Relationships with family and friends are one of the most important ways we can stay connected. Unlike other parts of the world, many of us in the UK limit family time to holidays and special occasions, leaving less time to develop those bonds.
Lots of us apply mindfulness to our everyday lives, taking two or three minutes out to be calm, still and reflective. But true mindfulness isn’t just about meditation, it’s about being truly present in the moment – and that includes family time.
In a world with so much going on, it’s easy to become distracted in just about every situation. But by removing some of those distractions, you can build better ties with friends and family, learn more and develop those important relationships.
So, what can you do to embrace family time?
- Ban laptops, phone and social media. Whether it’s a three hour Sunday roast or a three week holiday, devices provide a constant distraction. By getting rid of these you’ll be able to stay more connected.
- Plan activities but don’t pressure people into joining in. If everything is optional, your family won’t feel like they’re being forced to have fun and they’re more likely to get involved.
- Share the costs. Once you’re an adult it only seems fair to share the costs of holidays and activities. If one of your family members is cooking for you, make sure you contribute with a small gift, dessert or bottle of wine.
Families can be complicated, but for many of us there’s more common ground than you’d think. The strongest families or circles of friends have open, honest relationships, relying on trust. This might mean having deeper and more personal conversations, but ultimately it will lead to better connections. For these kinds of bonds to develop, being present in the moment is essential. As well as enjoying each other’s time, it will help you to pick up on the times that you or your family might need that little bit of extra support.