6 Ways to Arrive Home More Relaxed

The following post is from Jennifer, a lifelong educator:

steering wheel
source: Stephen Cummings

When you haven’t seen your kids all day, it’s important to arrive home in a good mood so you can more easily reconnect with your family. The way you feel when you walk in the door can help you set a positive tone that carries into the evening, thus making your time together more peaceful and productive.

Try these ideas on your car ride home:

1.  Eat a healthy snack. Before you leave each morning, put a piece of fruit or a few cut-up veggies in a cooler that stays in the car. It will raise your energy level and stave off any hunger pangs (thus avoiding the temptation to load up on empty calories that you’ll later regret).

2.  Turn on your favorite music or audio book that will help you unwind and let go of the tension that naturally builds up during the day.

3.  Plan ahead. Think of at least one affirming, encouraging comment you can make to each member of your family. When you’re stressed and tired, it’s easy to walk in the door and start issuing commands. “Joe, it’s your job to empty the dishwasher. Tracy, get those papers off the table!”  Your attitude impacts everyone else. You’ll probably get better results with “Joe, I really appreciate how you helped me with the dishwasher yesterday. Can we talk about your day while we do that together, honey?”

4.  Make the decision to turn off the work switch and turn on the home switch. Whether you’re in a high-pressure job or not, it’s easy to bring work and its problems home with you. While you want your family to know what’s happening in your life during the day, little ones need to have some time that’s focused on them. Try to compartmentalize the major issues until later. Hopefully you’ll have a chance to talk to your husband or a friend after the kids’ bedtime. By then, you may even have a different perspective about the day’s events.

5.  Make a mental list of two or three priorities for the evening. Don’t attempt to get a full day’s work done at home each night. If you get more done that your primary two or three, that’s great. But don’t set yourself up for failure by making a list that’s impossible to complete.

6.  Slow the car down. Reducing your speed by 10 miles per hour will not only decrease the chances of a speeding ticket, it will reduce the stress of driving. Yes, it may “cost” you an extra five minutes, but you’ll arrive home more relaxed and ready to tackle the evening.

How do you unwind after a stressful day?

Jennifer is passionate about children and education. She homeschooled her two sons for five years, established and directed a Christian school in Maryland for 20 years, and currently teaches in a public school in a Chicago suburb. She loves investing in relationships and delights in every moment that she spends with her family.