7 Lifestyle Habits To Boost Your Family’s Mental Health

When we talk about keeping our family healthy, do we only mean physically healthy? Because boosting your family’s mental health is as important as improving their physical health.

It minimizes the risk of mental health issues that can become incapacitating and life-threatening as well. Also, practicing good lifestyle habits benefits the mind and body and creates harmony at home too. 

And don’t worry, because we got you! Here are seven habits to develop with the family to keep their minds healthy and sound! 

Eat Well

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The first thing that you have to note is always to eat healthy foods. What you eat brings nourishment to your mind and body. It can make you more energized and happier, boosting your mental health.

Carbohydrates have serotonin that stabilizes your mood, and proteins keep you alert. Food with omega-3 will help improve your mood and mental health as well. Include these essential nutrients in your every meal in moderate amounts.

Reflect on the adage, “you are what you eat.” And so eat well with your family and be mentally and physically sound and healthy.

Be Active

Another vital mental health booster is exercise. Schedule a time with your family to be physically active. Thirty minutes of workout every day outside will do wonders for your mind and body. Don’t worry because this habit does not need to cost you much.

You can jog in your block or at the nearest park. And if there is none, you can still stretch at home with routines that you find online!

Your body releases endorphins when you exercise. These are chemicals that boost your mood and relieve your stress. This is why being physically active benefits not only your body but also your mind.

And if you do it outside your house, your bodies will also be exposed to sunlight, thus producing vitamins that help with your serotonin production.

Practice Gratitude

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This lifestyle habit does not require much as it can quickly be done over a meal. Practicing gratitude means saying aloud the things that you are thankful for.

If you do not usually eat with the family during the weekdays, you can write it down in a journal and share it during the weekends. Or you can post it on a family bulletin or the fridge. What matters is that you are expressing them.

Research has shown that gratitude does improve your mental health and make you happy. By letting yourself be more aware of what you are thankful for, you allow yourself to create happiness within yourself. And the key to keeping you mentally healthy is to practice this regularly.

Take A Break From Social Media

Several studies show a correlation between social media use and your risk for mental health problems. Excessive use of which attributes to depression, anxiety, social isolation, and even self-harm. So, to boost your family’s mental health is to minimize your time in such platforms.

For your children, discourage them from joining these social media platforms until they become of age. There are varying ages for these sites, so it is necessary to familiarize yourself with them.

For older children, having a strict schedule of no phone when bedtime can minimize their screen time. Likewise, the adults at home must also model the minimized use of their phones, especially when spending time with the family.

Try Something New

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Although schedules can help us become more efficient in work or school, it can also be useful for our mental health to try something new. It lets your mind rest from the monotonous routine, which helps you destress and relax.

Schedule a family trip to a place you have never been to before. You can also buy new board games to try out with the gang. If your children are interested in new activities, then do it with them.

And it does not always have to be about spending on new things or trips. Changing your exercise routine or when walking a different path when jogging are good changes too.

What matters is that you are doing these changes with the family and having fun.

Communicate With Your Family

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Another essential lifestyle habit that all families must foster at home is open communication. It is general knowledge that having people who listen and talk with you can help you become more positive in life.

It helps your mental health because it becomes easier to understand yourself and others as well.

When communicating with your family, it is important to listen without judgment. Avoid giving unsolicited advice or unnecessary criticisms. You need to develop trust in each other to easily talk about your feelings and problems.

Having a good and open communication at home will let parents know when their children need more help in different aspects of their lives. Thus, it helps them get the proper assistance they need when they do.

Seek Professional Help

Lastly, and the most crucial thing to remember, do not be afraid to seek outside professional help when necessary. There are many things outside of the home that can cause mental health issues in the parents or the children.

So even with good lifestyle habits,  developing these problems is still possible.

So when you notice that a member of your household has been showing symptoms of mental health problems, do not hesitate to consult with a professional. Being able to get help early can significantly improve your family’s mental health and avoid further complications.

Boosting your family’s mental health helps create harmony at home and wellness for each member. And so why not start now? Be happier and calmer with these lifestyle tips that we have shared with you!

Quarantine Productivity: How To Balance Work And Family Time

The ongoing pandemic has prompted many businesses to consider shifting to remote work. Working at home has benefits, such as eliminating wasted time through transportation and saving on gas.

