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Harmony amidst change

A family's guide to thriving in 2024

Article by Dr. Aliya Sheriff, licensed psychologist/co-founder, IvyHealth Network

Photography by Adobe Photostock

Originally published in Southlake City Lifestyle

As we usher in 2024, families are presented with the opportunity to focus on change as a collective unit, understanding its different facets and navigating the journey together with resilience and optimism. Change is an inevitable and constant force in our lives, shaping our experiences and challenging us to adapt.

Families may experience many types of change, including children entering adolescence, caring for an elderly family member, external factors like a job relocation, or a new addition to the family. Recognizing the type of change helps us identify effective strategies for managing it.

Managing change as a family involves fostering a collective mindset embracing adaptability. Children, often more adaptable than we give them credit for, can benefit from understanding change as a natural part of life. Start by engaging in open and honest conversations, explaining the reasons behind upcoming changes, allowing for questions and addressing any concerns. Encourage family members to express their thoughts and feelings about the changes ahead. Provide reassurance that, as a family, you’re a team ready to face challenges together. This creates a supportive environment where everyone feels acknowledged.

Creating a sense of routine can offer stability, security and comfort. Establish consistent daily rituals, like family meals or bedtime routines, to anchor the family during times of transition. Identify shared activities that provide comfort and joy, fostering connection and emotional well-being.

Maintaining the best possible mental health during periods of change involves prioritizing self-care. Encourage mindfulness practices, like meditation or family walks, to alleviate stress. Engage in activities like family outings or game nights. Explore creative outlets, like putting together a family playlist, creating a coloring mural or a family craft. Mindful family activities foster connection, help quiet our minds and reduce stress.

As we set our sights on 2024, infuse your family's approach to change with hope and a proactive plan. Establish family goals and milestones, providing a roadmap for the year ahead. Celebrate achievements, no matter how small, fostering a sense of accomplishment and reinforcing the family bond.

By approaching change as a united front, families can not only weather the storms of uncertainty but also emerge stronger and more resilient, ready to embrace the opportunities that 2024 has to offer.

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