Home with Less Stress

Home with Less Stress

Design a Home With Less Stress in Mind

There’s no place like home – especially when you’re dealing with the monumental stressors that today’s life hurls at you. But if your home isn’t a place of peace and is, instead, a place that’s cluttered and dingy, it won’t bring you much happiness.

It can actually stress you out to have a home base that you dread to enter. Just a few tricks can turn your house into a sanctuary that you love to come home to and spend time within.

Visual Cues That Remind You of Happy Moments

A quilt that your beloved grandmother made, some pictures that remind you of loved ones and paintings that you cherish can turn a place into a real home that you can be proud of and love coming back to.

Use colors and images you love rather than cave in to trends. Keep in mind that hot tones like orange, red and yellow can agitate you and raise your blood pressure. Colors such as green, blue and purple are calming.

Get rid of things past that you don’t enjoy seeing anymore. Things like pictures of relationships that ended badly and reminders of unhappy times should go in the trash bin.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money for visual cues that can help to destress your home. Flowers from the supermarket, plants and design items that you love to look at can make your home a place you love to unwind.

We’re now spending more time in our homes than ever. Winter months are especially gloomy if you don’t have a home that’s bright and peaceful. A plush throw on the sofa and small, glowing lamps placed around the room can help you recharge from a hectic day of work.

When you return from work, change into something comfortable that’s both pretty and soothing. Barely there knitted slippers, a flowing caftan and some strategically placed scented candles are perfect to unwind and welcome the ending of the day.

The perfect wine glass or mug can also be a visual cue that your day of stress has ended and now you get to enjoy the peace and quiet of your home. At the end of the day, keep technology out of sight – and out of mind.

Have a place where you can store computers and other electronic devices so you don’t have to look at them and be reminded of work. If you must keep your phone by your side, turn it down and decide if you really need to talk to the person at the other end if it rings.

A cozy rug can add color and soften up a room – and it’s wonderful to sink your bare toes into. And a small water feature that fits on a table or in the corner of a room is peaceful to look at and listen to.

Take time to look around your home and think of what touches you might add (or subtract) that would make it more of a sanctuary than simply a place where you hang your hat.

It doesn’t cost much to cozy up a room and make it a bright and cheery place for you to look forward to coming home to. In fact, you may be tempted to take more days off and enjoy the tranquility you created.

Have a Place to Store Technology

Too many gadgets and tight spaces can be a major source of stress. They’re always on your mind because they’re never out of sight, so you don’t connect with loved ones – or yourself — as much.

Today, there are ways to store your technology gadgets so they’re out of sight and out of mind until you need them again. Headphones are easy to lose and sometimes get tangled and difficult to tuck away.

Install a simple coat hook under your desk and tuck away the ear buds and headphones so you’ll always know where they are, but they’re out of sight. You can also use an old badge clip to keep the earbud wires from venturing apart.

Storage experts such as IKEA offer some great ways to tidy up your workspace. One is a monitor shelf with pull out storage beneath. You can store all your peripherals in the cabinet and not have to constantly view the tangle of wires.

If you have tons of electronic devices, but no central place to charge them, consider a power station (such as ReSource Power Station) where you can plug in charger cords for all you phones, cameras and other devices.

The three-socket power strip lets you juice up a printer, phone and computer at the same time. Cable storage is another problem that can turn a tidy home into a mess of wires and clutter.

A simple and inexpensive solution to hide cables is to get a cardboard box that fits beneath your desk. Cut two openings on the sides and slide the cables inside the box. You can find some attractive and sturdy boxes in places like the Container Store.

If you really want to get creative, use empty toilet paper rolls to organize and store wayward cords. Tuck them all into a box for easy identification and compact storage. You might want to commandeer a drawer in a desk or hutch.

Fasten a power strip to the back of the drawer and then plug in items such as a computer, iPad and cell phone. Shut the drawer and you won’t see them again until you’re ready to use them.

Use stackable shelves to store routers in the same way you could store other gadgets. They’re out of sight and plugged in neatly with the creation of a small space in the back of the shelf where the wire can fit through.

Another way to hide an unaesthetic-looking router is to take the pages out of an old and unused book and store your router between the covers. Printers can take up a lot of space on a desk or dresser.

Hide it in a drawer by transforming the front panel of the drawer into one that you can open and close. It’s easy to install hinges that let you open and close the front panel for easy access. You’ll also need to drill a hole for the wire connection in the back of the drawer.

There are so many ways to get rid of unsightly wires and electronic devices. Many can be found online and are easy to assemble. A little ingenuity goes a long way and does a great deal for the organization and decluttering of your home.