However, a significant concern for people working at home is how to balance work duties with the many demands of the household. Learning how to be productive while still finding time for family will be crucial for the months and years to come.

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Be Careful With Expectations

Before anything else, learn to set realistic expectations about your situation. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring for higher productivity. However, realize that while you now have more time to spare, you also have to contend with more distractions.

Parents who are new to remote working frequently find themselves surprised to know that working at home is more complicated than it sounds.

Remember also that we are amid a pandemic; the weeks ahead will continue to be difficult, so give yourself some slack. Stop comparing yourself to standards that call for immense levels of productivity. Not everyone would find themselves twice as productive as before.

For many, being able to do the same tasks might even be a challenge. Accept that your performance might not be consistent, at least during the initial transition phase. 

Enlist The Help Of Family Members

The best way to prevent future arguments is to make comprehensive plans with your family. Find time so that you can all discuss your need for distraction-free times.

While you might think that your kids might not understand, you might find out that they also need their own pockets of time. Planning together ensures that everyone understands each other’s needs, making it easier to cooperate.

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You should establish times when kids shouldn’t disturb you, except for emergencies. At the same time, set specific times for family interaction. You can also work on communication strategies, such as hand signs to indicate that you’re currently busy.

An excellent activity would be to familiarize your kids with video conferencing tools to build up their communication skills and help them understand proper etiquette.

Planning shouldn’t only involve the children. Make sure to sit down also with your partner to discuss task delegation. If both of you are working remotely, you need to carefully plan out the days to get work done while still setting time for leisure.

Distribute the workload evenly to avoid resentment and adopt alternating routines so that there’s always someone available to care for the kids.

Set Routines And Boundaries

More than ever, your personal time management skills will largely determine your success in remote work. If you can get your job done in less time, you will be able to devote more time to taking care of the household.

A crucial part of enhancing productivity is to set routines for scheduling your day since having planned schedules for both work and family frees up your mind to focus on actual work.

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While multitasking can be tempting, avoid doing it. You might feel that you’re accomplishing more while multitasking, but in reality, you’re wasting time as your mind repetitively shifts from one task to another.

Given the less structured environment of remote working, it’s easy to fall into the multitasking trap. However, fight the temptation by focusing on one task at a time and shutting down distractions.

Failing to set specific periods for the family means that you’ll likely allow work to spill into your time. You should also dedicate particular spaces in your home for remote work, such as a room that doesn’t see a lot of activity.

Block out parts of your day solely for household tasks. Maintaining a strict division between personal and professional aspects of your life is vital in ensuring work-life balance. 

Communicate Concerns With Your Work Team

Aside from planning with your family, you should also discuss concerns with your superiors and colleagues. Many companies aren’t used to letting people work at home, and your feedback can help them make better decisions for their employees.

Check to see if your work hours can be adjusted to accommodate the needs of your family better. Discuss plans for deliverables, and don’t be afraid to voice concerns if you feel that schedules need to be more accommodating. 

A lot of companies have programs that can help workers transition to remote working. They might have free courses on virtual workplace software or they may even allow you to bring company tech into your home.

Some workplaces go the extra mile through programs such as housekeeping services, allowing you to focus more on work.

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Don’t Be Afraid To Employ Help

Finally, don’t hesitate to recruit help if you are struggling to keep up with work and home demands. Housekeeping services can quickly free up several hours per day. An added perk is that you’re giving housekeeping staff a source of livelihood.

Perks Of Quarantining With Family

When the coronavirus outbreak reports rolled in, I was at my hometown, visiting my parents for the weekend. I felt fortunate because it happened while I was with them, not when I was in New York. I lived alone in the Big Apple, you see, and it would have been challenging to quarantine on my own.

The thing is, what I deemed a blessing in disguise turned out to be a nightmare for some of my friends who also had to isolate themselves with their family. One went as far as saying that she would rather risk catching the virus on the way to work than spend days with her folks. I did not comment on that, though, because I could not see the appeal of quarantining alone when you could stay with others—your family members, no less.

Here are the perks of being under quarantine with your loved ones.

