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I have some questions for you to ponder:
- How much time do you spend at home?
- Are you a full-time parent? Retired? Do you work outside the home and spend only evenings and part of your weekend in the house?
- How do you feel about your home? (Have you ever really thought about it?)
- When you’re on your way home after work or after a day out, do you look forward to getting there?
- Do you dread the chaos, noise, chores, dramas and demands that await you, or is it a place where you can feel safe, relaxed and content?
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Let’s break it down a bit. It doesn't really matter how much time you spend in your house – it should always be a haven (‘a place of rest, shelter or protection’ according to the dictionary). If you don’t look forward to coming home to your house or if you downright dread it, then something really needs to change.
If you share your home with others (spouse, children, housemates, extended family), find out their thoughts on these questions. Do they enjoy the home environment? If not are they willing to help to implement some changes?
Even if it’s all up to you, there are steps you can take to make life at home a little simpler and a lot calmer, if only for yourself. And let’s face it, the happier and calmer you are the more you can cope with the chaos and the more chance of some of those good vibes rubbing off on other members of the household.
Start by determining exactly what it is that is stifling your enjoyment of your home.
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If it’s messy then the solution may be to de-clutter or to think about better storage. If other family members are causing the mess then a few ground rules might be needed (like no dinner until it’s cleaned up?)
If you are being bombarded with demands for attention as soon as you walk in the door, then it might be time to make a new rule. You will listen to each one in turn as long as they are patient and only after you've had a quiet cup of tea.
Are your children over-stimulated and therefore over-active? This can be caused by too much screen time, too much sugar, caffeine or other food products. Provide some healthy after-school snacks and drinks and limit their intake.
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Most importantly though, your family or housemates need to respect that your needs are as important as theirs.
There are ways we can create a calmer, more serene environment at home and make it a haven that you look forward to coming home to. It just takes a little bit of forethought and planning.