Home is where the (healthy) heart is
More often than not, we get out of bed, then hustle getting bathed, dressed and out the door. No time to sit, relax, gear up for what’s ahead by enjoying the home environment we have created. Then we are into the day, with all its stressors and chaos. Over, at last, it’s back home and time to … write a stack of sticky notes to remind ourselves of tomorrow’s looming tasks, rush through dinner, deal with chores and finally fall into bed. Our home creates a stress-free place for us and we have had no time to enjoy it.
A person’s home is their castle, their haven. Or at least it would be if we spent any time at all enjoying it rather than just using it for shelter, or obsessing about the need to clean, paint, mow, weed, etc. Home should be a refuge, a place to relax (yes, even if there’s yard work to be done, or a closet to be cleared out) How to make that happen? Here are a few suggestions about how a home creates a stress-free place:
Work out a homecoming routine. If it’s just you, decide what happens when you drive up: a 10-minute nap, or straight into dinner prep? Listening to some music, or unwinding with a little television? Maybe even a chapter or two in that book gathering dust on the table or nightstand? If there’s a spouse, significant other and/or children involved, talk this through so that everyone has some “me” time as they arrive and unwind. A group walk before dinner and homework? Wednesday night is game night? The options are endless.
A stop on the way. Maybe you swing by the gym for a strength workout, or a cardio class, between work and home. Or maybe there’s a park nearby where you’d love to walk after dinner, but it can get a bit crowded. This is your time; decide how you want to use it.
Shut the door, shut your mind. It would be lovely to shed the day’s woes like a second skin upon getting home It also is impossible. Solution? Turn on your phone or kitchen timer and set it for 30 minutes. That’s all the “wallow time” you’re allowed. Move onto to something you can control, like dinner prep.
Dream a little. Why not set aside some time to look at all those home and garden catalogs that come in regular and online mail? Maybe pick out a new color for the kitchen or bedroom or visualize what a new flower bed might look like. Make a wish list, and visit it often, especially during the winter months.
It’s natural, and not unexpected, to be zapped at the end of a busy day. And when we carry that exhaustion home, we’re prohibited from getting a second wind and having a meaningful stretch of downtime. This does not create a stress-free environment. By setting some basic ground rules about work-home balance, you may find that when you open the front door, you’re able to take a calming breath and get some pep back in your step for the evening’s activities.
Have some fun creating ways to make your home life enjoyable again. No deadlines, no hard and fast expectations. Just line up the things you love to do and want to do. It’s not about doing it all at once or doing it right the first time. It’s about standing still, looking around and enjoying the space you have created for yourself.
Have some fun turning your home into a stress-free place to live again and see how liberating it can be to have that true refuge and oasis in what can be a very hectic world.
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