About Danielle: I teach in the Social Work program and I’ve been transitioning back into working full time after spending the past few years focusing on parenting my seven-year-old daughter.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t really make resolutions, but this is definitely a time of year when I reflect back and look forward to the next year.
Why do you think this resolution made the top five? I think we live in a culture of busyness and we’re all trying to maintain health in what can be a pretty unhealthy environment filled with temptations like bad food and Netflix.
Danielle’s suggestions for making this resolution stick:
Once you’re busy, it's difficult to come out of that and objectively look at your schedule. During quieter periods, see where you might be able to carve out some time for family and friends. Don’t wait until you’re feeling overwhelmed and really need it.
Be strategic with your time
I try not to overschedule myself, I book vacation early in January so I know exactly when I’ll have time with my family throughout the year. When things overlap, I try to find a way to blend them—I’ll bring my daughter into the office with me if I just need to pick up a few things, and we’ll pack a picnic to make it fun.
Look for creative solutions
If you need to free up time to spend with family and friends, look to the relationships around you for support. Who’s on your team? If you don’t have the support you need, is there a way you can build community? Maybe a friend or neighbour wants to take turns with meal preparation or other responsibilities so you can each find new pockets of time.
Check your frame of reference
What does spending quality time with your family and friends really mean to you? Does it need to be a week in Banff or could it just be a cup of coffee? Think about expectations—yours and theirs—and set realistic goals. That’s where we, as social workers, start when we’re working with clients. What fits one person’s life may not work at all in another’s.
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