For a family to truly be happy, it’s crucial that every single member be happy. If someone is struggling, it will affect everyone else. That’s why family members need to make sure they are addressing each other’s mental and emotional health needs. Doing so is simply beneficial to the entire family unit.
If this is a goal of yours, keep the following tips in mind. They’ll help you better understand what you (and everyone else in your family) can do to support the wellbeing of loved ones.
Talk to Each Other
Surveys indicate families may be busier than ever these days. That might not exactly come as a surprise. We live in a fast-paced world, and thanks to modern technology, that’s probably not going to change in the near future.
Unfortunately, a busy lifestyle makes it easy to forget just how important it is for family members to sit down and talk to one another about their feelings. Psychological researchers know that suppressing emotions and thoughts result in poor mental health.
Avoid this by finding times to discuss feelings with each member of your family. For instance, if you’re a busy mom, you might discuss your child’s emotional wellbeing while picking them up from soccer practice. You and your spouse can talk to one another for a half hour before bed each night. While the specific time you set aside for discussing feelings will depend on your schedule, this is worth prioritizing.
Of course, make sure you don’t neglect your own feelings! Remember, your mental health is as essential as that of every family member.
Don’t Stigmatize Mental Illness
Research consistently shows that stigmatizing poor mental and emotional states has a negative impact on people who are struggling. If someone feels that mental health issues are a sign of weakness, they won’t want to discuss them, and they’ll likely develop low self-esteem.
Families need to remember this. You want to ensure all your loved ones feel comfortable opening up about their feelings, even when those feelings aren’t entirely positive.
An easy way to do this is to open up about your own challenges. If a parent freely speaks about their mental and emotional health struggles, other members of the family will understand that doing so is both acceptable and productive.
Look for Opportunities to Help
Again, most families are quite busy these days. Everyone has a lot on their plate.
That means you can support your family by paying attention to all the tasks your loved ones handle, and lending a helping hand whenever possible. For instance, the survey that revealed just how busy American families are also revealed that mothers are still typically expected to handle the majority of the housework, even if both spouses are employed full-time. It’s important that other family members express their appreciation for all that Mom does, and offer to help whenever possible. This will create a positive environment in which every member of the family learns to appreciate one another.
Knowing what family members can do to support each other is half the battle. When everyone actually takes the necessary steps, you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier family.