Stress can come at you from every direction. At work, while you're driving, school or nearly anywhere else. However, one of the worst places stress can work its way into is your home.
Whether you're stressing over your bills, fighting with your significant other or there's friction between your roommates, most of us are no strangers to stressors popping up at home.
But your home is supposed to be your sanctuary. The one place you can go to relieve yourself from all the stress you've been put through during the day. You want to relax when you get home, not deal with more stress.
Unfortunately, it's a part of life in many cases. While you may not be able to completely remove stress from your house, you can definitely learn to better cope with it. Not only will learning to cope with stress at home allow you to keep your sanity, but it'll also stop you from feeling uncomfortable or becoming filled with anxiety about the thought of going home each day.
Here are some steps to help you along the way.
1. Leave Outside Stress Outside
Often times, the stress you're experiencing at home was brought in from outside. It's kind of like if you step in dog poop while walking around outside.
It's bothersome and unpleasant while you're outside, so you're sure to clean your shoes off before you step inside your house. Otherwise, you end up dragging it inside and stinking up your entire house. Then someone else steps in it and it starts to spread. Before you know it, your home is filled with the rancid smell and you need to hire a professional to clean it up.
The same thing applies to stress. You need to leave it at the front door before you walk in. Otherwise it will not only stick to you, but it'll potentially rub off on everyone else in your home too. And the longer it sticks around, the more intense it gets.
If you're angry and stressed about something that happened at work, don't bring those frustrations with you at home. You'll end up letting out those emotions on your family, or you'll end up thinking about it the entire time you're at home instead of unwinding.
Start thinking of your home as your safe-zone. When you're in your living room watching your favorite show or eating dinner, don't worry about all the issues you had to deal with throughout the day. Just live in the current moment and appreciate the tranquility of being home.
Before you walk through the door, pause. Take a deep breath and try to clear your mind.
2. Have Uncomfortable Conversations
If the source of the stress in your home is tension with a roommate, spouse or family member, the solution is communication. As uncomfortable as it may be, you have to face the problem head on. Being uncomfortable for 30 minutes to address any issues is much better than constantly being stressed in your own home.
If you live with the person, you're going to see them every day. You need to get on the same level and squash any tension instead of ignoring it or accepting the stress.
Don't resort to passive aggressive behavior to avoid dealing with the issue at hand. If your roommate leaves their towels on the floor and it frustrates you, don't make snarky remarks under your breath. Let them know you'd appreciate it if they'd be more respective of common areas.
If your spouse isn't being attentive, don't give them the silent treatment or ignore it. Tell them how it makes you feel.
If a family member isn't keeping up with their share of the chores, don't just take it on yourself. Ask them to help out some more.
The reason most people put off these conversations is because they confuse confrontation with arguing. As long as you're respectful and non-aggressive, communicating your issues is nothing to be afraid of. If the other person is reasonable, you might be surprised by how well they take it.
Remember, it's not about pointing the finger or judging. You're just expressing how you feel.
3. Create a Relaxing Environment
Part of the reason you're stressed at home might be because of the environment. Do you have stacks of dirty clothes piled up in every corner of your bedroom? Is all your furniture covered in dust and dirt? In order to relieve tension and relax, you need the right surroundings.
Have you ever wondered why spas are clean, well organized and have tranquil music playing gently in the background? It's because they're setup to help you relax.
This is the reason many people aim for a spa like feel when designing their bathrooms and bedrooms.
Look around your home. Is it relaxing or filled with clutter?
The reason clutter and messiness stresses us out is because it's a constant reminder that you need to do something. Eventually you'll have to fold those clothes or sort through all those bills. The longer you put it off, the worse your stress level will get.
Spend a Saturday or Sunday cleaning up and getting your house in order. Once all the clutter is gone, start thinking of ways you can make the environment more relaxing.
For instance, you might consider using an essential oil diffuser to spread a calming aroma throughout the living room.
Or maybe hang some calming wall art from sites like Etsy and Wayfair.
Having inspirational quotes or art with calming colors can be an immediate source of relaxation.
Have you ever been to a doctor's office and heard the tranquil sounds of water?
That sound is likely coming from a waterfall fountain.
Gently falling water is one of the most relaxing sounds there is.
You can buy your own fountain and get the same effect in your home.
You could even add some elements of feng shui to your design. Here's a video with some simple steps to get started.
Create a relaxing environment and coping with stress at home will become much easier.
4. Have Family Time
If you have a family, stress levels can run pretty high at times. That's perfectly normal. However, you don't simply have to sit back and accept that your family constantly argues.
Having an occasional dispute is healthy. But if your family is constantly arguing or feels disconnected from each other, it's time to intervene and do something to fix the issue.
You'd be shocked by how effective simply spending a few extra hours together can be for relieving stress at home.
Nobody enjoys being stressed. Coming together as a family and doing something fun or relaxing can give you all a break from your individual stressors plus the stress between one another.
Take baby steps. For instance, if everyone tends to do their own thing for dinner, dedicate a few days per week for a family dinner. This simple change can have a big impact on the happiness of your entire family:
- Regular family meals helps younger children establish a sense of security and a feeling of belonging. (source)
- 71% of teens say catching up, talking and spending time together to be the best part of family dinners. (source)
- Teens that have 5-7 family dinners per week are twice as likely to receive mostly A's and B's in school. (source)
- Teenagers that eat with their parents on a regular basis are more likely to be emotionally strong and have better mental health. (source)
- Mothers who eat with their families are happier and less stressed. (source)
In order to get the most from your family time, everyone has to be present and attentive. Just showing up doesn't mean you're there. If everyone has their eyes locked on their phones the entire time, are you really spending quality time together?
5. Have Some "Me Time"
While spending time with friends and family is a great way to de-stress, sometimes you just need some alone time.
If every second you spend at home is filled with children running around, phone calls from family members or doing things for your spouse, it's nearly impossible to feel at peace and relaxed.
Start making some time for yourself where nobody disturbs you and you can simply breathe and relax.
This is time to do what you need to do in order to relax. Whether it's taking a nap, meditation or just watching your favorite show on Netflix for an hour, you need to take some time to yourself.
Otherwise being at home will feel like a job. Only unlike a 9-5, you don't get any vacation time.
Turn Your Home into a Stress-Free Zone
You probably won't be able to completely eliminate stress from your house. But if you follow the five tips above, stress doesn't have to stop you from enjoying being home.