International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia 2022
April 26 2021Read more
The word balance. It means different things to everyone. Everyone’s definition of balance will be unique to them. But generally, we can agree that the areas of a balanced life work in harmony with each other. There is ease, stability and calm. There’s free time, fun times and hard work too.
Finding work-life balance can be hard at times. But for families? Finding that balance can often be even harder. Juggling childcare, demanding work schedules, after school activities and long working hours seems like an almost impossible task. It’s easy for stress to build and burnout to take over. But there is another way. With conscious effort, time to reflect and a rejig of your priorities—the balance between work and family life is possible. It involves improving the time spent meaningfully engaged with your family, because those are the moments that truly matter.
Thoughts of chores, jobs and plans that need taking care of have the potential to cloud the mind. They take attention from the task at hand and can trigger overwhelm about what lies ahead. Juggling work and parenting makes it hard to switch off from that organisational mode. In this case, the list is your best friend. And a calendar can come in handy too. If you aren’t a natural planner, this can seem alien at first. But it’s an essential tool to help keep you on track in your quest for a balanced work and family life. When we get our to-do lists down on paper, it will provide mental clarity and our engagement with the task at hand will be improved as a result.
Better work-life begins with acceptance. Things won’t always be plain sailing. There will be days where schedules clash and people get let down. That’s just part of life. When we can let go of perfect ideals, and become more accepting of the unexpected, we can find calm amid chaos. Inner self-talk can become hostile when we're under pressure or when things aren’t going to plan. The intention to be easy on yourself and let go of guilt will completely change your perspective. There’s a release of tension and a sense of ease and freedom that comes through accepting whatever comes up each day, the way it is.
You can’t give your all to the other aspects of your life if you don’t take time to rest and recover for yourself. Self-care is essential to maintaining good physical and mental health. Make sure you carve out time in your week that is just for you. It could be a soak in the bath, cooking a healthy meal or a run with a friend—in the long run, this time will serve you well. You’ll have a clearer head to be there for your kids, and you’ll have a mood boost to better take on your working day.
Relationships are like flowers. They need time, attention and nourishment to thrive. Staying connected is key. Connection creates healthy, happy family relationships. How to fuel connection? Set an intention. It’s easy to go through life never really hearing others, never stopping to pay attention, slipping into habits that stick, and never stopping to question them. But better family relationships depend upon challenging these truths. Schedule in time to stay connected as a family each week. Whether it’s eating together in the evenings, a Saturday day out or a family breakfast club. Make sure you’re present, engaged and involved during these moments. Leave work and other responsibilities at the door. Your family will sense a noticeable difference in the way you interact with them.
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