10 Ways to Maintain Strong Bonds With Family and Friends over Easter

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Building strong bonds with family and friends over Easter.

We have all heard the saying “Shared pain is half the pain, shared joy is double the Joy.” And even though it is a bit of a cliché, it is true. Throughout our lives, we experience many failures and downfalls. There are moments in which you feel discouraged. And right when you’re on the brink of losing all hope, you get a little help. 

A kind word, a piece of advice, or simply someone being there for you can make the biggest difference in the world. It can make you feel appreciated, loved, and most importantly, not alone. Right there and then the world starts shining a bit brighter again. 

Why are family and friendship bonds important?

 

Humans are not designed to be alone. We are social creatures and that means to be fulfilled, we need at least a bit of emotional support.

That’s why you should work on keeping meaningful connections in your life. Think of the people you love. The people that are next to you when life gets hard. The people you confide in. The ones that bring warmth and positivity to your life. Usually, for most, those are friends and family.

 

Keep in mind that family bonds and friendships require attention, time, and constant care. It’s our responsibility to maintain them and keep them strong. 

Now, think about all the things that strengthen family or friendship bonds. Surely, there are at least a few memories that are popping up in your head right now. Maybe that one games night with your family or a night out with your friends. The one thing that bonds us most is when we create emotional bonds. Whether it’s a shared secret or just happy times, if it’s significant, it will leave a trace both for the individuals and the relationship. That means to build a connection with someone, you should experience something important with them. 

 

One of the big ways to strengthen a bond is to celebrate together. The positive emotions of a holiday can leave a good memory and ultimately nourish your relationships.
We know that this year, the biggest holidays like Easter may seem like a reminder of the things we can’t do. Because of the pandemic, we can’t really make it to that out-of-state family gathering as traveling comes with the risk of Covid or additional components of breaking lockdown rules for some of us. We can’t go out to a nice restaurant and even going to church might be a problem with social distancing. 

 

However, I would like to share a ray of light with you. Think of why we celebrate Easter. For all the people of faith reading, Easter is a time to remember what is given to us by God and be grateful for it. And what’s the most valuable thing God gave us? It’s family. Even if you are not religious, Easter is all about family, and the holiday will be an opportunity to think about your family bonds and hopefully strengthen them. 

During this Easter Holidays you have the chance to spend some quality time with your loved ones, even if it’s virtually and even make your connection with them stronger. 

 

How to practice gratitude even when you don’t have hope

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Here are 10 ways to strengthen your family and friendship bonds over Easter this year.

1. Pay attention

The main goal of spending time with someone is that they get to enjoy your undivided attention. Whether you’re just sitting together and watching a movie, or you’re setting the table with your loved ones, quality time should be distraction-free. A good way to ensure that is to introduce a no-phone-policy while you’re together. And this goes even if it’s virtual- put your phone on do not disturb mode or use your laptop for the call.

It can be frustrating and hurtful when you’re trying to share something with a friend and they are on the phone while you are speaking. That lack of attention creates a buildup of negative emotions that ultimately might turn your quality time together into a fight. It also causes one to miss a possible cry for help or when the dynamics of the relationship have changed. 

That’s why getting rid of distractions is essential for your Easter holidays this year. For this Easter, you can try to be more creative with the traditions you follow without using your phones. Arrange a time for the whole family to paint eggs together and prepare the Egg Hunt as a team. Just be together for a while and enjoy each other’s company without doing anything else. If you do it correctly, you can be sure to strengthen your family bonds

2. Game night

There is nothing like a night of Cluedo or Monopoly! It gets your playful, competitive side out; it allows everyone to let their hair down, forget some of your worries and focus on figuring out who killed Professor Plum!

This is an easy, inexpensive fun way to connect, maintain and strengthen your bonds with family and friends.

And if board games aren’t for your family then charades or similar is another fun option. Whatever game you decide for your game night, commit to being present, enjoying the moment and letting go of the worries for this one night at least.

 

3. Keep the traditions going

If you have family traditions do not let these odd times stop you from keeping them going. 

For me that is attending mass daily during Holy week. My favourite being Good Friday mass, luckily my church is offering in person mass via a booking system. If you normally would attend mass with family during Easter look into attending via live stream if you do not feel comfortable with going there. 

