If you’re a parent of school-aged children or teens, you know how tough the transition is from school to summer. Personally, I’ve had a very challenging couple of weeks. With a teen and pre-teen in new summer routines, the daily juggle of home and work needs/priorities has been exhausting.
There are no summer vacations for parents! My work challenges are complicated by the fact that I work from home. I have a home office, but even tucked away in my work cave I can’t block out raised voices or countless distractions from other parts of the house. At my wit’s end, I came up with my list of summer “work/life balance” survival tips:
- Set clear (and healthy) boundaries between home and work. Yes, easier said than done. When engaged in work, be fully present in that space so you can maximize time and effort. When you’re home and with family, be fully present there. Minimize juggling between the two.
- Keep work technology out of your home space. For those of us working at home, this is especially tough. Work cell phones, tablets and laptops easily make their way into our home environments, and when we see them they have an almost hypnotic pull. When on family time, unplug, detach, fully separate from work. Don’t worry; that same user-friendly technology makes it easy to follow up and catch up.
- Make your mental health a priority. No, really – now more than ever. When you’re juggling more than normal and when you’re stressed and off-balance, one small, unexpected stressor can easily throw everything out of whack. I’ve been there, and I’ve had to dig into my personal sanity toolbox to stay on my feet. Running, meditation, focused breathing are things I turn to. Whatever works for you and keeps your mind clear and strong, make it part of your routine.
- Same goes for your physical health. Preventive care is crucial. Exercise, eat as much fresh, nutritionally dense food as possible, and get as much sleep as you can. Stressors wear a body down, so set aside the time you need to stay strong.
- Trust. I borrowed this from Kris Carr. The gist is that stressful, chaotic times can erode our trust in ourselves and in other people. Kris says that trust and faith are magical. Hang on to trust, the trust that you can get through it, the trust that others can help you, the trust that all will be well, and the trust and faith that ultimately a Higher Power is in control and will guide you safely through.
As you soak up the July sunshine, take a moment to bask in your own glow, the radiance of your own being – and share that special and unique warmth with others.
Joel Shuler, Publisher