This is the time when we reflect on events of the past year. I do hope it has been a good year for you and your family. Many families have had quite a stressful year with the struggling economy, relationships or other issues that have made 2011 very difficult. What changes can we make to have a better year in 2012?
Two commitments for 2012
Some people make all kinds of resolutions and commitments for change in the year to come: to lose weight, pay off bills, establish better habits. Some want to improve emotional and relational health. Indeed, it is a good time to make needed changes.
From my point of view in observing and helping many parents, caregivers and children who have experienced undue stress, I suggest two commitments that I think will truly help as they head into this New Year. These commitments are not innovative or new. In fact, they may be quite obvious. But they are two of the things we ignore the most in life.
Because of how busy we are, we tend not to make time for the simpler things of life that can mean the most. Therefore, what I would recommend this year is that you take more time for two healthy endeavors: one is for more rest, and the other is for more focus on key relationships. Yes, that’s right…rest and relationships.
The busyness of life
With the busyness of life, we tend not to get enough sleep or downtime. Lack of sleep leads to a variety of health problems. Plus, when we are fatigued, we are unable to accomplish our responsibilities well. We tend to be a society that gets little sleep and allows no margin. We fill every minute of the day with some type of functional activity, and even after doing so, we still cannot achieve everything that we intended to do.
After all that stress and work we are left even more stressed and frustrated. I think it would be wise to be intentional. Plan some time to do the things that give you moments of reflection and enjoyment. Participate in activities that are fun for you. They are the moments that will give you clarity in perspective, a healthier mind and body, and the ability to have a more balanced life.
In some spare moments, take time for the simple relational times that will breathe life into you. Spend time with friends, family members and others in ways that will draw you closer to them, allow you to share life experiences and affirm each other in your relationships.
We all need relationships
We all need relationships and community in order to be healthy. We thrive on the relationships that encourage us, grow us and help us make it through life. Remember the times when someone that you know spent valuable and meaningful moments with you during a key time in your life. These are the moments that transform us, moments that give us encouragement and hope. Each of us needs those relational and inspiring points of contact.
Particularly if you have children, make it a priority to spend more time in which you share conversation and just good fun. Your children will always remember those valuable times with you.
It is my sincere wish for you to have a New Year that has more rest and relationship in it. A wonderful and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.
Thanks again for reading Lakeside Connect.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network