July 22, 2023
Even in a time of constant access to technology and social media, so many of us feel disconnected and lonely these days. If you want to beat stress and depression, connection with the people you love is one of the best ways to do it. These ten ideas can help you all get together, without the need for a large budget or elaborate parties.
Enjoy some time in nature. Get the whole family together at a nearby hiking trail, state park, or botanical gardens. Entry is often free or inexpensive, and there’s nothing like spending time in nature to regulate stress. Almost every member of the family can find something to enjoy outdoors.
Host a game night. Invite everyone to spend a few hours playing board games, card games, or even a group video game tournament. Remember to include something for varying ages and levels of ability and keep the competition friendly.
Become local tourists. Often, we forget to enjoy the sights and attractions that are right under our own noses. What do vacationers in your area enjoy? Some local museums, events, and fun parks might even offer special discounts for locals.
Enjoy a family movie night. Stream a family-friendly movie, microwave some popcorn, and relax together with a comedy or energetic adventure.
Invite everyone for a potluck. Dinner parties don’t need to be elaborate or expensive. Invite everyone for a potluck or ask each person to bring an ingredient so you can all cook together. Try various themed nights (Moroccan food or carnival fare, for example) or vary the location (meet up at a park for a picnic).
Introduce one another to new hobbies. Get together to learn a new skill, taught by one of your resident experts. Or perhaps everyone is an amateur and you can learn together! Some ideas could include gardening, tole painting, knitting, or fishing.
Make a scrapbook. Ask everyone to bring their favorite photos, stickers, or other scrapbook supplies, and make a family album together.
Plan a water party. Water is pretty much free, and a water party can be the perfect way to beat the summer heat. Host a water party with balloons and squirt guns. Don’t forget the little kids, who might prefer a wading pool or sprinkler.
Learn a new sport. Get together to play tennis, volleyball, golf, or some other sport. As a bonus, you’ll all get more fit and reduce stress with exercise.
Tackle a household project. Mundane chores can be fun when you do them together. Get the whole gang together for a household project or renovation, such as painting the house, building a play structure, or landscaping the yard. You’ll enjoy quality time plus accomplish an important goal.
And remember: Keep conversation light, avoiding controversial topics. Avoid screen time during social events. And be sensitive to any special needs such as allergies or sensory differences. With a little advance planning and a touch of creativity, the entire family will benefit from more quality time spent together.