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You Get Zero Chances Of Feeling Lonely

The primary benefit of getting quarantined with your family is that you won’t ever feel lonely. You have known these people all your life; being with them is better than staying with your entire circle of friends. There is no need to put on any act around them because they will accept every facet of your character, good or bad.

At the same time, your family knows you from inside out. They can tell what upsets you or makes you happy; they will give you anything you need even before you ask for it. Your days will undoubtedly experience loneliness since your loved ones may try to come up with ways to see you and everyone else in the house smiling.

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You Can Rebuild Your Bond With Loved Ones

It is no secret that some rifts form between family members over the years. For instance, a parent and adult child disagrees on something and stops talking for weeks, or a brother and sister keeps on fighting and decides to part ways. If, for some reason, you end up quarantining under a single roof, you should take it as a sign that you can now rebuild your relationship with your loved ones.

Doing so may feel impossible or awkward at first. You may not be willing to reconcile with anyone, especially if you think you have never been at fault. However, remember that you belong to a family. Considering you can forgive a friend who always borrows money from you or never shows up on time, you should also try to forgive your loved ones.

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You Will Realize That Blood Is Thicker Than Anything That Life Has To Offer

Many people have chosen work or friends or adventure over the family. They leave the nest early and rarely call their parents or siblings, even during emergencies or significant occasions. In their mind, it is okay because they are supposed to live their lives to the fullest.

In case you are among such folks with the same philosophy in life, you should know that you are sorely mistaken. During the quarantine, you essentially become cut off your work, friends, and adventure. The only individuals who may care to take you in are your family members. If you do not realize that soon enough, you may not get another chance to see their value.

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Final Thoughts

As I was trying to end this blog on a good note, I realized that not everyone had a family to come home to. Others might be estranged from their relatives for a good reason, too. If that is the case, I am sorry, and I hope you live with the individuals you love now. But assuming you and your loved ones still care for each other, you should see how beneficial it is to stick with them during the quarantine period.

Be thankful for a chance to spend your isolation days with family. Good luck!

Wellness Events Can Bring About Something Really Good

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Being in the dietary supplement industry, I had to attend the 2019 Wellness Event. I mean, who was I to complain? My manager brought three other employees and me for that event, which was held in Frankfurt, Germany. I thought that the event would be boring and filled with geriatric people. Ha! I was mistaken for I saw hotties, mid-level guys, and yeah, fuglies in the gathering. One of them even tried to take a swing at me. Eww. Still, it was a free vacation and in Germany, nonetheless.

Continue reading “Wellness Events Can Bring About Something Really Good”

Quelching Work-Related Worries During Quarantine

When my company decided to become semi-operational when the governor of California announced his stay-at-home order, I sighed happily. The increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the United States had been scary from the start. With Los Angeles as our headquarters and a tourist hotspot, we would have been unable to dodge the coronavirus.

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My best friend’s reaction to the quarantine was much different from mine, though. She insisted on working full-time, citing that the virus won’t stop her bills from coming. She had a long list of work-related worries, but the most critical things I reminded her of were the following:

You Can Get By With Not A Lot Of Money

The primary worry of employees is that their wages during the quarantine may not be enough for the bills and their family’s needs. After all, many employers have deducted 20% of the salary of the individuals who work from home. For instance, if the workers used to get $2000, they could only get $1600 now.

Despite that, keep in mind that your expenses may not be as high as before. You have nowhere else to go, so you do not have to top up your gas or pay for a car wash. Instead of ordering food from restaurants, you can recreate the dishes for almost half the price. Hence, you should be able to get by even if you do not get your full salary.

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Your Projects Can Wait

The workaholics may be suffering from the quarantine the most since a significant number of businesses cannot function due to the quarantine. Some may still have paperwork to do; others get to attend meetings via Skype or Zoom. But whatever project you may have been doing when the pandemic occurred needs to stop until the medical experts come up with a vaccine.

It is okay to express your disappointment, frustration, or sadness about your current situation. You love working; you may be doing it continuously in the last few years. Still, it is better to postpone any project instead of catching the coronavirus out there.

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Your Job Is Safe

I know that a lot of companies have already started retrenchment and fired thousands of people. But your job is still safe, assuming your boss or manager has not sent you a memo about contract termination. It will not be taken away from you; you will have work to come back to when the quarantine is over. 

