· Sometimes it is not possible to share the best time of your day with family. In this case, create a transition zone to recoup your energy, time, mood, and joy. Take 10-15 minutes between work and home to relax. Do something that will help you put the day’s stress behind you and rejuvenate you for the rest of the day. This may mean listening to music, taking a 20-minute “power nap,” having a quiet one-on-one with your spouse, practicing yoga, going for a walk…whatever brief activity helps you feel re-energized and able to give your best to your family.
· Give your family the day. Whether you pick one day a week (perhaps the Sabbath) or one day a month, make a habit of giving a whole day to your family on a regular basis. Martin Seligman describes an exercise he calls “A Beautiful Day.” You might enjoy modifying this “Beautiful Day” exercise for your entire family: Imagine a perfect family day. When would you get up? What would each person enjoy doing together? What would you eat so each person could have something they enjoy? What activities would you engage in so each person could share some activity they really like with the whole family? How would you end the day? As a family, take an evening to imagine and brainstorm the perfect family day. Then, look at your schedules and pick a day to enjoy that “Beautiful Day.” Take pictures, laugh, and enjoy one another’s company as you enjoy your “Beautiful Day.” Later in the month, sit down with the pictures and a favorite family snack while you relive your “Beautiful Day.”
· Take a family vacation. Maybe your vacation will last a day…maybe two weeks. Maybe you will travel…maybe you will hang out at home. Either way, a vacation is a wonderful time to escape the stresses inherent in your daily grind and simply enjoy your family. Forget about the chores, the deadlines, the homework, and the daily hassles. Put them all aside and give your time, energy, best mood, and humor to your family. Whether you go camping in your back yard for two nights or take a cruise in the Bahamas, enjoy at least one vacation a year with your family.
· Find a family hobby. Consider some activities that your whole family enjoys and work them into your schedule. These hobbies may include reading, sports, music, visiting museums, hiking, biking, building things, or any number of other activities. Whatever you choose, finding a family hobby allows the whole family to spend time together engaging in an activity that everyone enjoys.
There you go…five ideas to give your family the prime rib of your time, energy, mood, and joy. Give them a try. Sit back and enjoy a full course meal with your family…no leftovers!