If your evenings are a blur of stress and activity, here are 3 myths you may want to smash...
- "I've got to get my evening chores done." Sure, there are times when there isn't a single clean sock in your house and you must do the laundry. But Debbie Mandel (author of Addicted to Stress) says many women pile on the tasks unnecessarily, just for the sake of checking off items on their to-do list. Instead, focus on connecting at the end of the day with family — and yourself. "Each night, move one of your usual tasks (paying bills, Swiffering the kitchen floor) to the A.M., when you're clearheaded — even if it means getting up 15 minutes earlier," advises Mandel. Or reslate them for the weekend, lunch hour...whenever you can nab five minutes.
- "I must multitask to survive." The human brain literally cannot do two things at once, says Sandra Bod Chapman, Ph.D., chief director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for Brain Health. "It quickly toggles back and forth from one task to the other, taking its toll on our efficiency," she notes. Some multitasking is fine — chatting with the kids while chopping onions, for instance — but for more involved tasks, Chapman recommends asking yourself, "Does this require my full attention?" If the answer is yes, either focus on that job or save it for later. You'll actually conserve time, she adds, because doing chores sequentially is proven to be faster than running back and forth between them.
- "Electronics ease my stress." Actually, the opposite is true: Paying too much attention to the TV, computer, or BlackBerry adds to your anxiety levels and distracts you from family, says Chapman. To remind yourself to unplug, write out a "Stop!" list for the hectic pre-dinner hours, she suggests. "It might include 'Stop answering e-mail after 5:15 p.m.' or 'Stop talking on the cell phone when picking up the kids,' or 'Stop playing Bejeweled once everyone gets home.'" Enforce these policies family-wide, as Janet Schofield did recently after she noticed her 15-year-old son, Zack, texting under the table. "That's when dinner became an electronics-free zone," says the Beaver Falls, PA, mom. "We actually have conversations at dinner now — and the evenings feel a lot more peaceful."
All these tips are from Good Houskeeping. Click here to read the whole article, then say a little prayer and dive in to restructuring your evening so you can enjoy the sweet spot of your day with the people you love the most. ~blessings and k-love, Lisa