Get together

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The best gift you can give anyone is the gift of your presence. One hour of time spent fully present with loved ones goes further than five hours spent with loved ones thinking about that meeting on Monday, constantly refreshing email or worrying about your to-do list.

When we are fully present with our loved ones and give them our focus and energy, it deepens the bonds of love and connection between us and creates the vibrant relationships we all long for. And, according to health expert Dean Ornish, quality time with loved ones will also improve our health!

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Having quality time with your family doesn’t always mean fun. You need to make sure you’re there for your partner and your kids when they are going through stressful times in addition to celebrating, having fun and relaxing with them. When you create time to spend with your loved ones, you free up the space to listen to them deeply, to learn more about what they’re currently experiencing away from home and to enjoy and strengthen the bonds that are the true joy of close families.

Work-family balance

When trying to create a good work-family balance, many people tend to forget all the reasons why family is important. They focus on moving up in their careers, increasing profits and making more money and what that will mean to their family, but they don’t stop to think that all of that won’t matter if they aren’t present with those they love the most. Take a few minutes to think, “What is the importance of family to me?” and how your family is impacted when you’re not present. If you really want some eye-openers, you can ask your spouse and kids to contribute to the list as well.

Once you realize all the reasons why family is important, you’ll be motivated to create more family time. Of course, it matters how you spend that time, as being physically in the home is not the same as being present! Consider starting a tradition of family game night or make it a point to all dine together at the table several times a week. Regularly asking about each other’s day and expressing support or encouragement are easy ways to deepen connections. Helping with homework, watching a movie together or setting aside time for a regular date night are also perfect ways to increase the value of your time together.

Being Fully Present

If you struggle with being fully present when with your family, it’s likely that you have not yet achieved emotional and mental mastery. Until you can control yourself on these levels, you will not be able to focus on physical mastery and the art of being fully present, and your work-family balance will always be skewed.

Work on committing yourself to being aware of when you’re with your family and take notice of what other thoughts tend to cause disruption, then develop strategies to handle these thoughts quickly so you can release them and return to the present. This could mean doing a “brain dump” in a journal or calendar at the end of the workday so you don’t have any loose ends plaguing you, or it could mean just vowing not to look at your phone in the evenings to remove any potential distractions.

To elevate your physical health and your relationships, schedule regular blocks of time with those you care about. They will love you for it and it will do you a world of good!

Want to see how focusing on developing work-family balance personally affected one man? Hit “play” to hear Bernard’s story:

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