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Back to School Means ‘Back to Reality’!

Posted on: Monday, August 25th, 2014

As summer winds to a close, a new fall season opens up to you and your family. Are you feeling down about returning to the busy, everyday grind? Or perhaps you’re feeling excited about new activities, and opportunities at work and school? Finding a way to satisfy each and every family member’s needs can be a hard balance to maintain. No doubt you’ve tried different ways to manage this stress and it’s frustrating that it continues to be a challenge. The key is to consistently focus on the most important priorities in our lives. This is best explained through the following analogy from  Stephen Covey, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

Imagine a jar filled with rocks, gravel, sand and water. In order to get all these elements in the jar at the same time, what has to go in first? If you put the water in first then there will be no room for the rocks, gravel or sand. If you put the sand in first then there’s no space for the rocks and gravel, though you could still add water. The best way to go about this is to put the rocks in first, followed by the gravel, sand, and finally water.

The rocks represent the priorities in your life while the gravel, sand, and water represent all the other aspects of your life. What are the rocks in your life? Spending time with family? Pursing your art? Developing a particular relationship? Continuing your education? Improving your grades? Sometimes we have the tendency to get distracted by the water, gravel and sand parts of our lives which leaves no space or energy for the things which we value the most.

Helpful tips maintaining priorities as a family:

  • Communicate with your family members about what is most important for each of you as well as for your family as a unit BEFORE school starts
  • Accept that in prioritizing you may have to make choices about what to keep and what to eliminate from your schedules. Let some things go.
  • When you start feeling stressed, make an extra effort to take care of yourselves
    • Eat well
    • Get lots of sleep
    • Do some activities which you find relaxing
    • Start each day as a brand new day
    • Talk to each other again and
    • Refocus

If your current priorities don’t allow you to get the important things done, this could lead to high tension at home and build up of stress at school or work. Book an Appointment, and let’s plan a counsellor-supported-family-meeting to get the big rocks back in the jar.

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