Cozy Spots for Rest and Relaxation

There’s nothing better than having a special place to curl up with a good book or listen to music while you unwind from a hectic day or week. A personal space for creating your own joy and peace can be a boon to your relaxation process.

Inside and out, relaxation spots created with just you in mind and where you alert others that you don’t want to be disturbed can work wonders in reducing stress in your life. Save another area of the home for stuff you sometimes dread – like bills.

No matter what the size of your home, you can find a cozy space to relax and enjoy with a little creativity. Do you have a corner that’s unused or cluttered? Transform it with a comfy chair, appropriate lighting for reading or sewing and a small table for tea or a glass of wine.

Comfortable seating and good lighting are essential elements to your nook. It doesn’t have to be a large area and you don’t have to spend money on furniture. Use floor cushions and pillows for seating.

If you have a bit larger area, try a rocking or lounge chair and a standing lamp. Many homes have small loft or mezzanine spaces that you can turn in to a reading area. Get some shelving for books, a lamp and some cushions and be inspired to relax.

A small area that’s filled with natural light is the perfect spot to unwind. Add an indoor plant or two and it becomes your own happy place. Blocking yourself off from others or distractions is also simple.

Get creative by hanging a bed canopy from the ceiling so it drapes down over your lounging area. It’s also a good space for kids if they have trouble studying or reading. Decorative pillows and a comfortable throw are inviting and get you in the mood for relaxation.

You can also create a rest and relaxation spot outdoors. Patios or balconies can be made cozy and inviting with plants, fountains and other landscaping ideas. Surrounding yourself with nature is good for you, both physically and mentally.

Give yourself and comfortable place to sit with cushions and pillows and add some string lights and a fire pit for mood lifting. Outdoor art such as a sign saying relax is a good way of reminding you why you created the spot.

Use other art that you enjoy to help you relax. A stone or clay fountain or gentle chimes can create beautiful and relaxing sounds that help you unwind from busy days or weeks.

Comfortable hanging chairs are like swings, but can also let you curl up with a good book or enjoy a glass of wine while outdoors. Or, try a hammock for relaxing. The gentle movement may lull you to sleep.

Pools can be relaxing and also good exercise, but if that’s not in your budget, consider a spa or spool (small pool) area just for dipping in, cooling off and relaxing. A peaceful place to dwell and unwind helps us to recharge our inner batteries for the future.

Don’t Ignore the Ambiance of Your Bedroom

Even though you might be the only one who sees your bedroom, you spend a great deal of your time there. So, it makes sense to make it comforting and inviting. Making your bed each morning helps to invite you back home from a long day’s work.

You may be the only one who sees your bedroom, but it’s important in the scheme of things for you to look forward to entering it. Natural light is a good thing to welcome into your bedroom, but to maintain a normal, rhythmic body clock, you may want to consider roll up shades and use them when you’re sleeping.

You’ll want to declutter your bedroom as much as you can to make it a more relaxing. An organized bedroom where clutter is either put or thrown away can put you at ease and make relaxation and sleep easier to come by.

Rethink your bed sheets and coverings. When possible, purchase natural-fiber sheets at a minimum of 400 thread count. Very inexpensive, yet luxurious, bedding can be purchased either on line or in brick and mortar locations that will transform your bedroom.

A relaxing and beautiful bedroom is the perfect setting for a night of restful sleep. There are also relaxing scents you can use in the bedroom. Lavender is a scent that is known to help people relax and clear their minds to make way for a good night’s sleep.

Candles can also add ambiance as you’re lying in bed and listening to soft music or a podcast designed to help you relax. Be sure to snuff them out before you go to sleep. Use a combination of texture, color and pattern to create a relaxing design.

Let nature inspire your bedroom by painting it a soothing color such as light green. Add window treatments that create an airy feel and bring in green plants and a small, tabletop fountain to relax you even further.

Visit showrooms and thumb through decorator magazines to find the perfect bedroom ideas for your home. No matter how you decorate, be sure you choose the correct lighting.

Experts say that pink light bulbs are the best choice for the bedroom, and you can add dimmer switches and wall lights to create an even more relaxed ambiance. You can play up the visual details of your bedroom by adding some extras.

To play up your bedding, add some interesting textures and shapes such as pillows or a throw. Beaded or velvet pillows are a nice touch to any bed and can cozy up any room in an instant.

Treat yourself to some amenities in your bedroom like you would find in a five-star hotel. Perhaps a pretty bed tray to enjoy a morning up of coffee and a tea-set to serve it in can help bring a relaxing moment to the beginning of your day.

