Suffering from stress, pain or distress is difficult. But, more difficult is to helplessly watch our husband/wife/friend/family member suffer from stress or pain. This is not a hypothesis but a reality in most houses where the husband/wife sees his/her better-half suffer constantly from overburdened workload at office.
Initially, the person would enthusiastically juggle between office work, household chores and playtime with kids. As time goes, stress starts to take a toll on the person and the individual starts to realize that he/she has no time for friends/exercise or even a good night’s sleep. Simple acts such as comforting, making way for our spouse’s gym time or sleep time are temporary. What we need here are long-term sustainable solutions that can be implemented to keep stress under control or help overcome it.
Actually, the answer to the problem comes from the very cause of the problem-work. Constant demand at workplace within limited time is not the only cause for stress but we also fail to create a positive environment at home. If companies can create encouraging work culture at office, why can’t we do the same after-office hours too?
Huddle together: We need two hands to clap, likewise we need the cooperation of all members in the family to work towards the kind of environment we want to create. Identify key values and devise plans to live your life as per your requirements. The key element of discussion should be various ways in which all of you can work together to set up an environment that is relaxing and refreshing. For example, no chit chats about work during weekends until it is critically needed so.
Place visually appealing posters: Organizations use visually appealing posters or slides to get their job done or some project approved. Likewise, at home, we can have family posters, a list of cherished values and peppy yet loving messages that can help family members divert their entire focus onto their beloved ones ignoring office/school pressure once they enter their house. Visuals have a much more severe impact that hearsay and every member in the family is sure to involve and bond over others at dinner or post-dinner too!
Zip it us: Mobiles decrease communication barriers but increase relationship barriers. Being socially connected is said to create happiness and a sense of satisfaction in people, but this does not mean connecting over the phone. Even a study has found that more than 25% of people constantly use their phone to message or mail people even when they are having a face-to-face conversation. Keep your phones locked up in the drawers or switch them to silent mode when spending time with your loved ones.
Follow what you preach: Your actions speak better than your words. Some people might constantly require their phone due to demanding office work but even such individuals can take short breaks to spend some ‘me’ time for improved productivity and clarity. Once home, dedicate sometime just for your family and share your day’s memories with them. When each of you come forward to discuss about your day, it paves way for happier and healthier discussions. Such work-life balance and healthy work relationships help to make your kids understand the importance of family time and hopefully, when they grow up they would follow in your footsteps.
Sleep peacefully: Many studies nowadays insist on sleeping well for at least 7-8 hours every day for a clear mind and an active body. One study asked people to memorize two sets of words, one positive and one negative. Those who had five hours of sleep the previous night remembered almost 80% of the negative words but fewer positive words than those who were able to sleep for eight hours. Go to bed with your spouse with positive thoughts. Brushing teeth or switching off the light are subtle indications to your spouse that it is time to sleep.
Simple exchange of thoughts and the day’s experience over dinner, playing a game of chess or staying off mobiles/work can create a huge impact in your family member’s life making them happier. A family dinner together not only is helpful to improve relationships but can create healthier children too! Visit the website www.firsteatright.com to learn more about this. For working people, such steps are energy boosters and having such a positive environment at home makes the person energized, more productive at work and a happier individual.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.