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There’s no doubt as working parents we are overwhelmed with the number of priorities we are keeping front of mind.

On average we lose 36 of our waking hours to mental load each week, 9 hours of which is related to home and family related matters. That’s more than one working day a week.

Most of us carry some form of mental load, about our work, household responsibilities, financial obligations and personal life, however when you carry loads related to things that are out of your control, it weighs you down unnecessarily.

Sandra is getting ready for work. It is Sandra’s morning to get the kids off to school. She and her husband alternate. This particularly morning, whilst Sandra is preparing breakfast and responding to an email in relation to her morning meeting, her 8 year old daughter announces that she wants to spend all of her savings on an iPad. Sandra asks if they can discuss it later. Her daughter responds, “you never care about what I want, you only care about your work.” Sandra knows her daughter is passionate and can be emotional at times but the comment about her only caring about her work hits her hard. Not able to resolve the situation in the time they have, Sandra drops her daughter to school, both still upset. The conversation plays on Sandra’s mind for the rest of the day leaving her feeling distracted in meetings and agitated during her other tasks for the day.

It is in these moments, where nothing can be changed until Sandra gets home and talks it out with her daughter, that Sandra can learn self-leadership skills to change the way she thinks and feels (mental and emotional experience) about the conversation enabling her to be fully focused at work and even enjoy her day (physical experience).

Whilst many of the demands of everyday mental load are not going anywhere anytime soon, it is your response to them that will determine the weight of your mental load and thus, your daily experience.