Whatever your traditions are over Easter, promise yourself to follow through to focus on the being together and keeping your connections strong.

4. Volunteer or Donate

Unfortunately, it is quite a common occurrence to see people spend big holidays on the streets. Sitting on the sidewalk, begging for some love. That’s why usually for every big holiday there are many charities for homeless people that try to provide a pleasant holiday for the people in need. You, as a family, can go and volunteer in one of these charities. Or you can make a donation if you are unable to volunteer in person.

 Not only are you doing something worthwhile it is an unforgettable experience that allows your family to be a part of the community and do something good. And on the other hand, it strengthens your family bonds. I say it’s a win-win. 

5. Eating together

This is a big one. According to psychology, eating with another person helps to build trust on an unconscious level. That means that when you have dinner with someone, you are more likely to share something with them because eating puts you in a state of relaxation and makes you trust more. That’s why it is great for families to have their meals together and many family therapists recommend it. Trust is a crucial part of all types of relationships, especially family bonds. So this Easter, when you’re about to taste the hot cross buns, get your family to try them with you. It will surely make you closer and strengthen your connection. 

6. Get creative

Creativity is different for everyone. Some people are art-creative and can create a masterpiece from scratch, while others can be creative in other spheres like business, writing, designing etc. But whether you’re creative or not, getting yourself in the creative mindset is always a good thing. Especially when doing it with the people you love. It is so much fun to create something meaningful with someone meaningful. 

And you’re in luck because Easter is great for creative people. Use the egg painting tradition to make your own little egg masterpiece. Have a fun competition between yourselves and even have prizes! You be creative this Easter be it just the two of you or ten, get some paint and brushes and get painting. Do not under-estimate how much further this activity will strengthen your emotional family bonds with your loved ones. 

7. Decorate

Listen, I know that Easter is not about decorations. The holiday is about Jesus who saved humanity and somehow we have managed to turn it into a holiday full of chocolate rabbits and eggs. Some people find it disrespectful but there’s no harm in having fun while celebrating Jesus. And what is more fun than decorating? 

You get to make your living space more fun and fortunately, there’s a whole decorating industry that will provide the needed decoration for your Easter home makeover. Get those colorful bunnies and put them around the house to bring up the Easter spirit. The younger members of the household will love it and the family will get another fun memory that will strengthen the family bonds. 

8. Cook together

We talked about eating together as a trust-building family act but now, we’re going to discuss the process of getting that food on the table. Let’s begin by saying that in most households not all members of the family cook. But that’s okay. Cooking together is all about the attitude towards it and the participation. As long as the family is preparing the celebratory food together, the goal is accomplished. 

So don’t worry if you are not the best cook. Just go and be with your family. They will help you and when the food is ready you can be proud that you were a part of the process. 

9. Have an Easter-themed photo session

Okay, this is a bit untraditional but hear me out. Photos are a great way to capture the moment. And since Easter is usually a happy holiday, an Easter-themed photo session can capture great memories that will become a part of your living room décor for everyone to see. 

And no you do not need a photographer- just an inexpensive tripod off Amazon and your phone. And just like that you can create your own family photoshoot which you can edit and put in some exciting backgrounds and elements!

10. Learn some Easter history

And the final advice is actually learning something about the holiday. Beyond the chocolate, eggs, and lamb Easter has a 2 thousand-year history that is worth learning. As a family, this is a good way to educate both the younger and older members of the family. To make it even better, you can do research together and finally place the pieces of the story together. 

Learning together is a very well-known bonding exercise so you get to learn something new whilst creating memories to cherish.

And to finish off…

This Easter is a time to reflect, rest and spend time with family and friends. Giving this time to strengthen your relationships is worth it, family and friends are often those who will be there for you through thick and thin. Just like plants these also need watering and attention.

So get inventive about how to keep the magic with loved ones alive this Easter.

I hope this has helped you see that this Easter doesn’t need to be any different if we in our mind are the key focus- family.  With this article, I hope to have helped you better understand the significance of maintaining and nurturing your family bonds and the ways you can take advantage of the upcoming catholic holiday. In the meanwhile check out, if you are spending Easter alone then you should read how to cope with loneliness when spending the holidays alone.

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Hi! I'm Dr Jessica

I share my expertise as a Family Physician to provide you with the support and tools to a holistic lifestyle.

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