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The value of family
Two years ago, my family was vacationing abroad in Korea when I became extremely sick. I was in pain and unable to sleep, lie down, or sit comfortably. I couldn’t enjoy the views or food of a country I had so wanted to see.
My father held me, petting my back as I found a semi-upright position against him comfortable enough to sleep in. Meanwhile, my mother explored Seoul in search of medicine, equipped with only a piece of paper on which I had scribbled, with my minimal Korean language knowledge, “약국” (“yak-guk”), the Korean word for drugstore.
I know my parents love and wanted to help me, but let’s be real-kids are a pain. Whether or not you have a close relationship to your parents, family ties, biological or otherwise, are invaluable. Nourishing these relationships is essential and rewarding too. Here are some easy ways to do so.
Feel and show gratitude
Remember why you value your loved ones, and reflect on what they have done for and with you. If your biological family does not fall under this category, feel free to think of honorary family members instead.
Try writing down things or events you are thankful for; push yourself to call and thank them directly. Showing gratitude does wonders for your own happiness and awareness daily.
Family time matters
Schedule in time and events to partake in with them. Everyone needs a break, even from a busy schedule. Prioritize your family over unproductive days off-days with friends and alone are important, but family is important too.
Some easy activities include gathering for a meal, sports event, or shopping outing. Get creative with it-and video call members who live far away.
Give meaningful gifts
Gifts don’t have to be expensive, or only reserved for special occasions. Consider showing your love or gratitude with a crafty gift-a handwritten note, original painting, or individualized plushie (Looking for cute gifts? Try some items over at YesStyle, our first choice for products internationally shipped from Asia). If your loved one is more service-based than gift-based, try doing some housework for them instead-take out the trash, do the dishes or laundry. Show them that you’re thinking of them.
Whenever you can remember to, check in with your family members and ask about their lives. You never know when they’ll need a listening ear. Be the one who reaches out first and know what’s happening in their lives. Keep the relationship existent and comfortable too.
Family is chosen and determined only by your love and dedication. Life gets busy, but remember that breaks are essential and your loved ones can be a part of those breaks.