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Sharp Health News

Bonding with loved ones over the holidays

Dec. 19, 2019

Bonding with loved ones over the holidays
There is nothing quite like the holidays to bring families together. It is a time of year when multiple generations can collectively share some quality time and create lifelong memories.

The mere mention of the holiday season brings to mind images of exchanging gifts — some practical, some not — and time gathered around the dinner table, often with far too much food on our plates.

Opportunities to connect
The preparation of holiday meals is much more fulfilling when it turns into a family affair, suggests Dr. Cyril Light, a family medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group.

“Make preparing food and eating together with friends and family an experience,” says Dr. Light. “Don't view ‘entertaining’ as work, but rather think of it as a shared experience. It’s all about spending time together and engaging. If your children are old enough, let them share the joy of making a meal with you, too.”

The holiday season is also the perfect opportunity for families to bond over a variety of fun and productive outdoor activities — just as long as you give your loved ones your complete and undivided attention. That means putting your phones on silent for a few hours so you can fully focus on each other.

3 family activities for the holiday season

  1. Explore nature together. Take a trek along one of San Diego’s best hiking paths. There is nothing quite as invigorating as breathing the fresh, clean air as you take in nature’s beauty. Choose a hike that is challenging but manageable for everyone in your party. You can also stroll through Balboa Park, home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo as well as many wonderful museums.

    Perhaps a walk at one of the county’s many beautiful beaches is more to your liking. While you are enjoying the splendor of San Diego’s natural beauty, be sure to snap a photo or two to send to your relatives in colder climes. That will certainly generate a response!

  2. Get active. The family that exercises together, stays healthy together. Take a brisk walk with your family after dinner or a bike ride around the neighborhood to check out the holiday lights. If you prefer a more winter-friendly activity, lace up some skates and take a spin at one of the indoor or outdoor seasonal ice rinks in the county. San Diego also has many appealing bike trails, catering from novice to experienced riders.

  3. Volunteer and build family togetherness. Children love to feel like they are helping, and volunteering is one way to show compassion for others. Find a cause you identify with and volunteer as a family. You can make a list of acts of kindness, such as volunteering at a food bank, baking treats for the local senior center, or making DIY pet toys and dropping them off at the San Diego Humane Society. Whatever the case, children will learn the value of serving others and performing these projects together will make a difference in the community.
No matter what you choose to do, family activities can go a long way to making your holiday season more rewarding and meaningful than ever.

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