It’s Soctober, which means it’s social compassion month at Bare Hands Central. If you find this blog useful, in the name of social compassion, please share it with a friend so they benefit from it too.

Switching gears isn’t instant and yet we often expect it of ourselves and others. The end of the working day is often when this happens the most. I’m not sure about you but when I get home from work, it takes me a good 20 – 30 minutes to shut down that part of my brain and boot up another, more relaxed part. It’s not instant and it takes awhile for my brain and adrenal system to slow down. Yes, there are often plenty of things I could do when I get home but are they really urgent?

So often I hear stories of families bickering the moment someone else gets home because the moment they step through the door the expectations are heaped on! “Great, you’re home, can you please…” etc. Children do it to their parents, often walking in the front door with an immediate demand for food or attention. We do it to ourselves, our partners and back at our children, feeling the pressures of social expectations, i.e. homework, extracurricular activities and more. We’re trying so hard to cram the most in our days we forget to factor in time to switch gears. By not allowing space for this the mind and body stay in ‘busy’ drive, which in the long term can lead to fits of crankiness, conflict and stress related illnesses.

I propose a 30 minute buffer zone!

Imagine getting home after a day of work (be it school, household chores, paid or unpaid work) and having 30 minutes free of expectations, demands, people wanting you to do something or be a certain way. 30 minutes of ‘off limits’ time, free of responsibility whereby it’s understood it’s your unwind time, could completely change the afterwork grumps and squabbles.

How to get started…

Set the ground rules ~ as each person enters the house after a working day it’s understood that this person is now in a bubble for the next 30 minutes. This means:

  • No demands, expectations or requests in this time period
  • Likewise, if anyone else is in the bubble, they are also in their unwind time and are not required to do anything in particular
  • This is a work free zone ~ no email checking, arranging or feeling obliged or dutiful in this time zone
  • It’s okay to play, completely chill out, do nothing and be completely unproductive.

If you’ve got a large household, it might be worth having a whiteboard so people can ‘clock-off’ and everyone else know’s not to bother them with any of the above. If you’re on your own, this is about allowing permission to take 30 minutes of ‘switching gear’ time.

We’d love to know how you get on with this strategy so drop us a comment this week.

Warm regards