Our home can be one of the biggest sources of stress to our lives – there is always things that need doing, something that needs to be cleaned, things that need sorting or things that need to be decluttered.
It can be a lot.
But here is the thing…we spend a LOT of time in out homes, especially if you are a stay at home parent and it’s where we are raising out families and where a lot of our memories and our children’s memories will be made.
So it makes sense for it to be somewhere we enjoy being, and somewhere that doesn’t completely stress us out all the time.
There is always going to be things that need doing, but it shouldn’t be somewhere that stresses us out so much that we want to escape from it.
Our home should be the place we want to escape TO not from.
It should be the place you find sanctuary from the craziness and busy-ness of the outside world.
And if it’s not? If it’s somewhere you just want to escape from – then let’s do something about it.
Taking care of your home is self-care.
It makes sense then that taking care of our home – making it somewhere you want to be, somewhere that gives you that warm, cosy feeling and makes you just breathe a sigh of relief when you walk in – makes it self care.
It’s self care because it’s creating a safe place for you to breathe at the end of the day.
It’s self care because it’s not stressing you out.
If you are a parent of a disabled child, and you are reading this and thinking this doesn’t apply to me because my home is stressful because of all the equipment and the way my child copes and behaves at home – this still all absolutely applies to you.
Here is the thing, at the end of the day when you have been to all the appointments or picking your child up from school or whatever else you have had to do that day – you need to have somewhere that feels safe. Somewhere that isn’t adding to your stress levels.
Having a calmer and less stressful home is going to make it easier for you cope with behaviour or therapies or anything else that you are dealing with at home.
Where to start
Make a plan.
The first step is going to be to make a plan. Make a list of what about your home stresses you out.
Grab a notebook or the notes app on your phone and just go room by room writing down anything you can see or think of that is stressful or just niggling at you.
Think about your day, what causes you stress? Is it the morning routine? Is it making food in the evening? Is it that you can never find your keys when you need to leave the house? Is it that leaving the house feels like such an ordeal it stresses you out completely?
Write it all down.
As tempting as it might be to skip this step, this step is VERY important and you can’t skip it.
It’s very hard to feel less stressed when your home just feels chaotic and there is stuff everywhere.
I don’t mean you HAVE to go minimalist – although if you want to that’s completely fine (I am always on a minimalist mission!), but just getting rid of the things that you don’t need is going to make a huge difference to your stress levels.
If you are constantly picking things up, or moving things or tidying things, not having so much to do is going to decrease your stress levels dramatically!
Visual clutter also affects our stress levels too, just being able to see the mess or the thing that you need to do something about, even if you have no intention of doing something about it right that second and don’t even feel like you are thinking about it, raises your stress levels subconsciously.
So starting with a declutter is going to make a huge difference which will be a really good place to start.
I do have a declutter guide planned – so watch this space fore that!
Rhythms & Routines
Routines are really important, and if anything is going to help you feel calm and in control of your life it is going to be routines.
You can call them rhythms if routines doesn’t sit well with you.
Having routines is going to be a really good way to reduce stress because it means that all those tasks that we need to do, like cleaning and grocery shopping and laundry etc, is going to become something that we can do on auto-pilot, which that means they are going to take up a lot less room in our brains and that will in turn, reduce our stress levels hugely.
We spend so much of our time thinking about how we need to clean this or sort that and then try and work out when we are even going to have the time (or the energy) to even do those things.
Having a routine gets rid of that problem because it means that there is a plan for when we are going to get around to doing all those things.
It’s not about sticking to it rigidly, it’s about knowing that even if you miss a day or a week, those things will come back around the next week or whenever they are planned for, and that is going to take away the pressure and the stress from you.
It’s a way of doing self-care, not only are you reducing stress (which is a big component of self-care), you are also creating a life that you love and don’t want to escape from and that is the whole point of self care.
Make your bedroom your sanctuary
A good place to start is with your bedroom.
If you feel like your home is very far away from being somewhere you feel stress free and somewhere you can escape to – you need to start in your bedroom.
The idea behind this is that you have somewhere to escape to when life feels chaotic.
When everything feels a bit crazy, you can just sit on your bed and take a deep breath and just calm yourself. Or if your partner is home (or your children are okay to be unsupervised for 5 minutes), it’s somewhere you can go to and read your book (or whatever you enjoy) for 5 minutes in a space that is calm and not overwhelming.
It’s the things that we do every day that make the most difference.
Or at least most days.
Build some daily habits into your home that will help stop is getting completely overwhelming and will keep it feeling calm.
One of the ways that adding in daily home habits in has reduced my stress levels is that once those things are done, I know if somebody called in, or if there was an unexpected emergency or if one of the kids were sent home from school – I know the basics are done and it gives me peace of mind.
The habits I do everyday:
- Get dressed
- Make the beds
- Wipe down the sink and toilet with an antibacterial wipe
- Empty and reload dishwasher
- Wipe worktops
- 15 minute reset (multiple times a day)
- Check the floors
- Load of laundry on
It makes a huge difference.
Start by adding in one habit at a time.
Have you ever considered taking care of your home to be a form of self care?
Let me know!