If Not, You Can Find A Better Job Soon

Perhaps you have always wanted to leave the company you work for but could not do it due to your friends. Maybe you do not get paid enough, but you have no time to look for another job. In case your worst fear turns into reality, and you find yourself unemployed during the quarantine, look at the bright side. 

Since you are no longer tied to that company, you can now seek better employment. You can look for bosses who will value your contributions to the business’s growth and compensate you well. Isn’t that exciting?

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Final Thoughts

Your worries regarding your work may not entirely stop as long as the quarantine remains. Even if you tell yourself everything I have mentioned above, there may be times when you slip up and become anxious again. That’s alright—you are human. Besides, it should be fine to feel it for a few minutes since it can help you stay grounded. 

Despite that, we hope that you will not let your anxiety linger in your mind and gravely affect your decisions. Enjoy your free days while it lasts!

Yoga, Pilates, Meditation, And Therapy For People With MS

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The 2018 Wellness Forum was all about people with MS and some very effective treatment to increase mobility. I was there since a good friend of mine invited me to the forum. His sister has MS and he wanted to know more about how he can help her. I was idle at that time and had nothing better to do, and so I went with him.

MS is Multiple Sclerosis. There is only therapy and treatment to manage the condition, but there is no permanent cure. This illness is long-lasting and permanent, which is why the patient will have to endure the symptoms of this condition. At times, the illness will affect one’s brain function, the spine, and the nerves in one’s eyes. It means that the person suffering from MS can sometimes have vision problems. They will lose their balance or have difficulty walking. They will have issues with controlling their muscles, and the brain cannot decipher all of that since it is also partly damaged.

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And so in that forum, the Holistic Health and Wellness Forum for MS, as they called it was hosted by Yoga Moves MS. They invited keynote speakers who were specialists and experts in the field of MS. Those doctors were neurologists, urologists, and integrative care specialists. They all agreed that yoga is a great way to alleviate some issues brought about by MS. 

Actually, yoga, Pilates and meditation were advised for people with multiple sclerosis. Those with MS have problems with their muscles, and nerves. Yoga can improve their muscle strength and also make them flexible. Since they have balance issues, yoga and Pilate can improve their balance, focus and posture. Pilates can improve their pelvic floor health, too. With meditation, people with MS can release their tension, anxiety, and fatigue. It may also assist in their depressive moods.

Of course, those with MS are very said due to their condition. It is also advised that they talk with counselors or therapists to keep their mental health in check. The forum was very enlightening. I went there without a clue and left the hall armed with valuable knowledge.

Communication: Making Teens Talk and Listen

Talking to teenagers nowadays is difficult and more laborious more than ever. Parents find it challenging to build a good communication effectively with them.   One factor where relationship constraints occur between parents and their children is the problem in talking and trying to understand both parties. To understand teenagers’ feelings and thoughts, parents can employ different techniques. Here are examples of ways on how to encourage teens to express themselves and to practice active listening.

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Make Time For Them

Parents should convey to their teens that they are available any time to hear their stories and questions. If they sense that parents are not open, teens may tend to divert or seek attention to peers. At times, they might get advice from wrong people. One practice in providing openness is to stop what you are doing for a moment and start a conversation with your teens. In talking to them, maintain eye level contact, offer a calm environment and be attentive to what they are saying.

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Many times, teens will converse first about small things like schoolwork and their friends. They will first assess their parents’ readiness to listen. In return, parents should show interest in these mundane topics. Eventually, teens will confide secrets and essential information after gaining trust and confidence. Usually, a spontaneous conversation is the best type of “talk” with teenagers. It is best to create a fun yet learning environment for parents and the teenager. 

Show Respect 

When teens start to open about their views and concerns, do not criticize and make snide comments about their stand. Do not pull the rabbit from the hat prematurely. With the apparent generation gap, it is unavoidable for parents and teens to have an opposing view, but to get along, both parties should show respect. Parents need to acknowledge the differences and try to understand each other’s feelings. If so, teens will feel important and convey an open relationship.

Avoid Sermons: It’s No Longer Effective

Teens want a simple, straightforward answer from their parents. Long and lecturing parenting style is tiring and boring for youngsters. Long speeches are burdensome and outright, annoying. Teens tend to distance themselves and most likely will not share with you next time.

