In Our Community

Family Mental Wellness

By alemoine
June 25, 2019

School’s out! And there’s no time like the summer to make mental wellness a priority. Interior Savings and CMHA Kelowna encourage you to take advantage of July and August to create new routines and healthy habits that can be carried into the fall. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Practice Mindfulness

In the backyard, at the beach, out hiking, or visiting a community garden – summer in the Interior provides countless opportunities to be active and connect with nature. Easy activities can help children and youth to take in their surroundings and be present in the moment:

Activity 1: “I Spy” – “I spy with my little eye, something that is black and yellow with itty bitty wings.” Take turns “spying” things in your environment while everyone else tries to guess what you see.

Activity 2: “5-4-3-2-1” – Lead your family through an exercise where they sit or stand and quietly reflect on 5 things that they can see, 4 things that they can physically feel, 3 things they can hear, 2 things they can smell, and 1 thing they can taste.

Reduce or Make the Most of Screen Time

Less structured time in our schedules might encourage more of us to reach for our electronic devices to stay busy. Sometimes it may be unavoidable, but consider when phones and computers can be swapped for board games, crafts, physical activity, and/or time spent outdoors.

When there is screen time, make the most of it! Watch movies or shows as a family and discuss them afterwards. Consider questions such as: Can you relate to one or more of the characters? What did you enjoy? What would you have changed? Have you experienced something like what you saw in the movie? How did you feel? These discussions can help foster emotional intelligence and empathy.

Model Gratitude

Expressing gratitude doesn’t have to be a big gesture. What are the little things you are thankful for? Notice out loud when you are feeling appreciation for something in life and encourage your children to do the same. Making an effort to do so will help highlight and clarify the good things in your lives. For teenagers or children with adult supervision, volunteering can also provide increased feelings of gratitude, not to mention a sense of purpose and routine – all of which can contribute to resiliency.

For parents and caregivers wanting more support, or who have concerns about their child’s mental health, some no-cost resources include:

Confident Parents: Thriving Kids
Children aged 3-12, BC-wide
Learn more here

Interior Region Family Navigator
Children, youth, adult dependents up to age 25, several communities throughout the Interior Region.
Learn more here

Foundry BC
Integrated youth clinic for ages 12-24, Kelowna (Penticton coming soon), plus online information.
Learn more here

Find your local CMHA branch