7 Ways to Reduce Stress at Home
Guest post by Kay Carter
After a long day of work, it can be hard to come home and get rid of the stress that’s been building throughout the day. Thoughts about unfinished work or your neverending to-do list can cause anxiety and stress to creep up when you’re least expecting it. Here are seven ways you can forget about these worries and reduce stress at home.
1. Prioritize your sleep
On average, adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep every night. To get the most restful sleep possible, follow a consistent nighttime routine: this could look like putting down all electronics at least two hours before bed, taking a warm bath, using an essential oil diffuser to calm down, and reading a book. You should also aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day of the week to allow your body to adjust to a consistent sleep schedule.
2. Get rid of all clutter
The physical manifestation of clutter has been shown to increase stress and anxiety levels because it’s a constant reminder of something that needs to get done. Not only can clutter stress you out, it can lead to an increased circulation of indoor allergens, trigger feelings of isolation, and harbor embarrassment and shame. You can declutter your home by creating three piles: one for keeping, one for donating, and one for throwing away.
3. Address outstanding items that could lead to anxiety
Do you need to get that little crack in your windshield fixed? Have you been putting off getting your washer and drying machine repaired? The longer your to-do list gets, the harder it can be to decrease your stress levels.
Make a comprehensive list of all things that you need to get done, sorted by deadlines and priority level. If you have a few items on your list that only take a few minutes, such as paying your bills or scheduling a doctor’s appointment, try to get these knocked out as soon as possible. For larger items, like repairing an appliance or figuring out a home renovation, plan some time in your schedule to focus on achieving this. Sometimes, just having a plan can help reduce stress.
This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to reduce stress at home. Getting 30 minutes of exercise every day, whether it’s yoga, walking, swimming, or another physical activity, will release feel-good endorphins throughout your body, calming you down and relieving stress. Even if you have a busy day, try to fit in some exercise by climbing the stairs at work, doing some chores around the house, or using a standing desk.
5. Create a personal space
It’s important to have a physical space where you can spend time away from others. This can be a sunny kitchen nook, your favorite lounge chair in the living room, or a tucked away corner beneath the stairs. Regardless of the space you choose, make sure it’s somewhere you can go to be by yourself, relax, and quiet your thoughts.
Meditation can lead to more mindfulness and cause you to slow down. Take at least five minutes out of each day to think kind thoughts and take deep breaths in and out. Sit up straight, close your eyes, and slowly inhale through your nose. Deep breathing like this can counter the effects of stress by lowering your heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
7. Spend time with family and friends
Your network is one of the best tools for handling stress. Those closest to you can help you talk through what you’re feeling and give some positive insight into how to handle the stress you’re facing. Even if you can’t meet in-person with someone every week, try to schedule a phone call with a close family member or friend. You could also consider adopting a pet, as this has been shown to reduce stress and relieve anxiety.