Your home can be a real sanctuary for you and your family. Ideally it’s somewhere where you can all escape from the stresses of busy family life, spend relaxing time together, and slow down the pace a little. Sometimes it’s hard to keep things calm and stress-free though!
Tips for managing stress in a family home
A happy, low-stress family home starts with a strong emotional foundation, and the building blocks can be quite simple. If you’d like some help with managing stress in the home, these tips will give you lots of ways to reduce tension and even improve physical and mental health.
If you have mental health concerns about anyone in your family, please reach out for help. You can get advice and connect with licensed mental health professional at BetterHelp.
1. Focus on building strong, healthy relationships
Working on being supportive of one another at home, and engaging in positive communication, can reduce stress. Positive communication can include using positive affirmations, listening carefully and listening more, avoiding judgment, talking calmly and productively instead of arguing, and respecting others’ opinions and trying to understand their perspective.
2. Collaborate and co-operate
Asking everyone to work together at home can help keep each family member feeling supported. It’s also an easy way to teach kids the value of co-operation. Brainstorming with those you live with about what can make your home less stressful is a great place to start.
3. Express your needs and ask for help
If you feel stressed or overwhelmed at home, try respectfully talking about how you’re feeling, and letting others know how they can help. When someone else is showing signs of stress, asking how you can best help them is also a positive step.
4. Ask everyone to help keep the family home clean
A clean house can be calming. Getting everyone to help with chores can alleviate the stress of keeping a home tidy, and it has the added benefit of teaching kids great life skills. It’s important to set realistic expectations here; for example, children could start by making their bed and putting their clothes in the laundry hamper each day.
5. Get into a daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routine
To avoid the stress of a mess piling up and feeling overwhelmed, try getting into a regular cleaning routine. Make a list of chores that need to be done every day, every week and every month, then agree who is responsible for each item on the list. Putting some structure into the cleaning will help to avoid misunderstandings and arguments over whose turn it is, and should also save you time.
6. Clear the clutter
Keeping clutter to a minimum has a wealth of advantages. A clutter-free space can be less stressful, and it can also save valuable time. Have a place for everything, and try to get family members in the habit of putting things away regularly. This will mean you can dial down the stress when you need to find something, and also enjoy a more minimal, calming home environment.
7. Colour your world
Surround yourself with colours you love. Colours – paint, furniture, accessories – can help to lift your mood and alleviate stress. Some colours can be soothing, while others make you feel happy or energised. Pick what makes you feel good.
8. Lighten up during the day
Exposure to natural light can boost your mood and help to regulate sleep and wake patterns. Open the window coverings and let the light flow in to reduce stress.
9. Keep it dark at night
The body produces melatonin, the “sleep hormone”, in response to darkness. To get a good night’s sleep, keep bedrooms dark and limit exposure to light, including that from screens, in the evening. Getting enough sleep and having a regular sleep cycle can help with emotional regulation, which in turn will make it easier to deal with stressful situations.
10. Learn to manage your worries – or check them at the door
If something is bothering you, try brainstorming ways to address it. If it’s out of your control, try to let it go. Encourage all family members to adopt this approach too. It can be challenging to do this in reality, but working on managing your worries is a great way to build emotional resilience and develop a long-term solution to stress management.
11. Fill the kitchen with healthy food
A healthy diet can support strong mental health and help to keep your mood and body confidence on an even keel. For example, overdoing it on sugar and caffeine can make feelings of stress and anxiety worse, but eating nutrient-rich food can provide a steady source of energy and help you stay in control.
12. Leave the house
Spending time outside can enhance mood, encourage movement, and help with sleep, all of which can reduce stress. Outdoor activities are also a simple, low-cost way to have fun as a family.
Hopefully these tips on managing stress in a family home help you and your family to be happier, healthier, and more productive. What’s your top tip for keeping things stress-free in the home?