Your bedroom should be the ultimate sanctuary in your home – a place that draws you to it when you’re tired from a stressful day and need a place to retreat and relax and sleep peacefully.

Bring Elements of Nature Into Your Home

Most of us don’t choose to live totally outdoors because of its fickle nature, but you can bring the elements for nature into your home and your life to create a calm and serene environment.

Greenery is a good way to bring nature indoors, improve the air quality in your home and help you relax. Water features can also be brought indoors. The sound of water has always been considered a soothing way to relax.

There are so many designs and sizes of water features to choose from that you shouldn’t have a difficult time in finding one that appeals to you. Besides greenery and fountains, there are other ways you may not have thought of to bring the outdoors in.

Placing a hammock in a sunroom or other well-lit area of the home, can be a relaxing place to relax when it’s raining or cold outdoors. When you close your eyes, you’ll feel like you’re gently swinging outdoors, but you’ll be safe and warm inside.

Fragrant herbs in containers can bring in scent and beauty to your kitchen and make it a very pleasant area to be. It’s also great for cooking dishes that are so much better when using fresh herbs.

Natural textures, fibers and patterns that recreate the outdoors are helpful to create the ambiance of nature. Rattan, jute, wicker and rattan can create an oasis indoors. Adding baskets and rugs that imitate nature will also bring the outdoors in to create a space for you to relax.

Colors inspired by nature such as the browns of earth and green of grass and plants are relaxing and blues that reflect the water and sky are wonderful and soothing. Neutral tones make the indoors feel natural and clean (white and tan).

You can use such colors as paint on the walls and also in your window coverings and various elements of décor. Wood, cork and bamboo as flooring are warm and inviting choices rather than the coldness of man-made fibers and materials.

Also use nature in the decorations you choose. Sea shells, interesting pieces of wood, rocks and sand are inexpensive and add depth to any room. Use photographs o these elements if you don’t have real items.

Scents that bring the outdoors in invoke feelings of calm. Woodsy and floral scents can calm and relax. Don’t forget sounds of the outdoors too. You can download apps that recreate the sounds of wind, rain or waves and others.

Let natural light flow in from all your windows and open the windows when nature cooperates to let in the fresh air rather than running the air conditioner. Fruits and vegetables are also elements from the outdoors.

Lemons, limes, oranges and mint can bring fresh scents and nature’s colors to your indoor areas. Fill bowls with them and enjoy the good health benefits when you consume them.

Even if you’re on a tight budget it’s easy to bring the beauty of nature inside. Get ideas online or from magazines and most of all – use your imagination. Nature calms the mind and body and you can’t find anything that beats its colors and designs.

Think outside the box when bringing nature indoors. It will help you feel comfy and at ease in your home and you’ll gain many wonderful benefits from nature’s soothing effects.

Turn a Stressful Activity Into an Enjoyable One

There are things that all of us dread each day – the daily commute to work, having to deal with people who stress you out, daily chores that never seem to end and fighting to get ahead in the world. You may even hate having to exercise to keep healthy.

Debilitating stress doesn’t have to come from extra burdens that come around such as illness, relationship problems, anger and frustration. Common, daily stressors can eventually get you down.

But what if you could make those daily stressors fun? What if your daily commute could turn into a time when you actually enjoy being caught in traffic? It sounds impossible, but it’s very doable. Here’s how…

Traveling on Your Daily Commute

Traffic seems to be getting worse, even in areas where there never used to be a problem. You may get tired of listening to music – although relaxing music is a great way to calm down.

Finding something different to make you relax and enjoy the commute isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Many are turning to podcasts for a different way to spend travel time that’s fun, informative and relaxing.

Whether you’re on public transportation or driving, podcasts are a great way to laugh, learn or be entertained. Many are free. NPR has an enjoyable podcast called Fresh Air. The commentator interviews interesting people you’ve likely heard of and may want to know more about.

Apps that can help you organize and stay on top of things is also a way to make your commute a time of progress rather than dead time. Things is an inexpensive powerhouse of an app that is far above the typical organizer where you check off boxes.

This sophisticated app is a perfect thing to keep you occupied if you’re commuting on a train, carpool or mass transit. It gives you a new list of to-do items each day. You can then tag, categorize and schedule them and also group them into projects.

Just want to be entertained on the long commute to and from work. You’ll love the comedy routine in Bill Burr’s, Bill’s Monday Morning Podcast. You’ll feel like you’re at a stand-up comedy show.

If you want to be productive on your commute and someone else is doing the driving, take some time to get caught up on emails. They can really pile up and cause stress. Your commute is the perfect time to clean out your inbox.

