Advice: Extracting work from holiday traditions

Work-life balance is always a challenge, and during the holidays, it’s even more difficult.

Along with work commitments, parents also have to shop, wrap gifts, put up Christmas decorations and attend holiday events.

Technology has cut into family life and has created an obsession with productivity that is affecting our health. Now more than ever, parents have to make a conscious effort to detach after office hours.

Studies show that the simple act of checking emails after work hours can lead to stress. Being able to connect with others as quickly as we can today is an advantage — as well as a curse.

It is important to set boundaries. Just like you have office hours, you must also set rules for when you are home.

Put yourself and your family first. Let your office know once you get home that you unplug from work.

Get in the habit of putting your phone in a basket, instead of carrying it around the house.

Don’t check emails when you are watching television or before bed, give yourself time to relax.

Remember that how you handle technology is the example you are setting for your family.

Make time to enjoy the meaningful moments that make the holiday season special.

Don’t feel guilty about making your family a priority. Embrace family time, rest, recharge and value these special moments.

Little things like lighting candles and listening to Christmas music during dinner can make lasting memories.

Family traditions are supposed to be meaningful; they are not supposed to be squeezed in between texts and emails.

Children make the holiday season magical. Their enthusiasm is contagious, because they live in the moment.

Adult life can be hectic. Don’t live your life disregarding moments because you are in a rush. Life is not about chasing the future. It’s about enjoying the process and being present by acknowledging the gifts of everyday life. So that when you get there, you haven’t missed out on what happened in between. Don’t overlook the most precious gift God has given you. Focus on what matters and enjoy your children.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certifi ed parent coach with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom.

Follow her on Twitter @ PowerOfFamily, Instagram mlsalcinespoweroffamily or contact her on her blog FamilyLifeandFindingHappy.com.