Why spending time with your family is important for your own wellbeing

With the half term holidays ahead, it's a great time to make some new family habits with some of your free time.

A child outdoors holding an autumn leaf

Play is important for adults as much as children, as laughter has benefits for both your mental and physical health; it releases endorphins that reduce your stress hormone levels and boost your immune system.


Our friends at Boundless have some great tips for ways to boost your wellbeing through family time…

Child balancing on logs


Spend time outside this autumn and get active

There are various recommendations for your activity levels – 10,000 steps a day, 30 minutes of activity five times a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week – but everyone agrees that getting moving is essential for a healthy body and mind.

Plan a walk or bike ride to a local attraction, or find your nearest Park Run – these events have shorter routes for kids as well as teens’ and adults’ distances.


Balance screen time with board games

Playing as a family has been shown to boost your memory and problem-solving skills, and for children it aids their development of language and critical reasoning.

Screen time with a toddler and a baby


Don’t always think of screen time as wasted time

Ask your kids to show your their favourite video game or app and play it together. It’s a chance to connect and bond over their interests.


Try a new activity this autumn

Learning a new skill together is a great way to bond – if you’re not great at cooking or sketching, dancing or singing.

Try a new sport such as cricket or tennis – lots of sports clubs offer taster days during the school holidays – or have a go at your local climbing wall. Even just mastering ‘the floss’ with your kids gives you a memory you can look back on.

Children walking over moorland


Get out into nature

Boundless offers a discount on English Heritage membership so you can explore castles and historic sites around England. Or pick one of these suggestions for a free family day out – find out about 25 free events during October and suggestions of free UK museums.


If the weather is nice, try a night together in a tent

Spending time in close quarters and roughing it for 24 hours away from TVs and wi-fi gives you a chance to chat with no distractions. If you’re not cut out for camping, just pitch a tent in your garden for the night so you still have your home comforts close at hand.

And if a night under canvas is a step too far in the unpredictable British weather, a night of glamping at a park such as Whitemead in the Forest of Dean gives you the choice of wooden pods or woodland lodges.


Try a cycle ride

Boundless has a guide to cycling as a family as well as a list of ten scenic routes around the UK.

Boundless can help you make more of your free time, with great ideas for days out and activities you can enjoy with your family.

You’ll find discounts on entry to attractions, cinema tickets, camping and sports equipment, and experience days – and membership costs just £26 a year. See www.boundless.co.uk/be-inspired/living.


Photos by Gabby Orcutt  Lorene Farrugia, Alexander Dummer and Annie Spratt on Unsplash.