Ah, family life, dirty socks on the floor, that empty toilet paper roll (again!
)—they can become sources of stress that build into real discontent.
Add juggling your kids, parents, partner, and job—all during hard economic times and it’s no wonder we’re short on fun.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though.
These simple do-it-today steps will help you build a strong, happy, healthier family.
Rediscover marital bliss
Yes, there's actually mathematics of blissful relationships.
To make marriage work, you only need to know this ratio: 5 to 1.
For every negative interaction—a complaint, a disagreement, an outright argument—there must be at least five positive interactions—a compliment, a smile, a touch, a shared laugh, a favor, a reference to a happy event, an expression of gratitude, and so on.
By offering simple acts of kindness, a couple creates an "emotional money in the bank," currency they need to repair the relationship after a conflict.
Simple ways to go positive: Kiss hello and good-bye, thank each other, be loyal, and let the little things go.
Let perfection go
You can't do it all, and you can't do it perfectly so give up the obsessive things like a superclean house and dinner at a certain time, and focus your energy on enjoying the people in your life."
Blow off steam
Take care of yourself by talking it out with your best friend or a therapist.
You may think you're burdening someone with your problems, but the most important thing to do is to talk, laugh, yell, and complain about the situation.
Also, dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to something you enjoy to help reduce stress.
Create (and uphold) boundaries
Families that set strict, clear expectations for their children are happier, according to Scott Haltzman, MD, author of The Secrets of Happy Families.
"Kids may tell you they want to be free, but the idea is actually frightening to them," he says.
Make sure your children know and understand family rules.
Celebrate your history
Sharing details from your family tree will help your kids feel like they belong to something greater than themselves and make them feel more grounded.
If your kids don't have the opportunity to talk to their grandparents, look through old photo albums with them and share family memories, stories, and adventures.