New Year’s Resolution: Spend More Time With Your Loved Ones


With your loved ones

A new year’s resolution to spend more time with your loved ones has many health benefits, says Rosie Shrout, assistant professor of human development and family studies at Purdue University. Shrout focuses on relationships and their role in health across the lifespan, including boosting psychological well-being and improving biological functions like inflammation, stress hormones and cardiovascular risk.

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While re-connecting face-to-face with family members or close friends may not be an option during the pandemic, Shrout says that you can make sure they’re always on your radar through regular phone calls, texts and emails. You can also plan activities with your loved ones that will allow you to share an experience, such as movies or games.

Trying out your loved one’s favorite activities can teach you more about them, even after they pass on. Toss their sweater over the back of an armchair, use their shampoo and let a few of their books linger on your coffee table.

Honor your loved one by making a habit of lighting candles in their memory during holidays and other occasions that were meaningful to them. You can also keep their clothes or jewelry in your closet, write them a letter reminiscing about shared experiences and revisit old photos and videos.

Remembering and honoring your loved one will help you cope with painful reminders, such as a birthday or holiday that brings up sadness. Take your time with these moments and know that they will never disappear completely from your life. You will still miss them, but you will learn to live with their emptiness in a way that is healthy for you.