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Keep the family connected over the festive season
Posted 15 Dec 2022
Summer holidays bring about excitement, lazy days, and a new routine for families.
Mentally Healthy WA, through the Act Belong Commit mental health promotion campaign, is encouraging Western Australian families to prioritise their mental health and wellbeing over the festive season.
Keep the whole family entertained by checking out the 7 ideas below. Most of these ideas are free and support family connectedness and mental wellbeing.
1. SET A GOAL
At the beginning of the holidays encourage the family to set goals to work towards over the next few weeks. Do you want to organise and tidy your room and donate to a charity shop? Regularly exercise? Read a certain number of books? By making the goal specific and measurable we are more likely to achieve it. Offer a small reward to look forward to! Working towards something and achieving it is very satisfying and adds meaning and purpose into our days which supports wellbeing.
There’s plenty to do indoors on those extra hot or rainy days. Do a puzzle, set up an indoor obstacle course, put on some music and have a dance party, put on a fashion show or performance, do a treasure hunt or have some friendly competition decorating cupcakes. Head to the library to get some books out to read!
Get outdoors! Enjoy the sunshine, get some physical activity, and see what’s on in the community. Head to the beach, set up a paddling pool in your back yard, go for a bike ride, do some gardening, or go geocaching. There’s plenty of activities and community events to attend, have a look here: https://www.weekendnotes.com/perth/community-events/
Screen time is unavoidable but it’s all about balance. Set firm boundaries around how much time is spent on devices and what they are being used for. Encourage learning apps, chatting to friends or watching funny clips and videos over mindlessly scrolling through social media. Set up a home cinema, let the kids choose a movie, pop some popcorn, dim the lights and sit back and relax. This article has some great tips on screen time: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/insight/article/how-parents-can-manage-their-childrens-screen-time-during-the-holidays/c4t0a0ptm
5. FAMILY TIME
Dedicate specific time to spend with your family. Play a board game, go for a picnic, cook or bake something together or volunteer and help others as a family.
6. ADVENTURE TIME
Want a little extra fun? Head to Scitech, an animal farm, Adventure World, iFLY, Bounce, AQWA, the WA Museum, the Perth observatory or many other activities on offer in WA.
7. DOWN TIME
Don’t feel like you need to entertain the family all summer long. It’s ok for young people to have time where they feel ‘bored’, it can encourage them to explore and do something else to entertain themselves or simply relax and unwind. Make time to go for a leisurely walk, do some deep breathing, have a cup of tea and sit back with a good book.
About Act Belong Commit:
Act Belong Commit is directed from Curtin University’s Mentally Healthy WA. Funded by Healthway and the Mental Health Commission, the Act Belong Commit campaign promotes mental health by reminding us to regularly:
• ACT: Do something to keep mentally, physically, socially, spiritually and culturally active.
• BELONG: Do something with someone to keep connected to friends, family and community.
• COMMIT: Do something meaningful – get involved in activities that provide meaning and purpose.
Get on the front foot and prioritise your mental health and wellbeing today. Visit www.actbelongcommit.org.au where you’ll find helpful information including hundreds of activities you can do to improve your mental health.