Why Should You Have Family Downtime?

In a world that now feels so long ago, countless outside activities competed for you and your family’s attention. Family time was often just a quick hello or catching-up over text.

And then came 2020.

We’ve all felt the challenge of having to slow down. For some of us, perhaps it was a welcomed change – at least for a bit.

It’s no secret that almost all of our routines have been disrupted. And as we move through autumn, many of our fall time activities have been put on hold. From work to school and long-held traditions – everything feels a bit uncertain. And now we find ourselves with that same call to slow down.

As tiresome as that might feel, hope is not lost. Family downtime is still powerful.

Downtime Gives an Alternative to Structure

In a season where schedules continue to be overturned, it can feel like there’s no structure at all. In reality though, what you have is a different type of structure.

There are still routines that bring order to your day. We all need a break from those routines, even if they’re shaky routines. This break gives us the space to be creative and discover new things about ourselves and our loved ones.

Unwinding Develops Stress Management Skills

Sharing your downtime as a family shows your kids that unwinding is important. When you create the time to decompress, your children are able to experience how moods and thought processes shift.

Modeling these stress coping mechanisms is so powerful. When your kids learn these life lessons from YOU, they’re more likely to continue the practice as they move throughout their lives, and be more equipped to handle stress. This is arguably one of the greatest things you can do for them.

How to Unwind as a Family

If you’re in a downtime-rut, here are a few ideas to inspire your next family unwind time:

  • Take a hike. Enjoy the weather changes and autumn colors by getting out and into nature. Go for a brisk walk and collect your favorite leaves. This shows your kids that relaxing can feel good AND make you healthier.
  • Have an autumn tea party. Bake some gluten-free pumpkin scones and steep your favorite fall tea for a relaxing afternoon tea party. Get in some added antioxidants and boost your health with a cup of green tea.
  • Get cozy with a fall time film. Simmer some apple cider, pop some popcorn (with plenty of butter), and enjoy a fall movie together as a family. Build a blanket fort for extra coziness.
  • Cook together. On a cool fall day, fill your home with the smell of a hearty soup or homemade applesauce. Roast some pumpkin seeds for a high-energy snack with a satisfying crunch that’s also chock-full of zinc and healthy fats. Sprinkle some of those seeds on your soup or keep them handy as the perfect on-the-go snack.
  • Have a picnic. Take your freshly baked fall foods, and set out for a picnic. There’s a strong connection between time out in nature and lower levels of stress and anxiety – so soak up the benefits of the great outdoors together.

As we move through these uncertain times, it’s important that your family stays strong and connected. Family downtime does just that! Try out one of these fall-themed ideas, and keep creating lasting memories and building connections with your loved ones.