While commuting home, you realise that you still have unread emails and phone calls to make. At the same time, you are wondering if the kids made it back from school and what you will have for dinner. Earlier today, your client got upset, which in turn made your manager upset. Your body is tense, and you feel overwhelmed with so much to do. You are hoping that when you get home, your partner is in a good mood and the kids are behaving. You feel your muscles tense up, and your breathing becomes shallow. You try to prioritise what needs to happen in your mind, but your cell phone is ringing and distracting you, and you can’t seem to focus. Here are some pointers to help you to feel more in control of your home and to help you to be present.
Leave work at work
At the beginning of the day, make and prioritise a to-do list. Before you leave work, see what is left on the list, and see what needs to be done before you go home and then leave the rest at work. Once you step out of your office, relax your mind, so you do not go home tense. This might mean, taking a ten-minute walk or listening to some music. Notice where you are tight in your body and relax that area with your breath or by mentally letting go.
Put away your phone
During family dinner, make a rule that no phones are allowed. Decide a reasonable time that you will put your phone away for the night, and then do not look at it again until the morning. During family activities, do not get distracted by the phone.
Divide the labour
Include your spouse, children, and toddlers into the chores. Age-appropriate chores teach work ethic, co-operation and teamwork. When the tasks are divided, everyone will have more time to spend with each other. When one person in the household tends to do most of the housework, resentment and feelings of unappreciation build.
Focus on what the other person is saying and feeling
Set time aside to listen to your family. Watch their facial expressions and tone of voice; what are they feeling? Focus on listening without interrupting. Often people are not listening because they are just waiting for their time to speak.
Focus on your marriage
If your marriage feels like a struggle, this will add to the tension at home. Are you or your spouse avoiding each other? Is there conflict in the home? Your relationship with your partner affects the mood at home and with your children.
Have clear cut rules and consequences
If everyone in the home understands the rules and consequences of the home, you will save time. No one in your home will be receiving unpredictable punishment, which also adds trauma and tension in the home. When a home is understanding and communicative, it is easier to enjoy the present moment.
Work and family can feel like a never-ending to-do list. Find time for yourself to go to the gym, see your friends and do your hobbies. Of course, this requires balance as spending too much time out of the home can feel neglectful to your partner and children. However, if you don’t have any time for yourself, you might become resentful.
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