Acknowledge That You Make Mistakes Too

Human as they are. Parents have shortcomings too. Parents should not be hesitant in saying sorry or accepting wrongdoings. There is nothing wrong with apologizing. Teens can learn from their parents’ mistakes serve and will also enlighten teens that even in power, parents are not afraid to repent. This builds a good character as a role model. 

Encourage Independent Thinking

Although parents can give advice, they should draw a line to let their teens learn and discern truth for themselves.  Let them explore various ways on how to solve their problems and take accountability and responsibility from their decisions and choices. This will cultivate teens’ confidence and self – esteem.

Be A Trustworthy Confidant

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Teens want to talk about their problems privately and confidentially.  Parents should not indulge talking about their issues to other people. This will shatter an excellent connection and will not build up a healthy relationship between parents and their teens. 

If parents fail to obtain a clear understanding of their teens’ feelings, and teens will feel bad towards their parents, the equilibrium of relationship is lost. As a responsible parent, use every opportunity to influence your child to create and establish a good communication thereby, producing a good foundation for a parent-child relationship.

What Does It Mean To Become A Responsible Son Or Daughter?

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I am what people say as someone who has been raised as an independent child. At the age of 3, my mom already taught me how to dress up on my own and fix my bed in the morning. When I turned 5, I could babysit my little brother and prepare his milk formula. When I started going to elementary school, my dad would merely drop me off and pick me up at the bus stop.

In the eyes of practically every adult I know, I was a responsible offspring. I could take care of myself and even kids who are younger than me. I didn’t play outside, especially if my mother told me not to do so. I knew where to put all my toys back after playing with them. At the same time, however, I would hear them say, “I wish my child could carry such traits even when he becomes an adult.”

Indeed, now that I am a grown-up, I get that being a responsible offspring means more than knowing how to look after oneself or listening to parents. It also entails:

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Studying Hard For The Future

I believe it when someone says that life is not all about studying. You have to chill and try fun activities once in a while. Despite that, I have also realized the importance of studying hard to secure a fantastic future. Not every parent talks about it openly, but they feel a sense of pride whenever they see their child taking their education seriously. After all, it is one of the few gifts that cannot be taken away by anyone.

Not Giving Permanent Headache To Parents

A responsible son or daughter knows better than to do something that will give their mom and dad permanent headache as well. E.g., going to jail due to a crime, using drugs and refusing to quit, staying in a constant state of unemployment, etc.

Thinking About Loved Ones Before Making Huge Decisions

Only an irresponsible offspring will jump to rash decisions, such as leaving a job without looking for a new one or dropping out of school without any concrete plan for the future. They say it will make them happy, but they don’t think about how it will affect their parents. If you want to show your maturity, you should not do such things.

Understanding Bad Habits And Changing It

Responsible kids do not have to be told twice or a hundred times about their negative behaviors. They do not get upset either if their mom and dad tell them that what they are doing is wrong. Instead, they try to see the situation in the parents’ perspective. Upon realizing their fault, they are not afraid to apologize for their actions and correct them.

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Giving Back To Parents Even If They Insist That You Shouldn’t

It is typical for parents to stop their son or daughter from spending on them. They say, “Keep your money – we didn’t support you all these years so that you can feed us.” While you should respect their decision not to make you pay for their bills, you should insist on giving them a bit of luxury. For instance, you can take them to their dream destination or treat them to excellent meals every week.

Final Thoughts

Being responsible is one of the many ways to tell your mom and dad, “Thank you for raising me this way.” And even if you did not grow up close to your parents, it is never too late to alter your behavior and shower them with love and goodness.

 

Ways To Deal With A Parasitic Sibling

I have two younger sisters, and I love them to death. From the moment I got my first paycheck, I have made it my duty to give them everything they need. You can say that it is my way of giving back to my parents, who have supported me all through college.

During my first job, my middle sister, Anne, was still doing her internship in the hospitality sector. When you are in that industry, you always have to look good, so I would buy her clothes, shoes, makeup, etc. Even though I knew that my mom and dad gave her monetary allowance every week, I would transfer a couple of hundred dollars in her bank account. That way, she would have more than enough money to buy her needs.

