What's work and life balance about?

This is a pretty constant question in working parents lives... Stress is a big factor that most companies have employees signed off work due to. Wellbeing in the work place and at home is something we can all do more of. 

How do we achieve this? What makes life easier to cope with for all of you in the family?

Here are a few tips:

Coping strategies

1. Leave stress at the door

You do a good job of keeping a happy face at work, but maybe when you come home, you let your family have it. You may be inadvertently taking out your stress on your family and doing harm without realising it.

If you’ve just ended a particularly stressful workday, pause before you walk through your door at night. Do some deep breathing or listen to some calming music. This helps get you in a better mood before you see your partner and children. It will be noticed.

2. Share tasks

No one enjoys household chores, but they are things that have to be done. Evenly dividing chores like doing the dishes, taking out the rubbish, vacuuming, washing the dog, and raking the garden can prevent future conflict.

If everyone helps, no one person will feel put upon. It also allows for teaching moments with younger children so they learn not to become frustrated when they aren’t fully capable of completing a task. In the process they will learn skills they will need to live on their own.

3. Eat together

Dinner hour is one of the most important times in a family’s life. On nights you’re not rushing off for ballet or football practice, sitting in on a parent-teacher evening, or book club, plan for your family to have dinner together. You get more than one good thing out of this.

According to a study in the journal Pediatrics, children who eat meals with their family at least three times a week are 24 percent more likely to eat healthy foods, and 12 percent less likely to become overweight.

A study from Brigham Young University found that those adults who sit down to a family meal in the evening reported their jobs to be more satisfying and healthier; suggesting dinner itself can reduce stress.

This time together provides an opportunity for communication and relationship building. It allows you to find out about things that might be causing your children stress. You can help them prevent future problems and teach them how to respond to the pressures they are facing now.

4. Have family activities

You don’t have to plan elaborate trips to theme parks or grand weekend outings. Setting aside one weekend a month or one night a week to spend as a family keeps communication channels open and allows you all to bond as a family. Play board games, do an art project, or go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or even cost money.

5. Keep communication open

You know your children and spouse best. When they are acting differently or don’t seem to be themselves, you will likely pick up on that quickly. Instead of avoiding the obvious, ask what’s going on. Moody teenagers may rebuff your questions, but letting them know that you’re available to talk may encourage them to come around.

More ideas:

-     Sleep is vital. Sleep deprivation is a MASSIVE problem so do your best to get those hours in.

-     Exercise. We all know it... What's the excuse? Override and do it!

-     Laugh! Humour brightens up most days.

Good luck and look after each other!