Our keynote speaker at a recent virtual conference gave me lots of food for thought with his theme of "happiness" and "showing gratitude." While it would have been fun to have traveled to Utah to participate in this National meeting, there were perks by staying closer to home. One activity I got to do was watching our oldest granddaughter play volleyball with her middle school team. This opportunity to spend time with family reminded me that National Family Day is September 26th.


National Family Day puts the spotlight on the people who make our lives meaningful. Families come in many forms and sizes and under different circumstances, but what they all share is unconditional love and support for those growing on the same family tree. From traditional family units to distant cousins, families can drive us crazy and make life worth living.


Now, more than ever, family ties are critical for healthy development. Research shows that the quality of family relationships has significant effects on well-being. Strong family ties support us under stress, help us process unexpected challenges and boost our self-esteem.


So, as we look forward to National Family Day 2020, I hope you will take time to celebrate your family. If you can be together, perhaps a shared meal at a park can be arranged. If distance makes meeting face-to-face impossible, don’t worry. Modern technology makes it easy to connect. Call each other using a video chat option if possible.


Too often, we take family for granted. National Family Day reminds us to check in and express gratitude to our relatives who we may not always reach out to. Remember too, that not all families are related by blood. National Family Day reminds us to be thankful the friends who choose to be in our lives.


And finally, remember that good family relationships do wonders for our mental and physical health. Maintaining and nurturing close relationships can contribute to a happier, healthier, longer life. So take some time on September 26th to appreciate the special folks in your life. Let them know you are thinking of them!


We have a great poster that was developed several years ago titled, 100 ways to Celebrate Your Family. Stop by the office to pick up your free copy!


Donna Krug is the District Director and Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research & Extension – Cottonwood District. You may reach her at (620)793-1910 or dkrug@ksu.edu