You’ve spent more quality time with your family lately thanks to COVID-19. Otherwise, you hardly see them during the week due to long workdays and commute.

Some studies have found that the average family spends less than 40 minutes together on weekdays. Most people try to catch up on weekends when family time expands to about 3 hours.

Other studies show that even a few minutes of togetherness sprinkled throughout the day can strengthen family ties. Small gestures do make a big difference!

We’re now getting back to a more-or-less regular work and commute schedule as the impact of the pandemic eases. So how can you be more intentional about quality time spent with family? How can you ensure that you don’t lose out on gains made during the enforced seclusions?

Try these techniques for maximizing quality time and nurturing the important relationships in your life.

Maximize quality time with your child(ren)

Your children will consume your time one way or another. So it’s important to build them up now. Proactive parenting will help your children to become more resilient. It will also help them make wiser choices as they grow up.

Use these strategies

  1. Pay attention. Boost your child’s self-esteem and social skills by giving them your undivided attention. Turn the TV and gadgets off. Get off social media. Put aside thoughts about sales reports, water bills and the like. Listen closely to what they have to say and show your enthusiasm. Be fully engaged.
  2. Eat together. Enjoy family dinners. Linger around the table or plan activities for afterwards. Make mealtimes gadget-free times for everyone (unless you’re in emergency services).
  3. Play and dance. Too many structured activities can reduce time for play. Leave room in your schedule for laughter and silliness. You can also make an evening out of renting a movie or doing fun crafts.
  4. Have deep conversations. Earn your child’s trust now and they’ll be more likely to confide in you when they’re struggling. You can also use news stories, cartoons or movies as prompts to discuss important issues.
  5. Take a short vacation. Use your personal leave time if you still have some left or plan around a weekend. Family outings create lasting memories. You’ll also feel more relaxed away from home and come back refreshed.

Maximize quality time with your partner

Does your partner seem more like your roommate sometimes? The honeymoon phase may pass, but you can energize your relationship on an ongoing basis. In fact, you can apply many of the same communication skills you use with other family and friends.

Try these strategies

  1. Schedule date nights. Aim for at least one date night a month when you can focus on being a couple. It’s OK to stay at home if you’re too tired to plan a night out. However, ensure that you do something diffeernt and more fun than working on your taxes if you do stay at home.
  2. Create a joint project. Shared interests draw you closer together. Team up on a home improvement job or take up a hobby where you learn a new skill together.
  3. Support each other. Ordinary kindness can be as romantic as love letters, flowers or gifts. Bring your partner a cup of coffee while they’re working at home. Send them an encouraging text to keep in touch during the day. Encourage them when they’re down and be a silent source of support when they need it.

What if you’re a single working mum and have no partner?
As a single working mum, chances are that you lack the physical, emotional and financial support most working mums with a partner enjoy. Here are some tips to help you get ahead of the game.

Maximize quality time with yourself

Your relationship with yourself counts too. When you honor your needs, you increase your capacity to care for your loved ones.

Keep these tips in mind

  1. Work out. An active lifestyle is essential for your wellbeing. Not only will you improve your health and avoid lifestyle diseases. You’ll also be serving as a positive role model for your children.
  2. Eat healthy. Prepare nutritious meals and snacks for your family and yourself. Give your children age-appropriate kitchen tasks so they can pitch in and start forming wholesome habits.
  3. Sleep well. Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. You’ll be a more effective parent when you’re well rested.
  4. Have a self-care regime. Your self-care is a must and not a maybe. You’ll be happier and more fulfilled when you make yourself a priority. This will also teach other people to respect and value your time.

Over to you…

With enough planning and effort, you can share more quality time with the ones you love. Strengthening your connections brings more happiness and stability into your life and relationships. It also creates a brighter future for your children.

Getting back to you…what strategies are you putting in place to ensure that you spend more quality time with your loved ones post-COVID? Share in the Comments.

(Image credit: Unsplash)

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