Three of our biggest social institutions are now combined into one place. Work, family, and school are all happening in our home. And for many of us, this is a challenge. People haven't been able to organize how that's going to happen, whether you're a single parent or have a partner at home and you may both be working, trying to figure out the stressors around what's happening with our kids because they aren't getting the interaction and diversity of connection they need.
The first place that this has to start, as parents in particular is around mindset. The idea of Thrive Global is always around the basic principle of putting your own oxygen mask on first and why that's so critical for you in terms of being able to take care of others. So unless we're taking care of self, at some point, we're depleted, we're unable to do the things we need to do to help take care of the people we care about and love the most. But when we're full, we're more able and competent to do the things that matter most to us in work, family life and own personal care.
Taking care of yourself
“Treat your home as the most important organization.”, says Eve Rodsky who is a New York Times best selling author and creator of the fair play system. It's important to know what is important to you. If you're prioritizing everyone else, it's very difficult to even carve out time or even think about you. One micro step for everyone to do is to get some time on your calendar, even if it's two or three minutes to do something you love. Get that on your calendar and make sure you're doing that small thing that brings you joy.
Integrating work and life
Yes – work, family and school are now all thrown together under one roof. That may mean it's together but it doesn't necessarily mean it's integrated. When we think about the work and a life in the integration, there are three steps we can look at:
1. Putting on boundaries
Do you feel within your family that you have a permission to be unavailable? Because that's where it starts. Many parents, especially women do not feel that they have permission – from themselves, from society, from their workplace, from their families, and from their spouse, five different lack of permissions to be unavailable. So that's the first step, we have to collectively understand that we have a permission to be unavailable. That you are a human being, you have interests other than your role as a parent, a professional, and a partner. Once we get that permission to be unavailable, then we have to learn to ask for it. But make sure to make your leisure time nutritious, according to Professor Laurie Santos of Yale University.
What are the top three things you want to accomplish today? Make those things diverse, not all work related as most of us goes. Maybe there is a Zoom fitness class you want to make sure you get done. Maybe there is some time with your partner or your children that you want to make sure you get at the end of your day. And maybe there's a specific task that you need to get done at work that is important priority. Plan out these things that are going to bring you joy, that are going to recharge you, that are going to make you feel at the end of the day that you took care of yourself, you took care of your work, and you took care of your family.
2. Creating a system
Thirty percent of couples are divorcing over domestic imbalance. People say they lose their identity into the invisible work. Thus, creating a system for the home that allows you to customize your defaults is very important. Come up with tasks that matter to both of you together. Many couples go straight to ownership but nobody stops on our why. Understanding the beliefs that are driving the choices we're making and the actions we're taking is very important. So that, the self awareness that you had brings empathy as soon as you communicate it. As you communicate that, it brings growth, learning and transition.
3. Investing in communication
Communication is just as important of a practice as it is as exercise or meditation, whether that's with your partner or with your kids. Communication within the family is extremely important because it enables members to express their needs, wants, and concerns to each other. Open and honest communication creates an atmosphere that allows family members to express their differences as well as love and admiration for one another. It is through communication that family members are able to resolve the unavoidable problems that arise in all families.
While the stress surrounding this year may feel difficult at times, knowing that it’s normal to feel this way—and that you’re not alone—is a good way to begin to manage your own anxiety. Make an intentional decision to follow these three steps to have a work-family-school integrated life!
Here is a video from Thrive Global I thought you may be interested in. I know you will get some value from this.
Here's to managing work and life under one roof, from the team at Anista Employee Benefits! 🙂