Take some time to engage in creative endeavors. If you have a hobby or passion, you can learn more about it by listening to podcasts (if driving) or reading about it if you take other transportation types.

You can also use the time during your commute to read – or listen to – a good book that simply whisks you away into another world and take some time off from the world you’re in.

Commuting for most of us takes up an enormous chunk of time – averaging over six hours per week – or over 300 hours per year. That’s way too much time to just let flit by in frustration of being stuck in a car or on a bus or train.

Take the time you’re commuting as an opportunity to get closer to reaching your goals, reducing stress by being entertained or learning something. You may not be able to change the time you commute, but you can control your reaction to it.

Spending Time with People Who Stress You Out

Some people are just stressful to deal with on a daily basis – or even once in awhile. But if you prepare yourself ahead of time and take control of the situation, you’ll feel less stressed and more in charge of your life.

Coworkers are sometimes the most stressful people to deal with. You may not be able to avoid them or cut them completely out of your life, but you can take some steps to relieve the pressure.

When you can’t control the uncontrollable, such as being around annoying coworkers, focus on what you can control in the workspace, like choosing how you react to the problems.

Think of ways you can minimize your time around these people or even cut them out of your life completely. React to the stress coworkers can cause by choosing ways to remain calm and how you can control the impact of the stress.

Relatives can also be stressful to deal with. They’re part of your family circle and you don’t want to just cut them out of your life. Another way to deal with them is to spend less time around them.

Learn how to say no to events or invitations that you don’t want to attend and that would put you more in contact with the relative. When you do have to be around them, prepare yourself beforehand.

You can control your reactions to what a relative says or does. Prepare responses and think of ways to minimize the stress of being around the person – like spending your time with another relative who you enjoy.

It’s the same with friends. A person who you were close to at one time might be a stressor now. Is it you that has changed or the other person? It may be time to spend less time around the friend or have a long talk about where your think your friendship stands at the present time.

If the friendship is worth salvaging, you can both be in on the process. At least you’ll both be able to address the problem and think of ways to solve it. Not expressing your feelings to others you have a relationship with can build the stress you feel.

Stress may also be a common factor in your home life if the relationship with your spouse (significant other) or kids is problematic. If your immediate family is wreaking havoc in your life, it may be time to reassess your relationships.

It’s important to find out what went wrong and how you can fix the problems before things spiral out of control. If the stressing point is that you don’t spend enough time with the family, try to think of ways you can reverse the trend.

For example, rather than spending an inordinate amount of time shopping for groceries, try ordering them online. Most supermarkets have plans that you can either pick them up at the store or they will deliver them to your home free-of-charge.

Saying no to outside activities that you don’t really enjoy or feel obligated to is another way you can find hours more to spend with your family. Sometimes all it takes to get you back on track is the willingness to talk about and find solutions to the problems.

Rather than stressing over spending time with a person, decide how you can deal with it by using one of the four-A solutions to stress – avoid the person, accept them, adapt by taking control or accept them for who they are.

Exercising for Health and Fitness

Thinking about exercising can be a common stress factor – or a proven and ultimate stress reliever. Exercise can help you maintain your health and mental well-being and can help melt stress away. You may simply have to get a positive mindset and just do it.

Exercise ceases to be a stressor when you begin to think about it as fun and when you begin to realize that exercise can help minimize the other stressors in your life. After awhile of regular exercise, you’ll begin to see and feel positive changes in your body and your mindset.

Choosing exercises you enjoy can make a difference in how you respond. You could benefit greatly by choosing a combination such as aerobic (dancing, jogging, swimming or biking) and strength (resistance) training like weights or bands.

The benefits you get from exercise are in the multitudes. You know most of them – increase in endurance, mental acuity, heart, lungs and lower risk of chronic diseases. You can improve your balance and stay limber as you age.

When choosing exercises, try to create a balance of those exercises that tend work all parts of your body. And don’t forget core exercises. They can prevent you from catastrophic falls and prevent lower back injuries.

You must choose exercises that you have fun with so you’ll stick with it. If you don’t, you’ll have problems making exercise part of your daily or weekly routine and quickly become bored.

Try setting goals in your exercise and fitness pursuits. They should be challenging, but also realistic so you don’t feel frustrated and give up. Then, reward yourself when you reach a goal with a new outfit or going to the movies.

Deciding which exercises to do so the thought of them doesn’t stress you out is extremely important if you’re going to stick with the program and improve your health and fitness. That’s a personal choice and one you may need to hit and miss before you find the best one(s).

Exercise becomes less stressful to think about when you make it a habit. The best way to do that is make a commitment to a time schedule and then set clearly defined goals for what you want to accomplish.

