August 24, 2020

IIN Staff Picks: The Biggest Takeaways from Our Time with Family During COVID-19

As we reach the end of another season, we’re reflecting on a different type of summer than we’ve ever experienced. This month, we’re focusing on family wellness, an important aspect of primary food that sets the foundation for whole-person health and happiness.  Family wellness includes everything from making time to sit together at the dinner table and establishing an appreciation for healthy eating at home to creating a safe and clean home environment. With the challenges that came with COVID-19, we’ve leaned on our loved ones and found ourselves with time to reinvigorate our relationships with those who matter most.

Many of us have also had to take on new responsibilities, from learning to homeschool kids to dealing with job changes and becoming a caretaker for a loved one. These changes have given us a renewed outlook on what’s important in our lives and encouraged us to appreciate and communicate more with one another. Without the typical hustle and bustle of travel plans, these months have presented more opportunities for (socially distant) face-to face connection and simple activities in our own backyards.

Human connection is inherent to holistic health, satisfying your social and emotional needs. This connection can enhance your interpersonal skills, help you anticipate others’ needs before your own, and boost your mental health. These are important skill sets and coping mechanisms that can shift your perspective and mood during difficult times.

Here are some anecdotes our staff shared on what they’ve learned about the importance of family during this time:

“I've learned to appreciate everyone’s strengths on a deeper level. I’ve also learned to honor every person’s unique ways of coping – to lead with that awareness and try to understand. It can be challenging to cohabitate with, well, anyone! But recognizing my role in frustrating moments reminds me of the power of mind-set and the importance of, as my father says, always leading with love. I knew this before, but this experience has really driven home the truth that the big things are really all that matter.”

– Jamie Wolff, Education

“COVID-19 has caused me to reevaluate my priorities and connect with my family in a whole new way. Since I am currently working from home, I have more time with my kids and wife. We make time for laughter, reading, creativity, cooking, exercising, and processing the major events that have occurred in 2020. We’ve become a much closer family, and I am very grateful for that.”

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– Nora McCaffrey, Education

“Having moved back home during the pandemic, I’ve found this extended time with family to be incredibly rewarding. It’s been an opportunity to reflect and reconnect with my parents and siblings and reevaluate the things that are most important to me. I’ve become more patient, appreciative of the little things, and thankful for the time I’ve had with loved ones.”

– Rebecca Robin, Marketing

“I was living alone at the start of the pandemic and was only able to see family through Zoom. We ended up creating a weekly Zoom call on Sunday mornings to have brunch together. I love to cook, so I would end up making some decadent brunch dish that I could then ‘share’ with everyone. I didn’t realize how meaningful it would be to share a meal virtually, but it was incredibly comforting and made something as simple as brunch feel even more special – and still brought us together over a meal we would normally have in person on a regular basis. Now that I am living with my significant other, we get into the kitchen together after our busy workdays as a chance to unwind and catch up. If I’ve learned anything during this time, it’s to never underestimate the power of food to bring people ‘together’!”

– Nina Zorfass, Marketing

Looking for more ways to take advantage of this time with family? Our graduates have shared 11 quick and healthy recipes to spice up your current home meal routine. Download the Family Recipe Guide today and get the whole family involved in the process!

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