Feeling down in the doldrums? Life might be tough with all sorts of curveballs thrown in your way. And with HBL looming, covid cases soaring, exam season just around the corner, it might be a dreary time of the year. The morale at home might be low, but when life gives you lemons – it’s time to make some good ole’ ice lemon tea, sweetened no less! How can parents and caregivers encourage optimism in the family?
3 Ways to Encourage Optimism in the Family
Share the problems and perspectives
A burden is lighter when it is shared. Have a family meeting and make time for everyone to share their problems. It can be held over a meal, with all devices put away. Set the rules for active listening without any prejudice or judgement. Let everyone have a turn at sharing their problems. Sometimes hearing one another out also gives us a different perspective and our own issues may look smaller than they are.
Aside from talking about solutions, perhaps ask one another how they can see the problem as one that is a chance to grow and learn from. Encourage each other to share their feelings about the issues they face. Knowing that someone else has their backs is a great way to boost morale.
Watch and discuss an inspirational movie together
Choose to unwind with a film, take a break from the chores, to-do list and just sit down with the family to enjoy a movie. Inspirational movies uplift and tell of precious lessons about persevering against the odds. Here’s a good list to consider:
- The Pianist: WW2 survival of a pianist
- Life is Beautiful: Another WW2 tearjerker that is a personal favourite
- The Pursuit of Happyness: A father’s bid for a better life motivates one to always strive for the best
- Slumdog Millionaire: A boy from the slums tries to win the gameshow to take home the jackpot
- The Blindside: An underprivileged teen finds a future in football
- Remember the Titans: The journey of a small-town football team
- Coco: We all need a feel-good movie about family
- The Bucket List: Rethink how you want to live your life
- Up: How a grieving old man found his purpose in life again encountering a boy scout in the sky
Start a family gratitude journal
A spirit of thankfulness helps us to thoroughly consider our blessings. Start a gratitude journal for the family so everyone can pen their thoughts. It could be a form of a whiteboard on the fridge door or a blackboard in the walkway or a book placed in the living room. Help everyone to count their daily blessings that we might have forgotten.
Doing this habitually makes us more grateful hence focusing on the positives rather than the negatives. It can even shine a light on those who may need support and help from us.
Stay Optimistic and Help Your Family to Look on the Bright Side
Compare less, celebrate the little joys in life more. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel, so stay positive, smile often because you might be your family’s source of light. Start giving thanks, and you could start with being thankful you have a family to count on.