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Before Anne graduated, we had a heart-to-heart talk. She told me how much she idolizes me for being a responsible big sister and daughter. She said that her goal was to follow my footsteps and do what I did for her to our youngest sister, who was still in high school at the time. Of course, the idea made me happy and looked forward to the day she could genuinely do that.

The problem is, in three years since she has entered the workforce, she has changed jobs thrice as well. Her complaint about the first workplace was that the pay was low. We were like, “Okay, that’s understandable. Look for another job.” I supported her financially while looking for a second employer. After finding one, though, she left it after another year, saying that it was too exhausting for her. We tolerated her again. Once more, I gave her money to apply for another job because she didn’t get to save her salary.

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It only hit me that my family and I are enabling my parasitic middle sister when she’s talking about leaving her third job to become a flight attendant. There won’t be any issue with that if it’s an upgrade from her previous one. However, the offered salary was only a third of what she gets from her current position. Worse, she has no money to sustain her needs while training as a flight attendant because she blew all her salary for clothes, shoes, and whatnot. It’s aggravating!

In this case, let me tell you how I dealt with her.

Brutal Honesty Is Key

The hard truth is that my parents have been complaining about my sister’s behavior already. With every job change, after all, they have to help her move all her cabinets, too. I told Anne that she’s being a pain in the you-know-what instead of assisting the family.

I also mentioned that she is becoming a financial burden, and that is not okay. Our obligation to support her financially should be over from the moment she graduated from college. Even if she knows we have money to spare, it doesn’t give her the right to let us worry about that.

I explained to my parents how wrong it is to enable a full-grown adult even further. It pained me to tell my sister these words, but I had to for everyone’s sake: “If you quit your current job, you cannot expect us to help you out again to get your next one.”

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How Did It Turn Out?

My parasitic sister was not happy at first, of course. She’s used to getting what she wants, and all of a sudden, we’re putting our feet down. Despite that, it woke her up from her dream that she could act like someone fresh out of college every time she wants a new job. Now, before making any decision, she thinks a hundred times before doing it. There was a bit of yelling and crying in the beginning, but it turned out to be a win-win situation for all.

You are most welcome to follow my lead if your sibling starts acting like a parasite as well.

How To Avoid Becoming The Black Sheep In The Family

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Coming from a family that is full of successful individuals in their respective fields has its ups and downs. As you build your career, these people can serve as your inspiration as well, for one. In case you require a tutor for a specific course, you can ask a relative to do it for you. It is also significant that if you ever need a doctor, lawyer, or financial adviser, you don’t have to call someone else. If it is a close cousin or a sibling or a parent, you probably even have them on speed dial.

The downside of having high achievers as family members, however, is that failing is practically not an option. You can make mistakes along the way, sure, but you need to come back better and stronger from that. Otherwise, you will tarnish your family’s fantastic reputation in society, and everyone will brand you as the “black sheep.”

Now, if you think that you are close to being named as such in your family, here’s what you can do to avoid it.

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Know Your Real Passion

The first thing that you should do is to figure out where your heart lies. Is it photography? Do you like teaching children? Do you want to be a pediatric surgeon?

There is no wrong answer at this point; you are free to be passionate about anything. What’s not ideal is wasting your time on trials and errors, even though you know deep down that that is not something you want to do.

Stick To Your Passion 

It seems typical for family members to offer suggestions about what you should do when you grow up. Your parents might say, “You should get a Business degree so that you can take over our company in the future.” Your favorite aunt might say, “Oh, that’s nonsense. You should become a dermatologist like me!”

I kid you not if you enter the business or medical field only because your loved ones told you so, you won’t be happy. You will be no different from the other millennials who wait tables to make ends meet, even if they dream of walking on the runway or becoming a pilot. You need to stick to your passion as that will allow you to excel in your craft and feel proud about it.

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Don’t Obligate Your Family To Clean Up Your Mess 

As mentioned above, making mistakes is a part of life. Perhaps the elders in your family have had their fair share of errors in the past, too. They will not disown you if you slip up a few times or want to change your career. The only time it can happen is if you hide your mistakes to them and then obligate them to iron out your problems.

Final Thoughts

Ideally, your loved ones have worked so hard to give you privileges that others cannot have. You should not waste this opportunity by being indecisive and becoming the black sheep in the family.