Think about getting a partner to make the exercise more fun or varying your exercise routine from one time to the next so you won’t become bored and give up. Also, choose a time of day that’s most comfortable for you.

You don’t want to do strenuous exercises just after eating or maybe when you’re stiff in the morning. Give yourself time to warm up before actually engaging in the exercise so you won’t be sore.

Include some exercises where you can listen to music, watch television or read as you work out. A treadmill or stationary bicycle is great to combine with your time exercising. Track your exercise routines with an app so you can look back and see progress.

Never give up. No matter how stressful it may seem to include exercise in your schedule, it’s well worth the effort. Keep on track any way you can and eventually, you’ll be glad you did.

After Work Chores

You’re on your way home from a stressful day at work and thinking about all the chores you have to do before you can relax and have some time for yourself. Or, perhaps it’s the weekend – same thing.

Everything you didn’t get done on the evenings after work has piled up and you’re looking toward a weekend of chores. Cleaning house, laundry, cooking meals and helping kids with homework can all be stressors unless you can find ways to have fun while you’re doing it.

Enlisting help from the family – in a fun way – can make chores go faster and help you reconnect. While you’re cooking or cleaning together, brainstorm ideas for your next vacation or think of recipes you might all like and experiment with them.

Laundry can go faster if you fold and hang up clothes while watching a good television show. Challenge members of your family with games while you’re doing chores. Games you can play while on-the-go like seeing who can make up the best oxymoron is fun.

An oxymoron is a term than contradicts itself – such as jumbo shrimp. That’s a good teaching tool too. Throw around plots for a book or movie. That could make you millions if you hit upon the right idea.

Kids also like games such as, would you rather – where you ask a question such as would they like to run naked across their school’s football field or clean the school restrooms with a toothbrush.

If you’re alone while performing chores, put on some favorite music, light candles and sip a glass of wine while you’re cleaning. Dance around with the broom or mop and get your daily dose of exercise in.

Join in the singing while you’re bopping around. Try opera while you’re cleaning the shower and chiming in with some pop music while you’re sweeping. Dress up in an apron, soft slippers and a turban around your hair to get in the mood. It’s fun.

Helping kids with homework can be a huge and exacerbating chore. The nagging alone can become a stressor that makes you long to stay at work for the evening. The battles over homework can stop if you can find ways to make it fun.

It’s best to have a plan in place before school even starts for the year. Set two or three goals that help to address your child’s weakest areas in school. Let your children help you decide what those are.

If they had problems with getting homework done before bedtime, an earlier starting time to begin assignments is in order. If they hate to read, perhaps you can help them choose a reading spot – just for reading, where they can concentrate.

When you insist on a daily schedule for your child, things run much smoother and peaceful. Chores, including homework, can become less stressful when you plan ahead and find ways to execute them with a bit of imagination.

Pursuing a Higher Level in Your Career

Pursuing promotions or returning to college to achieve a higher degree can be huge stressors. The time it takes and the effort you put in sometimes seems never-ending. But there are ways to eliminate or lessen the stress and enjoy the ride to the top.

Stress comes in very area while rising to the top – in making the best grades, being sure your resume is over the top with achievements and getting to know the right people.

Many companies today are developing what is known as breaks with meditation. Meditation is viewed as fuel to unlock your productivity and creativity. Even if you don’t have the meditation breaks at work, you can create your own space.

You can adapt these Eastern practices that have been around through the millennia for your own needs. It’s the art of retraining your brain to relax so it’s open to everything regarding your career.

During a meditation session, you can reflect on things you can do to promote yourself and get the attention needed to set you apart from the others. Most people have fight-or-flight responses to study or doing what it takes in a company to get ahead.

When you learn how to approach it in a calm, mindful way you can rewire your brain to solve problems much faster and much more effectively than others who may approach it hyperactively and turn everyone off in the meantime.

Meditating on things you can do to minimize your stress about getting ahead will likely include managing your finances effectively. Student loans are a known stressor for new graduates who have well-paying starter jobs, but still not enough to pay for the adult way of life.

Becoming an adult and being on your own can also be stressful if you have other worries such as an aging parent you must take care of—or a baby on the way. Learning how to meditate and become mindful of these aspects of your life and find ways to deal with them.

If there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to do everything it takes to get ahead and still maintain your health and stability, try a new schedule. Get up early to exercise rather than leaving work early – or get help to organize and deal with mounting bills.

Taking as much of the daily stress as possible out of your life while you’re struggling with school or work can help you function much more effectively and gain a better understanding of what you have to do to get ahead.