They say there is always a silver lining to every grey cloud. One only needs to look hard enough.
With all the mayhem that the pandemic has brought about, it has as well, brought the focus back to what we often take for granted.
A family is one entity with many parts working together to create something larger. Each part has a significant role to play in how well the family will function as a whole.
It simply means that each one has a healthy balance of the mind, body, and soul, resulting in an overall state of well-being.
Family Wellness then is a way to stress healthy family lifestyles and habits. And the healthier each individual family is, the healthier an entire community can be.
By focusing on the ingredients and most important aspects of family life I hope that you find solutions to care about your family through this 5-part series based on inspiring family wellness.
In an ideal scenario, each human being is a person who understands, values and develops his body, finding it beautiful and useful; a person who is real and honest to and about him/herself and others; a person who is willing to take risks, to be creative, to manifest competence, to change when the situation calls for it, and to find ways to accommodate what is new and different, keeping the part of the old that is still useful and discarding what is not. When you add all this up, you have a physically healthy, mentally alert, feeling, loving, playful, authentic, creative, productive human being, one who can stand on his/her own two feet, who can love deeply and fight fairly and effectively, who can be on equally good terms with both his/her tenderness and his/her toughness, know the difference between them and therefore strive effectively to achieve his/her goals.
The family is the “factory” where this kind of (ingredient) person is made.
No matter what kind of problem a family could have — whether it’s a wicked mother in law, a nagging wife, an unfaithful husband, a son who no longer cares, or an obnoxious daughter — whatever the issue these four key aspects are vital to gauge your family wellness.
1. Self-worth: the feelings and ideas one has about themselves.
2. Communication: the different ways people reach out to make meaning with each other.
3. Family system: the rules people use for how they should feel and act.
4. Link to society: the way people relate to other people outside the family.
To relieve any issues in a family and its resulting pain and anguish, a way to change these key factors needs to be found.
Commonly, the following has been observed of troubled families v/s an untroubled nurturing family:
So today, stop and reflect on these questions:
Does it feel good to live in your family right now?
Do you feel you are living with friends, people you like and trust, and who like and trust you?
Is it fun and exciting to be a member of your family?
If you answered ‘YES’ to these three questions, bravo! You can pat yourself on the back and leave this page now. Trust me, there are many other thought-provoking articles at SHE Magazine USA.
However, if your answer is ‘NO’ or ‘NOT OFTEN’, you likely live in a family that is in some way or somewhat troubled. You’d probably benefit if you read on.
The key to happiness then lies in crossing the bridge from being a distressed family to one that is nurturing and caring. Ask and address the following questions with your family in all honesty:
Every person has a feeling of worth, positive, or negative; the question is — Which is it?
Every person communicates; the question is — How and what happens as a result?
Every person follows rules; the question is — What kind and how well do they work for you?
Every person is linked to society; the question is — How and what are the results?
There are so many ways to work towards driving this change. Choose to be creative and take the time to make this an interesting and exciting time for your family. Involve every member. You could even go to a park or an environment that encourages each individual to share and feel that their contribution matters and is truly valued. Have a go at answering the above questions individually and then share as a family unit. Identify the gaps and how you can help each other create a healthy family life. Also specifically communicate the kind of help you are looking for as each of us is programmed differently; (metaphorically speaking) you may want more of a listening ear rather than a helping hand.
Tasneem Kagalwalla (@tasneemkagalwalla)
Life Coach and Blogger
SHE Magazine USA