2020 was a harsh reminder of how quickly things can change in the world. Every second you have with friends and family is worth cherishing. Many people have been pushed to their limits and need all of the help they can get. Spend a few moments examining your own family — can you think of anyone who could use some extra support this year? Even as a busy parent, it’s essential to think of others and teach your children empathy and compassion.

Your thoughts and actions can make a huge impact, so here are six sincere ways to support your family this year.

1. Reach Out

In the age of social distancing and self-quarantine, many people are feeling closed off from society. Support your family members by reaching out regularly. A quick Zoom call can brighten someone’s entire day. If you’re trying to communicate with someone who isn’t very tech-savvy, then go back to the basics by sending them a handwritten note.

By speaking regularly, you’ll improve communication and strengthen the relationship. With time, they’ll be more likely to engage and reach out. When people feel like you’re caring and trustworthy, you become a part of their support network.

2. Make a Meal

One of the best ways to support your family is through cooking. Receiving a home cooked meal says more than words can describe. For many people, it is a reminder that someone is thinking of them. Giving a healthy meal shows how much you care for the person and takes a load off of their shoulders.

How often have you wished for a healthy home cooked meal that you didn’t have to make? Everyone appreciates getting to take a break without needing to spend extra money. For this method to have the greatest impact, determine their needs and dietary restrictions before making anything. While you’re at it, consider offering to grocery shop for them. Many people are trying to limit their time in public spaces and appreciate being able to skip unnecessary trips.

3. Encourage Healthy Choices

People are stronger together than they are apart. Each year, less than 8% of people stick to their resolutions, so it helps to have all of the encouragement you can get. Show your support by celebrating your family member’s healthy choices. Demonstrate your ability to listen and urge them to prioritize their well-being. Rather than nagging or lecturing, promote wellness through action.

Invite them on a walk or share a healthy recipe. Your positivity and wholesome spirit will help to guide them as they navigate their lives. As you’ve undoubtedly learned, it’s much easier to stick to a habit when you have someone with you. For example, exercising together makes losing weight or staying in shape much easier than relying solely on your willpower. Watch as your healthy life attitude rubs off on them. You’ll feel proud knowing you helped to support this positive change.

4. Share Appreciation

When was the last time someone told you how important you are to them? There are many ways to share your appreciation, making it one of the simplest ways to show your support.

Saying thank you, doing favors and giving hugs are three free ways to show how much you care and appreciate your family. Your actions will reinforce your willingness to offer support whenever needed. These small gestures are daily reminders of your respect, love and admiration.

5. Hold Yourself Accountable

In life, you are only as good as your word, so if you make a commitment, it’s your responsibility to hold yourself accountable. Family members who rely on your support need to know you will consistently show up and follow through on any promises you make.

Being reliable is a valuable trait and one that’s more supportive than showering your family with gifts or platitudes. Practice accountability by making lists and managing your time wisely. Communicate often and efficiently so family members know if your availability changes.

6. Offer to Help

Sometimes the best way to show your support is simply by asking what a person needs. This straightforward method provides the greatest benefits to lending a hand. Instead of guessing, you’ll know your actions are truly making a difference in their lives. You’ll need to use your best judgment when implementing this support method, as some people feel uncomfortable expressing their needs.

If you offer to help and they struggle to think of anything, try making kind suggestions.

Examples of thoughtful recommendations might include:

  • Shoveling snow.
  • Picking up groceries.
  • Maintaining the lawn or garden.
  • Babysitting their kids.
  • Making them a healthy meal.
  • Assisting them with chores.

If possible, spend time visiting with them as you complete these various tasks. That way, it will feel natural, helpful and genuine.

Positivity Is Contagious

Emotions like positivity are contagious. As you utilize these six ways to support your family this year, remember to stay optimistic about the future. While fake enthusiasm is detrimental, an attitude of gratitude and hopefulness will help everyone in your family.