Windber Medical Center

WIN 2014

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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F A M I L Y S T Y L E Family frst: How to make your home life top priority By Steph Thompson D SHUTTERSTOCK o you feel caught in the crossfire between job and family, trying to find a balance that works? Doctor's orders: Take a fresh look at your priorities on a daily basis. When patients come in stressed and overburdened, "I ask [them] to really sort through what's important to them, making sure to dissect the list to separate out truly 'have-to' things from those they think they should do or need to do," says Dr. Clay King, an internist with Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, Miss. "And to those non-have-tos, just say no. People are surprised that they can find that 15- or 30-minute spot. It's not necessarily easy, but they can find it." WORK YOUR PLAN But more free time won't automatically translate into more family time unless you make it a priority, say the experts. "You need to set [family time] as a goal, and work to make it happen," says Dr. King. Planned rather than impromptu family activities can be a great way to achieve that. In fact, setting aside a specific amount of focused together time can ease the stress you may feel when you don't allocate your off-work time well. Fun outings such as an easy hike through a nearby park, or just hitting the local ice cream shop, for example, can provide time-efficient bonding, better than hours spent discon- nected from one another in front of the TV or in separate areas of the house. RETHINK THE CHORE LIST You can also try incorporating family time into everyday tasks such as meal preparation that have to be done anyway. Give everyone a job at dinner rather than trading off days, so you're all in the kitchen together on family meal nights. Or, get all hands on deck for yardwork and then spend an extra half hour tossing around a football or Frisbee when you're done. It may not be the most efficient way to get things done—but you'll all be in it together. • 3 ways to get more family time 1. Prioritize your to-do list, eliminating anything that's not a "must." 2. Set aside a few minutes of "me time" every day to re-energize yourself. 3. Exercise and eat a healthy diet to keep up your energy level. w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m W I N T E R 2 014 SPI RIT O F WOM EN 9

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