Does life seem to be a constant battle at your house? From chores to sibling rivalry, sometimes it's just insane around here! We've worked really hard to calm things down, and basically just take it all down a notch – so I'm going to share my tips on how to destress the entire household! If you have any of your own, please leave them in the comments!
Change your expectations. If you have kids, your house will never be perfectly clean, perfectly peaceful, or even quiet – and that's okay. Sometimes it takes a bit of adjusting for all of us, but at the end of the day is the noise level really that important? Obviously we don't want the kids fighting constantly, or being loud and waking the baby up, but having realistic expectations is going to help you out a lot when it comes to getting rid of stress!
Set ground rules. The first step to a peaceful household for us (besides changing our expectations!) was to set some ground rules. You might need to write them down, or hang them up. Don't make too many, or it'll be overwhelming. Just write down the basics and the most important stuff.
Practice positive reinforcement. One thing I learned years ago was that positive words work better than negative words when it comes to getting kids to listen. Try using phrases like “Walking feet in the house”, “indoor voices indoors”, instead of “NO RUNNING!” and “NO YELLING!”.
Another trick I like: whisper! They have no choice but to focus on hearing you if you're whispering.
Calming Scents in the Home. Your sense of smell is a very powerful thing. The right smells can put you in the right mood and the wrong scents can just make you tense. I like to always have a candle burning or be diffusing Essential Oils (especially Lavender Oil).
Simplify. Is your house cluttered? Do you collect way too much stuff? Me, too! We've all been there. Now, though, it's time to simplify. That means getting rid of pretty much anything you haven't used in the past year. Go through your closets, the basement, extra rooms, etc and donate your unused items to Goodwill. If you're pinched for cash and have the time, clean it all up and sell it on Ebay or craigslist!
Be fair. One of the biggest complaints I've heard is, “That's not faiiiir!!”. With clear expectations and set-in-stone rules, it's much easier to be fair.
Work as a team. If you notice that you are all working against each other, reel them in! Remind them how fun it is to work together. “Chores get done ten times faster when we work as a team, guys! That means we get to go swimming ten times sooner! Woo hoo!”
Make time for alone time. Don't roll your eyes. 🙂 We all have the same 24 hours in a day, right? Yet some people seem to have a lot of alone time, while others (like us moms!) don't have any. It's time to change that. If you have a significant other, talk to him or her about how important it is for you to get a break. Whether it's reading a book or having dinner out once a week, it's necessary. Whatever you like doing, make time for it!
Find forgiveness. If you're the type that holds onto negative feelings for a long time – whether it's because someone hurt you or just made you mad – let it go. It's going to take some practice, but your house will never be peaceful if you're holding onto resentment for any reason. You being angry is not making the situation better, and if the other person did something wrong they probably don't care that you're angry anyway! Let it go… it's time to be free!
What tips do you have for cutting down on the stress in your household?