Commentary: Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
The New York Times recently published a column outlining the struggles of the modern family in adapting their changing lives to stay grounded and raise their families how they wish. This resonates very strongly with us here at White Leaf as it represents one of the tenets of why we started this business.
Juggling work, family, and personal life is difficult—and it’s becoming even harder to balance. More and more families are reporting that their day is stressful from when they wake up until they go to bed; between taking care of children, running the household, and going to work, the day can be a rushed nightmare.
This is a recent change in society – in previous generations the woman managed the home, and the man worked, and duties were divided to keep each spouse sane. Now, more families—nearly half—have both parents working full-time jobs. (Source) This means less time for either Mom or Dad to take on delegated or diffused responsibilities.
It’s exhausting enough to manage all of the demands of work—but add on a family, a home, and a personal life, and the day becomes a non-stop balancing act. Many feel that during this marathon of a day, they don’t have a single moment to pause. It can be impossible to get any sense of inner peace when your attention is constantly being pulled in several different directions. When you can barely manage keeping your families’ schedules in line, how can you bother with finding mental clarity?
However, finding this sense of peace is so important to your own wellbeing and others’. When you’re stressed about your day-to-day schedule, it can affect your physical health and your mood—which, in turn, can affect those around you. Carrying stress around with you all day will take its toll on you and only make you more stressed. If you can’t change your hectic lifestyle, then you need to find some way to carve out peace and tranquility in the midst of it all.
Before you are able to take a step back from the stress of your day, however, you need to be mindful of the root of the stress. What’s bothering you the most? Is the line between your work life and home life blurred? Do you feel like you never get “me time?” Do you not see your spouse and family as much as you like? Perhaps the last thing you want is to add another item to your to-do list, but making time to relax and address the stressors of your day will help you in the long run. It can be something as simple as promising not to check your email after a certain time to keep your professional life at the office, or arranging to do households chores with your spouse so that you can pencil in quality time while knocking out necessary tasks.
Managing a busy lifestyle truly is a balancing act, but finding that sense of balance is key. If your day feels like a constant struggle to stay afloat, then you need to make the time to take care of yourself and find what works for you to make your day just a little bit easier. Being mindful of what causes you stress will help you get one step closer to tackling it. Figure out how to strike a balance that keeps you going—you will thank yourself for it.