Tips for Family Stress

“If I could wave a magic wand to make a dent in our nation’s substance abuse problem, I would make sure that every child in America had dinner with his or her parents at least five times a week.” Joseph A. Califano, Jr.

1.  Casa Family Day

Have dinner together no matter what several times a week. Dinner or breakfast or lunch, sit around the table and focus on the conversation. Learn how to listen actively. To learn more—read “The Importance of Family Dinners IV” by CASA (The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University).

2.  Married With Luggage

The Resolution Retreat:

How to set up a Resolution Retreat
  1. Find a space away from your regular life to clear out distractions.I like thinking outside, but the cold rain of Seattle in January made that impossible.  We chose to go to a local hotel and use their meeting room (you can usually negotiate this if you also stay overnight in the hotel or use their restaurant for meals, especially on a day when it is likely to be available – like January 1).
  2. Have an agenda and stick to it. We started with a review of last year – what went well and what didn’t – to put us in a the right frame of mind.  Then we talked about our personal goals, our goals as a couple, and then worked on the business goals of Married with Luggage and MWL Development.  From those goals (3-5 for each), we worked out action plans for each.  It sounds like a lot of work – and it was – but we left the day feeling like we really had a roadmap for accomplishing what we wanted in 2010.
  3. Celebrate your hard work. Our retreat took an entire day, and we rewarded ourselves with a nice dinner and a night in a boutique hotel.  But you could just as easily take a long walk together, prepare a meal together, or head out for some entertainment like a movie or concert.  It just helps to let your brain relax after all that work.

Photo credit.