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Tips for Transitioning
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, October 2007

From Work to Home

Fall is here and your kids have settled into their school routine. You are getting back into your own schedule. Then why do you find yourself rushing and whizzing through your life, flitting from thing to thing?

If this describes you, you may need to pay attention to transitions. Give yourself space to think, to reflect, to feel the results of what you are doing, with whom you spend time, and the effects of your daily life experiences. Pay attention to your breath, your physical response to things so you can observe what is going on. In a demanding world with practically non-stop communication, transitioning from one thing to another, in particular from work to home, can be a challenge.

When you choose to shut out the rest of the world to have time and space for yourself, and those relationships that are meaningful to you, consider these tips:

Take Time Out - Decide and declare phone free, cell free, blackberry free, text message free, e-mail free, computer free times so you can truly be responsive to yourself, your significant other, children or parents.

Unwind Before Coming Home - During the last part of your commute, designate time to listen to music or a book on tape, work a crossword puzzle, knit, or write in a journal. Stop talking on the cell phone or texting or sending work related e-mails. You are better off winding down and shifting gears so whe you gear up for work you will have a new perspective.

Visualize Yourself Feeling "At Home" - Before you walk through the door, take a deep breath. See yourself calmly interacting.

Establish New Routines - Walk in, walk around and feel the space. Change out of your work clothes. Slowly drink a glass of water, take a deep breath and then begin your evening routine (prepare dinner, sort through the mail, and listen to your voicemail.).

Greet Those At Home - If you live with people, greet them in a way you would like to be greeted. Look happy to see them . If there are children waiting for you, give a hug, physically get down to their level and ask them to tell you something about their day. Listen. Be present. If you have pets, acknowledge them and spend a few moments together.

By transitioning from work to home and allowing yourself to fully experience being at home and appreciating your space and those in it, you will be better able to be present for yourself and those with whom you live.

Figure out what you need to do to transform your home into a sanctuary instead of a stress filled zone.

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