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5 ways to make more time for loved ones even with a busy schedule

By Ness Stonnill, Founder of Job Pair & Flex Coach

Image of Ness and her son, Charlie, recently playing in the garden.

Life is busy for many with work, personal, family, social and household commitments. Add in festive celebrations, preparing for Christmas and/or the holidays, and wrapping up the year, time is precious. So I thought it was appropriate to share some tips of ways to spend time with loved ones when managing a busy schedule.

1. Mindfully enjoy the time

It sounds simple but sometimes being present - enjoying the moment and not thinking about the next event or what's on your to do list - isn't that easy when you have a lot on. A way to overcome this is just focus on what's going on right now. A few deep breaths always helps. If thoughts or worries pop into your head let them go (watch that thought cloud float by in your head), or write it down and come back to it later if need be.

2. KISS (keep it super simple)

There's no need to over-complicate connecting with people. Find an activity that brings everyone joy. Some simple ideas include a beach walk, game of tennis, picnic in the park, coffee date at your local cafe, happy hour at your house (and everyone brings something).

3. Share meals together

Two things about food that make sharing meals together easy:

  1. Everyone needs to eat. Food is fuel, and fuel is important to nourish and energise us.

  2. Food brings people together. It doesn't matter if you've cooked a meal or arranged takeaway 'good food is all the better when shared with good people'.

4. Lock it in

Having a few regular catch ups - whether weekly, monthly or other - is great for a few reasons:

  • You don't need to plan it. It's a regular event in everyone's diary.

  • If your upcoming catch up is cancelled, the next one is already in place so you don't have to worry about finding another time in everyone's busy schedules.

5. Go out of your way

Time with loved ones shouldn't feel like an effort; they are special people in our lives who we love and want to spend time with. But let's be honest, sometimes it does feel like effort. It's so worth it though. The strong relationships we have, the love we feel, the support and always having them there for us, and us for them, is indescribable. So remember this and when it feels like effort go out of your way - take the phone call, make soccer practice, listen to their stories. These relationships are special.

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