give yourself time

Small Changes = Big Results: Dinnertime

Excited about this series?  Me too!  I plan on implementing a few new changes myself as we go along, so I’ll be sure to report on my findings and I’d love for you to do so also either in the comments or on my Facebook page.  We can keep each other accountable!

The day is winding down, but if you’ve been successfully making small changes in your mornings, lunchtime, and afternoon, you shouldgive yourself time still be feeling pretty good by dinnertime.   However, even if you’re feeling great, the rest of your family may be throwing you off course – they don’t call it “the witching hour” for nothing.

By dinnertime, everyone is hungry, getting tired from a busy day, and if you have school-aged children, possibly gearing up for an evening of sports practice and homework.

No rest for the weary yet!

How can you turn this notoriously stressful time of the day into a happier, more relaxing time of day?

Here are your small change suggestions for dinnertime:

1.  Have a plan.  This change you actually have to do earlier in the week, but by creating a weekly menu plan, you’ll eliminate completely the “what do you want for dinner?” conversation, and be ready to get a healthy dinner on the table quickly.  Plus – if you know you have a busy night planned, you can be ready for it.  This one act will reduce your evening stress tenfold!

2.  Transition time.  Instead of rushing into the evening, try to take ten minutes to shift gears.  Maybe pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down and read a chapter of a book, take a walk around the block or simply listen to some music.  If you are driving home from work, try jamming it out in your car to some fun music!  Then change clothes as soon as you get home to remind yourself that you are “off work.”

3.  Once a week or so, shake things up!  Do your evenings all look the same?  Rush through a quick dinner, run kids around, do homework, watch some TV and then go to bed?  Well, at least once a week, create a different evening.  Maybe play board games instead of TV, take a family bike ride, or go to the park or the library or bookstore.  Even switching things up once a week will improve your attitude and fire you up for the rest of the week.

This week I’m going to work on transition time – I have a bad habit of running straight from work into dinner and then cleaning up the kitchen.  So my small change is going to be to slow down and take a ten-minute break before starting on dinner – {wine and music might be included}.

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