This is particularly apparent at the end of the working day when the key family provider comes home from a hard day's work. If you fulfill this role, you will be familiar with the demands that your partner places upon you when you came home from work and the growing conflict between you as you struggle with feelings of resentment and abandonment. You come home feeling tired , stressed and possibly overwhelmed by your workload, preoccupied with the work day and the many demands it has made upon you. You walk in the front door tired, self-absorbed, and looking for some time to yourself.
Meanwhile, your partner has been with the children all day, attending to their needs, on the go throughout the day. Your arrival home is eagerly anticipated as your partner looks forward to some adult company and a hand with the children.
You walk in the door, looking forward to some space and possibly a nap before the evening meal but before you know it you are accosted by a harassed partner and a couple of children who clamour for your attention. Immediately your irritation goes up a few knots and before you know it, you are in the middle of another argument. How do you change this recurring drama that you go through on a daily basis?
I recently came across an article by Dr Alan Fraser, who has proposed a specific strategy for managing the transition between the workplace and home. Dr Fraser describes 3 ‘spaces' – the first space is your workplace, the second space is your home and the third space is the transition between the first and second space. It is in this third space that you want to prepare yourself for the domestic space you are anticipating as you leave the workplace.So how do you use this third space effectively, as you travel home? Dr Fraser ‘s strategy is simple: reflect, rest and reset. This exercise can be done in just a few minutes or over a lengthier period .
You need to intentionally reflect on your day, looking for the things that you did well and the positive outcomes you achieved. When you notice your mind pursuing negative thoughts, simply acknowledge the thought and then turn your mind to your reflection of what was positive in your day. By noticing the things you did well, your own sense of competence and well being will grow and you will feel more positive and relaxed.
As your mind dwells on the positive aspects of your day, you will notice yourself feeling calmer and your body more relaxed. The stress of the day is able to dissipate because in the act of reflection you have effectively calmed and grounded yourself.
Now you are ready to anticipate how you want to behave as you walk in the front door of your home space. Don't underestimate the positive impact you can have on your interaction with your partner, simply by making up your mind that you will walk in happy, calm and relaxed.
You will have more empathy for your partner, and be able to respond from a place of grounded-ness instead of being angry and preoccupied. In turn, your partner is more likely to feel compassion for your needs and together you will be better able to negotiate the evenings tasks before sitting down.
Why not make it your intention to practice this for a two week period. I would be very interested to hear your feedback.
If you want to grow, experience wellness and reach toward your full potential then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you.
(Dr Adam Fraser is a leading researcher and behaviour expert. His latest book “The Third Space” came out in July 2012. For further information visit dradamfraser.com)