12 Day Family Well-being Challenge

The Parents Design Team wanted to encourage other parents to practice mental health and well-being activities with their children. By collectively engaging in activities designed to reduce stress, promote healthy habits and build resilience, families can develop a stronger support network, reduce the stigma around mental health issues and create a more positive and proactive approach to their overall well-being.

They decided to create a fun and inspiring 12 day family mental health and well-being challenge designed to create a shared experience that fosters open communication, mutual support, and a sense of togetherness among family members.


Click the image below to download the 12 Day Family Well-being Challenge


Challenge No 1: Cook and eat together

Cooking and eating together is a great family activity that everyone can get involved in. Children can help by gathering ingredients, measuring and stirring. Conversations during mealtimes provide a valuable opportunity for family members to connect and share their thoughts, experiences and emotions promoting a sense of belonging and support within the family unit.

If you make cooking together a regular thing, take turns choosing a menu so every family member gets a say. The creative process, bonding, and caring for each other’s needs is a great mental health boost.

Challenge No 2: Wellbeing Walk

Taking a family well-being walk offers a multitude of benefits for mental health and overall well-being. The physical activity itself releases endorphins, the body's natural mood lifters, reducing stress and promoting a positive mindset for both adults and children. Additionally, being in nature or simply enjoying the outdoors during the walk can have a calming and rejuvenating effect on the mind, reducing anxiety and improving overall mental well-being. These walks also encourage open communication, providing a chance for family members to discuss their thoughts and feelings in a relaxed setting. Overall, family well-being walks contribute to a healthier, happier family life, promoting both physical and mental health.

Challenge No 3: Write gratitude notes to each other

Expressing gratitude in written form helps individuals focus on the positive aspects of their relationships, encouraging a sense of appreciation and connection within the family. This is a great exercise for modelling how to give and receive compliments and an opportunity to really consider the qualities of each other.

Challenge No 4: Family games night

Board games, puzzles, and simple games like charades are all great for family members of all ages and provide an array of mental health benefits including stress reduction, social connection, cognitive stimulation, emotional regulation and the promotion of healthy competition and quality time together. Consider switching up teams and having prizes for winners, even something simple like choosing the next night’s dinner or cinema movie is worth playing for.

Challenge No 5: Collaboratively set goals

The process of setting family goals encourages open and constructive communication among family members. Discussing individual aspirations and collectively defining objectives fosters better understanding and empathy within the family whilst also creating a shared purpose and a sense of unity. It strengthens the family's identity and reinforces the idea that family members are working together to achieve something meaningful.

When family members hold each other accountable for their goals, it establishes a support network. Knowing that others are invested in your success can be a powerful motivator and reduce feelings of isolation.

Challenge No 6: Choose an active activity

Engaging in active activities as a family encourages the development of healthy lifestyle and habits which can positively impact mental health. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, boost mood and increase energy levels.

Trying new active activities as a family can nurture an adventurous spirit and a willingness to step out of one’s comfort zone, which can lead to personal growth and resilience.

Challenge No 7: Choose a book series as a family

Reading together as a family encourages bonding, communication, creativity, and intellectual growth, while also providing a sense of relaxation and escape. Going to the local library and choosing a book series collectively creates a shared goal of completing the series together which can become an affordable and regular commitment. Achieving this goal can be a source of satisfaction and accomplishment for the family.

Challenge No 8: Declutter your home together

Our environment can positively or negatively impact our ability to complete tasks as well as our mental health. If the physical space around us feels scattered it can contribute to tension, anxiety, lack of focus and irritability. Decluttering your home enhances focus and productivity, reduces stress and gives you back a sense of control. Taking on the task together as a family can be less daunting and emotionally liberating, it allows family members to release attachments to unnecessary possessions and can be a cathartic process.

Start off small by focusing on a particular room in the home or each of you can tackle a different space, then try and incorporate it as a regular activity based on your family’s availability. Continuing the process is a practical and meaningful way for families to create a more peaceful and harmonious environment.

Challenge No 9: Plan a family social

Family socials are a wonderful way to dedicate quality time for bonding, reducing stress and creating positive, lasting memories. Involve the family in making suggestions as well as the planning process, whether it be deciding on what park to have a picnic in, planning a menu, working out travel arrangements, creating an itinerary for a camping trip.

Incorporating a variety of family socials into your routine can contribute to a positive family culture that values togetherness and creates valuable moments of joy and happiness within the family.

Challenge No 10: Participate in a volunteering opportunity

Volunteering provides a sense of purpose and fulfilment, as it allows family members to contribute to causes they care about and exposes them to different perspectives and challenges whilst promoting empathy and compassion.

Engaging in volunteer activities together can also teach valuable life skills and build gratitude. Overall, it contributes to a happier and more connected family life while making a positive impact on the community.

Challenge No 11: Family Self Care

Practicing self-care as a family involves finding activities and routines that prioritise the wellbeing of each family member collectively. Remember that self-care can vary from person to person, so it is important to be flexible and adapt to the preferences and needs of each other, the key is to prioritise well-being, relaxation, and connection during family-care nights. Self-care activities can range from meditation, baking, digital detox, mindfulness, hiking, DIY projects and much more.

Challenge No 12: Let’s Celebrate

As we come to the end of this challenge, it's time to celebrate the collective efforts and progress made in supporting each other's mental health and well-being as a family. Let's commemorate this journey with a fun and memorable activity that strengthens your bond even further. By reflecting on the positive impact you’ve had on each other throughout this challenge, we can gain valuable insights into the ways we can continue to provide support and care in the future. Whether it's through regular check-ins, spontaneous acts of kindness, or planning future wellness activities together, your commitment to each other's mental health is a cornerstone of your unity and strength as a family. So, let's not just mark the end of this challenge but use it as a stepping stone to a future filled with mutual support, growth, and well-being.

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Last updated: 13/12/2023

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