Top 5 Family Activities That Will Improve Everyone’s Mental Wellness

Summer is here, and with it comes some time to connect with your family after a busy and hectic school year. If you can get a little extra time off from the firehouse, all the better, but all of the following activities can be done on your regular breaks between shifts and off hours. They will all help you bond as a family while also improving everyone’s overall mental, emotional, and/or physical wellness.

1. Camping

The summer months are perfect for getting outside, and sleeping under the stars is good for the soul. If you live near the mountains, beautiful vistas, the beach, or amazing campgrounds — great! If not, the backyard is a fun location to camp. Help older kids learn self-sufficiency by gathering firewood and setting up the tent. Explore the details of your surroundings with your younger ones, and just spend time together making meals, setting up and taking down camp, and hanging out.

2. Cooking

Family meals are always a great way to connect, and you can take it to the next level by getting together as a family to prepare a meal. Whether it’s pancakes or a huge table piled with food for a barbecue, chopping, stirring, monitoring pots, setting tables, and working together are great ways to pass the time for the whole family.

3. Gardening

If your family is more interested in getting outside, or if you’d like to amp up your kitchen adventures with some fresh herbs and vegetables, then gardening is a great choice for a summer family activity. Grow basil to make pesto, lettuces for fresh salads or to top hamburgers, or fresh flowers for the table. These all grow quickly, thrive in hot summer weather, and will be quick gratification for kids who want to see the benefit of their weeding, watering, and hard work.

4. Building

If you would rather complete a project in an afternoon or two, find a building project you can do together. Build a bookshelf, a storage bin, or a doghouse, and then paint it together as well. This can be a family affair, from choosing of the project and going to the store to get the supplies, to putting everything together and determining where it best fits in the house or outside.

5. Exploring

You do not have to go far to find things of cultural and local interest to enjoy with your family this summer. Check out what is going on at the library and take part in reading challenges. Head to local museums and enroll in family art and educational workshops. Go to chain craft and hardware stores, and take a class that will help you create something awesome for your home together. Hit up outdoor movies in the park, go hiking on nearby trails, and learn more about the local historical spots.

If you are living with a drug or alcohol problem, no matter what activity is in focus, it will be difficult to bond with your family. In this situation, the best way you can help your family to grow stronger this summer is to embark on a first responder-focused treatment program. Here at American Addiction Centers, we offer treatment plans just for firefighters that, in addition to traditional substance abuse treatment therapies, offer:

  • PTSD assessment
  • Interactive, motivational therapies
  • Therapists trained to work with first responders
  • Family support and education to help family members understand what you are facing and how to support you
  • Reintegration assistance

Contact American Addiction Centers now to learn more about how we can help you and your family begin to heal this summer.

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