Stress and What it Does to Us

IMG_3320I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and a few of the blogs I follow have touched on this topic too. So there must be something in the air, a change in seasons that has caused us to look at our lives and question how we’re living them.

A few nights ago I stopped and looked around at my family. Both my husband and I were on our computers, working. And we’d given the iPad to our 3-year-old to play on so, she didn’t disturb us while we worked. It was 7pm.

In the family life I’d dreamed of having this wasn’t how I’d pictured my life. I’d pictured us all cooking dinner together, my husband and I sipping on some wine and then sitting down and discussing our days. But how often do we ever do that? Hardly ever.

At some point, so wrapped up in our ambitions and plans and achieving “success”, we’d lost sight of what’s really important. What we’re really doing all the work for. Which is for the people we love. Of course I know there are always going to be some periods where you need to work after hours, especially if, like me, you run your own business – but they should be the exception rather then the rule.

Stress does more than just take up our valuable family time though. It affects our personalities, our health, our parenting, our relationships. I knew this stage of our lives was always going to be stressful: having two young children and two careers was always going to do that. But it’s the way you approach the stress that needs to change. We are at fault as individuals too – we create our own stress. Do you REALLY need to answer that email at 9pm? Can it not wait until tomorrow morning? Does your phone need to be attached to your hip every second of every day?

So we’re making some changes, as a family, as individuals. We have to, this can’t carry on. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Photo by Robyn Rose Photography.

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