Dear Families: It's time to prioritize quality time!

Every family is different.
They come in all types and sizes.
They desire different things.
They enjoy different activities.
They relax differently.
They explore differently.

We love the family diversity in our office. They all run differently, are made up of different individuals, and have different family roles- there is NO cookie cutter approach to families! But despite their differences, each type of family desires time to unwind and pump the brakes. Am I right?

Sunday is typically our designated "family day". The day of the week where we spend the most quality time, enjoying our beautiful city, eating yummy food, and just being together! Do you have a day of the week where work and chores are pushed to the side, and family is the #1 priority? If you don't, we strongly encourage it!

Here are 5 ways how Dr. Tom and Lauren make the most of family time:

Lauren LOVES being outside and unique coffee shops. An iced lavendar latte (made with almond milk) from Heritage Coffee, and walking through the quiet Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool was the perfect way to spend family time today.

Lauren LOVES being outside and unique coffee shops. An iced lavendar latte (made with almond milk) from Heritage Coffee, and walking through the quiet Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool was the perfect way to spend family time today.

1. Turn off distractions!
We have recently made a rule of "no technology" past a certain time of the day. This means no phones, no TV, and no distractions. Tell your kids to put down the iPad, and you are not allowed to browse through your millions of emails. Yes, this may be hard- but it is so critical to living a healthy life! Without these distractions, conversations become more intentional, time together is more meaningful, and activities are so much more fun! 

Dr. Tom loves EXPLORING and planning! Finding hidden gems in the city is his speciality- such as the lily pool mentioned above. Did we mention this spot is free and right next to the Lincoln Park Zoo? 

Dr. Tom loves EXPLORING and planning! Finding hidden gems in the city is his speciality- such as the lily pool mentioned above. Did we mention this spot is free and right next to the Lincoln Park Zoo? 

2. Keep it simple!
Family time doesn't need to consist of an elaborate itinerary that you spend all week planning. Keep it simple! Pack a picnic for the park, stop by your favorite coffee shop or ice cream parlor during a family walk, or set aside time for family game night. 

3. Go outdoors!
Get some fresh air with your family- no matter what the season. We think it's safe to say that we all spend way too much time indoors, so we highly recommend going outside and catching some vitamin D. Nothing is better to us than setting up our hammock by the lake, or a cool morning walk around our neighborhood.

4. Personalize it!
What do you enjoy? What does your family enjoy? If your little one doesn't do well in crowds, don't get frustrated that Navy Pier on a Saturday doesn't go quite as planned. If you are a single parent, then maybe it is extremely stressful for you to pack up your littles for a full-day activity. Or maybe you are on a tight budget, and going out to eat every weekend as a family doesn't work. Find those activities that each member of your family can enjoy- remember the less stress, the better- this is time for you to UNWIND!

5. LAUGH!
We heard once that children laugh up to 300-400 times a day, and adults laugh only a mere 18. It's time to laugh, parents! It's time to push aside stressful tasks or situations, and enjoy each other's company. Have fun, be silly, and try something new! 

Be well,
Dr. Tom + Lauren