Your home is supposed to be your refuge, your safe place where you can relax, recharge and de-stress from the events of the day. Yet sometimes there are things around the house that result in anxiety, whether it’s cleaning up after kids, tackling housework or household repairs and renovations. If you want to learn how to reduce stress at home, try some of these tips and tricks to help make your abode as restful and relaxing as it should be.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting less than seven to eight hours of sleep a night can actually induce anxiety, with many studies indicating that most of us would experience less stress at home if we simply got an extra hour (or 90 minutes) of sleep. By allowing our bodies and brains the extra time to recharge, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and less stressed. Find some decor inspiration with these rejuvenating zen bedrooms that will help you de-stress.
Healthy Eating at Home
There’s the old adage “you are what you eat” and it’s certainly the case when it comes to experiencing stress. Eating high-carb, sugary processed foods such as refined grains and junk food can heighten your emotional highs and lows, leading to enhanced feelings of stress. Adopting a healthier diet at home — protein such as chicken, fish or grass-fed beef accompanied by low-starch vegetables — will leave you feeling more stable and less stressed. Get the recipe for this epic kale winter salad.
Unplug from Technology
Thanks to the pervasiveness of smartphones, we’re constantly receiving emails, texts, news alerts and social media reactions, which are certainly not going to make us feel less stressed when we get home, as the work day merges into our much-needed R&R time. A great way to reduce that stress is too simply to unplug – close the laptop, turn off (or silence) the phone and pick up a book. Spending even one hour entirely tech-free will go a long way to lowering your stress level while at home.
Listen to Music
As the saying goes, “music has charms to soothe the savage breast” and that’s actually more true that we’ve ever realized. In fact, music can calm us down when we’re stressed – as can singing along to a favourite song. Classical music, in particular, has been found to lower stress levels. Carve out some space for an audio room in your abode.
Indulge in Soothing Aromas
When you’re feeling stressed at home, try smelling some calming essential oils such as basil, anise and chamomile, which helps reduce tension and increase mental clarity. Lighting an aromatherapy candle or diffuser can also evoke a similar effect.
Do Some “Mindless” Tasks
When your mind is spinning in circles and dwelling on a particular issue, your stress levels rise. Take a time-out and give your mind a break by turning to some “mindless” household chores, such as vacuuming, folding laundry or wiping down kitchen counters. Studies have indicated that focusing on the simple task at hand will relieve some of your tension while also providing you with a cleaner house.
Reduce the Clutter
Speaking of chores, clutter in the home bombards us with stimuli — and not the positive kind — making it difficult to relax, both mentally and physically. And no surprise here, mess creates stress. Keeping your home neat and tidy will result in the reduction of anxiety. So get organizing those shelves and cupboards that you’ve neglected for years. For inspiration, check out these tips on decluttering your home.
Get in the Garden
A positive way to tackle stress at home is to head out into the backyard and do some gardening. In fact, research has found that gardening can actually lower the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol. As a bonus, not only will be you less on edge, you’ll also have a gorgeous garden to show for it. Living in Canada, however, can hinder your green thumb during the colder months. But you can still de-stress with these indoor and outdoor plants that will flower in the winter.
It’s possible that your home’s decor or colour palette is contributing to your stress rather than reducing it. If that’s the case, add more calming elements to your home, including soft colours such as blue and soft neutrals or some houseplants. It might also help to reduce or eliminate any harsh lighting.
Create a Private Space
It’s important to have a special place within your home where you can retreat for a little “you” time away from others in order to decompress and settle down. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a dedicated personal space – it could be something as simple as a cozy recliner in a den or study or a lounge chair in the backyard on a sunny day — anything that helps quiet your mind and reduce stress.
Plan for Tomorrow, Today
Stress is often caused by uncertainty and a proactive way to reduce stress would be to prepare for the following day. Planning tomorrow today, reveals one study, can help to minimize stress and potentially prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Light a Candle
Lighting some candles or burning incense can be a great at-home stress-buster, encouraging you to focus on the flickering flame, breathe in the scents and completely tune out the rest of the world. You can also look into using more bedroom plants to help you unwind and get a better sleep.
Go for a Walk
One of the easiest ways to combat stress and anxiety is to put on your shoes, head outdoors and go for a brisk walk. Studies have shown that taking a stroll — especially in a natural setting such as a park or forested area — can be a powerful stress-buster.
Play With Your Pet
The simple act of stroking a cat or petting a dog is a major de-stresser. That’s because your happy pet releases “feel-good endorphins” that help reduce your heart rate and make you feel calmer as well. If you don’t have a pet of your own, reach out to a friend and see if you can swing by their place for a little visit with some of their furry companions.
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