years ago, our youngest daughter called this our “rock and read time.” She loved this time together because it was time I spent only with her. She would choose a book to read and when we were finished reading and talking about the book, she would tell me about her day. Then she would ask, “Mom, how was your day today?”

  • As children get older, they still need these one-on-one moments, and as parents we move from enforcing rules to coaching and encouraging. Take advantage of the opportunities they offer us to get involved in their lives and activities. The dishes and dust bunnies will wait. If they want you to go with them, go. If they want to talk, talk. If opportunities arise to spend time with them, take advantage of them. Building relationships today will be very important for the challenges they face in the future.

  • Whatever time you spend together, make family time positive. Sometimes adults have bad days and sometimes kids do too. Discuss together how to deal with stress and bad days and use them as a teaching opportunity. Remember, you are modeling how they will respond to what you say and do.

As a resource, I used the National 4-H Council, which provides an activity guide that you might find useful for ideas. You can find the guide at https://4-h.org/inspire-kids-to-do. This summer, make it a goal to be healthy and happy.

Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator and can be reached at 330-264-8722 or hill.14@osu.edu..

This article was originally published in the Daily Jeffersonian: Finding balance between work and family in life is a personal journey.

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