Breaking Bread with Family

Good connections with family and friends can improve health and increase longevity.

There is something to be said about spending time with loved ones and the benefits it could have on our health.

Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.

So what are some of the benefits of getting together with family and friends?

Strengthen bonds

The more time spent together in leisure activities strengthens the family and friend connection.

Fewer behavioural problems

Children and youths who spend time with parents communicating have less behavioral issues.

Physical activity

Engaging in physical activities with family and friends promotes a sense of health and well-being, while instilling healthy, life-long exercise habits in children.

Opens the lines of communication

Spending time together nurtures and fosters healthy communication in all of our relationships. Children and adolescence are more apt to come to their parents in times of trouble because the lines of communication are open. They may have fewer fears of rejection or judgement.

We lead busy lives and sometimes our schedules make it impossible to connect with family and friends, and give back to our communities.

Here are some suggestions to get you thinking:

Volunteer

Support your community by volunteering with family or friends at a local soup kitchen, nursing home, hospital, or other local organization that needs your help. This is a great opportunity to give back to your community while spending quality time together.

Make dinner time family time

Simple things like cooking and having dinner together each night can create the meaningful time that you and your family need.

Limit media exposure

Spend time in the evenings reading or talking rather than watching television or surfing the net. Studies show that electronic exposure before bed prevents a restful night’s sleep in children and adults.

Go out with your besties

Make a point of connecting with friends. Schedule monthly outings or visits.

Commit to regular date nights with your partner

Between work and family, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your main squeeze. Make one another a priority and find together time doing something you both love.

Family day is a great opportunity to plan something special with family or friends, whether it’s a casual day indoors, playing board games, watching movies and sharing a delicious meal to time spent outdoors enjoying nature. The possibilities are endless.

What do you do to stay connected to your loved ones?


Laura Iamundo, Certified Holistic Nutritionist