By Carly Lumsden
Firefighting is a fulfilling yet demanding career. Because of that, it can be easy to focus on work more than the other areas of life. However, it’s essential to also prioritize the other aspects of life to live a long, happy existence.
One of the main pieces of the puzzle for a happy life seems to be a positive family life. Your family will be there for you after your career is over and through the hard days, and it’s important to ensure that your family unit is solid. So, here are five tips for that happy family life.
Balance is vital in all aspects of life, but it can be something that’s extra important to focus on as a firefighter. The demanding shifts can become a significant focus of any firefighter’s life, but it’s important to consciously shift the focus to your family too.
Put as much energy into nurturing a healthy family life as you do your career. They are the ones who are with you during both the tough moments in life as well as the victories.
As a firefighter, you already understand discipline for work. But, it’s important for a happy family too. Be disciplined and focused at work and during your own self-care time, and then shift to spend disciplined quality time with your family. This will allow you to be more present with your family and have more meaningful time together.
It’s tough to maintain any happy relationship without solid boundaries. Do you find yourself always stressed coming home to the family? Chances are, some boundaries are being pushed. Determine what’s stressing you out and you’ll find out what your boundaries are. Then, have a conversation with your family about these boundaries and why they need to respect them as well as why you’ll respect theirs. If everyone’s in agreement and willing to respect boundaries, your family life will inevitably improve.
Communication is the most important aspect of healthy relationships. Make sure that you’re communicating openly and compassionately with your family. Remember to tell them how much you appreciate them or if something’s bothering you. Also, remember to communicate and make decisions together because you’re a team. Communication has the power to entirely, positively transform family relationships for the better.
It’s also important to feel comfortable doing so; if you don’t feel comfortable expressing your thoughts and feelings, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed between you and your family member. Consider going to counselling if this issue persists. A great way to improve communication is by understanding compassionate communication. You can start to learn more about compassionate communication in this YouTube video.
Quality family time, with phones away, is a great way to deepen family relationships.
Some tips to improve quality time are:
- On your days off, sit down and eat dinner at the table with your family instead of in front of a TV or distracted by phones.
- Consistently choose one full day during your time off to have a “date day” or “family day” to do something enjoyable and fun with your family.
A healthy, happy family life is just as fulfilling — if not more than a firefighting career so make sure to prioritize it! Through boundaries, discipline, balance, communication and quality time, you’ll be able to reach a happy family life. A happy family makes for a long, fulfilling, happy life.
Photo By Ahmed Zayan
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