According to the latest official figures, there are over 20.3 million families living in the UK and Ireland.
On the 15th May 2020, the world acknowledges International Day of Families, an awareness event proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993.
The event is aimed at promoting awareness of issues relating to families and to “increase knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting them.”
In a nutshell, International Day of Families offers an opportunity for us all to remind ourselves of the importance of family in today’s society. Strong family units and support networks help us feel more secure, give us belonging and feel more optimistic about the world.
With the health and wellbeing of the world’s population being on everyone’s mind due to the outbreak of COVID-19, there is no better time to reflect on the importance of family and the role it plays in our lives.
COVID-19: How to observe International Day of Families
Depending on how the COVID-19 outbreak has affected your living situation and family life, you may find obstacles that make observing the awareness day difficult.
However, regardless of how many family members you share the same roof with, there are still plenty of ways to connect to the people closest to you and observe the event in a meaningful way. Here are a few suggestions…
- Technology – There are many free online video calling platforms that allow you to stay connected to your loved ones during this difficult time. Arrange a video call on the 15th May and celebrate the awareness day with the people most important to you, wherever you, or they, are in the world.
- Volunteer – Sadly, there are those who don’t have a support network or available family members to lean on in times of need. Donate your spare time to the NHS and volunteer to be a part of their Check-in and Chat service. Offer a listening ear and support vulnerable people at risk of loneliness in their homes.
- Reflect – Family doesn’t have to mean that you are related. Any person that you deeply care about can be considered as ‘family’. Use the awareness day as an opportunity to critically think about what family really means to you and how you can strengthen the relationships that matter most you.
- Letters – Texts, messages and emails are great ways to stay in touch with those closest to you during these tough times. However, can you even remember the last time you wrote a hand written letter? Writing can be a fun, meaningful and therapeutic way to keep in contact with your loved ones. If you live with others, get them involved too!
COVID-19: Time with the family
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many of us are spending more time at home and for those who live with children; this time can be both a blessing and challenge.
If you are struggling to think of ideas on how to occupy the little ones during these challenging times, read our blog post for some suggestions. Alternatively, if you would like to read our tips on how to cope with isolation as a family, click here to read more.
While these turbulent times can be a challenging period for families, whether they are under the same roof or not, use International Day of Families 2020 as a chance to reflect on the importance of family and how you, and your loved ones, will all come through this time as a stronger unit
It’s important to know that if you need to access our services to discuss any concerns you may have, our confidential helpline is available 24/7, 365.