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Take Time for Transitioning from Work to Home Life

This week I was able to talk with a client who was struggling with rejoining the family after working all day from home. After some further questions we uncovered that he was fine barricaded in his office all day, but the hardest part was stopping work, coming out and rejoining the family.

Many of us struggle with shifting gears especially from work mode to family mode. Pre pandemic, more of us had commute time which allowed for mental shifting from all the days stressors to just some quite time aside from the cacophony of traffic.

Additionally, having a spouse or partner with unrealistic or unspoken needs or expectations can make matters worse.

For example, a business owner is in their office from 8-6 and their partner wants them to join them immediately at 6p. But for the person in the office, jumping out and joining in the family, immediately switching gears, is not the same as flipping on a light switch.

We are human. We have our focus and attention on work, and most of us need “commute” time to decompress and switch mental gears.

So how can we accomplish that? Understanding that you need that time and then making space to get it is a good way to start. So what might that look like?

Consider how you work, and how you might transition from work to home life?

Do you need to stop work at a certain time, take a walk, go work out, or just spend some alone time?

Do you need to get outside and rejuvenate in nature prior to rejoining other humans?

Will you need a nap? A snack? Time to journal, call a friend, or jot down tomorrow’s to do’s?

The point is most of us need some transition time. And we would do well to take it.

If you have a spouse or partner that wants your time right when you are done with work,

you may benefit from a direct and compassionate conversation about what each of you needs to transition. Moms or dads that have been with kids all day also need their own transition time and space from kid mode to what’s next.

There is no one right answer here, just a time to consider increasing your awareness of what you need and then asking for it. Have some honest discussion, and then work towards making some agreements around getting what you need and helping your partner to get what they need as well.

Sounds simple right? Too often we ignore these important needs and then just end up bickering rather than sharing about what is really going on with us. This leads to undue stress in a relationship.

It does not have to be this way. Gain clarity first about what you need, when and for how long.

Then chat with your partner. Ask them questions to find out their needs for transitioning as well.

You just might come out of the conversation with renewed understanding, compassion and a new agreement that benefits you both!


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