Unfortunately, many of us experience feelings of stress on a regular basis. There are all kinds of reasons why of course, including problems at work, arguments with friends, and health-related worries.
In recent months, people have seen an increase in their stress levels due to COVID-19. It’s easy to understand why, as life hasn’t been easy for any of us.
Escaping stress isn’t easy but in theory, we should be able to shut off from some of our stress at home. By taking time to relax alone or with the people around us, it would be hoped that many of our stresses would fade into the background. This isn’t to say the issues that cause our stress disappear but they can sometimes seem less insurmountable after we have taken the time to rest and calm our minds of worry.
But what happens when it is our homes that cause us undue amounts of stress? This is the place we retreat to for relaxation and rest purposes; our haven of peace and occasional solitude. If our homes cause us to feel more stressed, we need to do something about it.
So, let’s consider some of the common causes of stress in the home. If any of these relate to you, consider our suggestions, as you deserve to have a home where you’re not surrounded by worry.
#1: Financial Worries
Household bills are a common cause of financial stress. There’s no escaping them, unfortunately. If we can afford to pay our household bills, then we have less need to fret. But for those of us living on a budget, even the thought of another bill falling into our mailbox can cause us to experience feelings of stress.
So, what can we do about it? Shooing away the mailman as he walks down the driveway won’t help as he’s only doing his job. Nailing our mailboxes shut won’t help either, as our utility companies will still catch up with us somehow.
Thankfully, all hope isn’t lost. There are a number of strategies you can take if this relates to you.
The first thing you should do is track your expenses. When you know how much money you need to set aside for your bills, you can reduce your spending in other areas. This is sometimes easier said than done we know, but there are usually ways to cut back somehow.
You can track your expenses with the simple pen and paper method, noting down what you spend when money leaves your account. But if you have a smartphone, you could also download one of these expense tracker apps. Some of them double up as budgeting tools too, so you will have greater scope to manage your finances.
The next thing to do is control your energy usage at home. We have already suggested some advice in this article on lowering your heating bill. But these tips aside, there is much more you can do.
It might be that it’s time for a window replacement, for example, as double and triple-glazed windows can better retain the heat in your home. A loft or wall insulation might also be a good idea in this regard. You could also opt for a smart thermostat as you could then program your heating to only come on when you need it. These renovations will cost money but in the long term, savings will be made.
To further reduce your energy bills, a few good habits may be in order. You could remind your family to switch off lights in rooms they aren’t using, for example, and you could ask them to unplug devices when they are fully charged.
Energy bills aside, it might also be that you have debts to deal with on a monthly basis. Many of us do so there is no shame in it but it’s important to deal with them as soon as possible. This way, you will have one less thing to stress about and you will have more money for your other household expenses. There is some advice here on digging yourself out of debt so have a read if this relates to you.
#2: A Messy Home
‘Tidy home, tidy mind’ is a saying you have probably heard of before. When it comes to the way we feel mentally, this is certainly true. There is evidence to suggest a cluttered home can lead to stress, although you won’t have to read any articles if you already know this to be the case.
Of course, clutter isn’t always the problem. The scope of our household chores can also cause us to feel stressed, especially when we struggle to stay on top of them. It’s usually thanks to kids and pets that our homes can become so messy although there might be other reasons too.
So, consider your home. Is it overly messy? Do you spend more time tidying your home than relaxing? You might feel more stressed if so as, for your mental health, you do need time to put your feet up.
What can you do then? Well, you could hire a cleaner. Even if somebody cleaned your home once a week, it would alleviate some of your burdens.
You could also create a housework rota for your family. Especially if they are responsible for making most of the mess in your house, it makes sense that they should chip in and help you with the chores.
Getting on top of your clutter is also a good idea.
If you have more stuff than you know what to do with, it might be time to whittle it down until you have less to manage. For the items you no longer needed, you could sell them and make yourself some extra cash. This would be especially useful if you are experiencing financial worries.
Alternatively, you could give some of your items away to others. This could be to a local charity or to any individuals that you know are in need. There might also be things you can recycle, which is a better way to dispose of broken items than throwing them in the trash.
For those items that you wanted to keep, finding ways to store them better would be helpful. To this end, these storage ideas might be useful to you.
There are other things you can do to ensure a tidier home.
For one, you could commit to one household chore a day to save time later in the week. You would then have a better chance of finding some relaxation time.
You could also come up with a few household rules for your children, such as ‘leave a room as you found it, ‘tidy away one toy before getting out another,’ and ‘only eat in designated areas.’ Of course, these rules can also apply to any adults in the household, so everybody should be asked to abide by them.
Finally, you could take steps to create a low-maintenance home. This can often be done with a few home renovations, replacing certain items with others that are easier to clean. This might be something you do in the living room if you have pets as some pieces of furniture are more pet-friendly than others.
You might also make changes in the kitchen, switching to worktop materials that are easy to clean, such as laminate and ceramic.
Changes to your flooring would also be useful, such as replacing carpet with hardwood flooring, as this would make it easier to mop up any spills.
#3: Relationship Problems
Sadly, many of us experience friction with the people we live with. It could be our partner, our children, or elderly relatives who have come to stay with us. When we aren’t in agreement or if there are issues that are unspoken, we can start to feel stressed.
This type of stress is less easy to solve than others as there could be a lot of dynamics at work. In some cases, sitting down and talking with the people you are in friction with can help. Clearing the air is always good and some issues can be resolved this way.
In other instances, you might need to seek help from a professional relationship or family counselor. They can act as a mediator, working with each party to solve any problems.
Of course, life isn’t simple, and there aren’t always easy answers. We do have articles within the ‘relationship section’ of our website so have a look for any that might apply to your situation. It’s also worth seeking advice from trusted people you know or from expert articles you can find on the internet.
It’s likely we haven’t covered every aspect of stress in the home in this article. It would be impossible to mention everything as we can all experience life differently, with multiple avenues of stress. Still, we hope our suggestions were useful. But if there is something we haven’t covered here, look for advice online as the sooner you can deal with your stressor the sooner you will feel better within yourself at home.
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