How do I cope with stress at home?
Updated: Apr 24
Stress at home is difficult to avoid. Our lives are often filled with tasks and challenges. From health and financial concerns, to managing general household responsibilities and family relationships, there are many reasons to feel stressed.
Your home should be your sanctuary, right? In a perfect world, it would be a place where you could retreat from the stresses of daily life to relax and rejuvenate. The reality is that sometimes a house can actually cause us to experience unwanted stress, adding to our already pressure-filled lives.
The six biggest stressors at home are:
An untidy mess around the house.
Deciding what to have for dinner.
Keeping the chores under control.
Keeping the gardening under control.
Having appliances break down.
Now I don't know about you, but living with mess would definitely be one of my biggest triggers. Some of the issues above can cause chronic stress if not sorted, such as being in debt and not knowing what to do about it, but others are temporary, such as getting your washing machine fixed. From my last blog - what type of stress do I have? - you should have a pretty good idea now which category these sit in.
If you're suffering from stress at home, take a look at these triggers above. Are they part of the problem? If so, take some time to solve the easiest one first. This way you can give yourself a quick win. By tackling as many of these issues as you can, you'll reduce the your stress load and this will help you deal with other issues if they occur, such as family pressures or relationships.
And talking of relationships, your mood has a direct impact on those around you. So, how much do you let your mood influence your day? If you do a good job of keeping a happy face at work, do you then bring home your stress? Or if you've had a particularly stressful work day, do you ever pause before you walk through the door at night?
By leaving stress at the door, you are also giving yourself room. Room to cope with the hundred and one other things that demand our attention.
So, assuming you've got all this under control and you're still feeling stressed, what else can you do? Well, there are a few things you could try. For example:
Try increasing the amount of exercise you do.
Tru eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Try making sure you get plenty of sleep.
Try cutting down on caffeine and alcohol.
Try taking breaks during your day. E.g. Go outside for a walk lunch time.
Try finding a new hobby or interest.
Try mindfulness exercises & learn how to breathe properly (this sounds daft but there is a difference).
Try relaxation exercises or meditation.
Try setting smaller targets.
If these seem too much to try all at once, just pick one or two to begin with and work on these first. Some activities you may not fancy and that's ok. Do what feels right for you.
Now me, I'd probably make a note (or a list because I do love a good list) of how much sleep I get/how much exercise I do etc. & work from there!
And remember the really small action picture, from my series of diet blogs?
I've added this below as a reminder.
But what's really important, is that in the same way you sort, organise and prioritise your workload, you also need to pay attention and do the same for your personal time.
Block off your "me" time if necessary. Book that massage or theatre visit. Take some time out to be alone and recharge. Plan your day the night before, so you have a guide when you wake up of what you're likely to be doing or what you want to achieve.
The more control you have over what you are doing and what's going on, the less harmful and more fleeting the stress becomes.
Most importantly, though, please give yourself a break once in a while and remember that it's ok to be kind to yourself. You are doing the best you can!
Stay safe, as always