Ever felt exhausted and run down when you have had parents or friends visiting?

Today’s topic is a topic that I need more than anyone I know. Currently I have parents, my parents, visiting us from India. And they have been here for the last 3 weeks. And after the first couple of days I was feeling so torn, so exhausted, so tired because I was trying to do so many things at the same time. Trying to cook special things for them, bake their favorite desserts, look after my kids and husband, take them out. And I was like a headless chicken. And after the 7th day I felt like lying in bed and not get out at all. And I was actually not enjoying having them over. And then I had a little chat with myself. Something I talk a lot with my clients that I needed to apply to myself. Mindfulness. The practice of being in the present moment.

1) Self care, whatever it was that I needed for myself I took care of that, whether it was shutting the door and saying: “I’m really exhausted, I need an hour to nap.” I actually got into my room and had a nice nap. I got up feeling more relaxed, more rejuvenated and more wanting to do things for them and my family.

2) Instead of trying to schedule twenty things in one day, and as we all know our parents are at this age, actually are here to savor and enjoy our presence. Being with their children and grandchildren more than seeing the sights and sounds of any city. And I started to schedule less things and with bigger gaps. And I wasn’t thinking about the next thing I had to do with them.

3) My kids were also off school so we with my parents decided to one thing in one day. So we planned a ‘highlight’. Either it was a lunch place we were going to, or a movie or going to a mall. We decided to do just one thing and then depending on how everyone felt we would do the second or third thing.

4) Being present, listening. We always remember one thing about our interaction with people whether it is with family or with friends.  Its not what they give to you, its not what they feed you, its actually how people make you feel. So when you are truly there, present and listening whether it is just having a nice laugh about old days with my parents or going over old photo albums, just having family time, being present in the moment, listening to what they are saying and actually savoring every moment is what I felt really mattered.

5) Slow down. Take things slowly, especially eating. When parents are here meal times are the big times in the day, and if you sat around the dining table, savor the food, savor the conversation, and just slow down the pace of life. I realized I actually got more things done. So even when you are scheduling lesser things in the day, because you are present in the moment you are actually doing them better. Whether it is your children, your husband or your parents, everyone is getting more out of those moments with you.

These are the things that I want to share with you that I have learnt to be mindful, to be present when having family visiting:

1) Self care
2) Schedule less things
3) Do ONE thing at a time
4) Be present and listen
5) Slow down

You will realize how much more enriched your life feels and how much more enriched the experiences of those people who are visiting you, especially your parents who are actually with you, just to savor your presence.

Email me at sunainaathena@gmail.com or Facebook: Athena Coaching Solutions or call me on (971) 056-6440307. And I do have a wonderful life coaching program for parents.