I had an epiphany this past weekend. What if families scheduled random “wellness lock-ins” every 3 months or so where they purposely worked on healthy family lifestyle components? You know, things such as:
- Emphasized family time
- Family-wide random activities such as going to the park, riding bikes, painting, cooking (at least one physical activity)
- Meals together the entire weekend, emphasis on nutrient-rich/healthy cuisine
- Read stories together
- Plenty of sleep with naps an option any or all of the days
- Reflect on old pictures, tell family stories, things that remind your children of their preciousness & uniqueness
- Minimize computer and television time to 2 hours daily (or none at all)
These types of weekends should be sacred, so that would mean no other obligations other than family time. Day after day, I meet families that say they are too busy to do many of the things that I suggest in my private nutrition consulting practice. But if you scheduled an entire weekend devoted to doing just these things, I believe that it would set the pace for a new emphasis and outlook. We all have Blackberry’s, iPhones and/or other devices that dictate where we will be at any given moment, so why not schedule sacred family time and decline other things that may come up during that time? Let our calendars work in our favor for once!
I have to admit, my last minute trip to the northeast was cancelled. Since nothing else was planned, I was able to have uninterrupted time with my precious family. There was nothing on our social calendar, so we did all these things mentioned above. It was such a gloriously enriching weekend that made me think about all the other families out there that need to do the same thing. This just happened for us this weekend, but I can assure you that we will have these planned out in the future. You see, we should never be too busy to make time for the most important people in our lives but sadly, so often we are. If we don’t have our priorities straight, we cannot live out and model the healthy lifestyle we so badly want for our own children.
I want to issue a challenge to your family. Take the Wellness Lock-In Challenge at least one time between now and the end of the year by blacking out an entire weekend just to hang out with your family. If you decide to do this, do not make a bunch of set plans (i.e., (9-10am bike ride, 10-10:30 reading, etc. No!). Instead, just keep it open and allow the love you share take the lead. I promise you that it will be the most nourishing thing you and your family can do on so many levels. Set aside the weekend, and take the challenge!
Angela Lemond is a registered and licensed dietitian with a private practice in Plano, Texas. Her specialty areas are pediatrics and family nutrition. Angela loves promoting family dinners, as she has seen the benefits firsthand in her family with her husband and two children. Find out more about Angela visit www.angelalemond.com or follow her blog at MommyDietitian.com.