How to Make Your Home a Stress-Free Place:
A Medical Opinion

By Sarah Vates

When it comes to stress management, everyone could use a little bit of help. Coming home should be a part of your day that alleviates stress. More often than not, however, our homes don’t necessarily have that effect: clutter, cleaning, and chores often call to us when we walk in the door.  

To get more insight on making our homes stress free, we talked to Dr. Carrie Barron, MD, who is the Director of Dell Medical School’s Creativity for Resilience Program and an assistant professor at Dell Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Barron gave us her top five stress relieving practices for the home:

  1. Make something.
  2. Clear out clutter.
  3. Call a close friend.
  4. Listen to favorite childhood songs.
  5. Be silent for an afternoon.

Here’s how you can incorporate Dr. Barron’s advice into your everyday life.

Make something: plant a garden

Planting a garden is a great stress reliever and yields tangible results. Gardening is the perfect opportunity to spend time in the great outdoors, which for those of us who work in an office is a welcome escape, and an excuse to spend time with a friend or loved one (employ a partner!).

If you’re new to gardening, we have three guides to help get you started:

Clear out the clutter: organize and declutter

Coming home to a messy, disorganized home can only lead to more stress. Staying organized and clutter free doesn’t mean that your home needs to be spotless or minimalist, it simply means that everything should have a place. This makes cleaning up and staying clean that much faster.

Here are two easy-to-follow guides to organize and declutter your home:

Call a close friend and go for a walk

Exercise has stress relieving qualities and is a great excuse to connect with a friend.

When exercising for stress relief, do what feels right and good for you: it should never feel like a chore or something you have to do, so call a friend and invite them on a walk or have them over for some yoga in the living room or in the backyard.

Getting in a good workout can also be a stress reliever and a great way to burn off steam. When it comes to exercising in the home, having a space dedicated to exercise can be a great motivator to get that exercise in. Having a separate space (whether it is just a yoga mat in a quiet corner or a full home gym) will allow you the mental break and help you get into the right “headspace” for exercise.

Listen to favorite childhood songs

Listening to your favorite childhood songs can infuse a stress-reducing, even whimsical, turn in your day. Changing the usual soundtrack of your day with some good throwbacks will help you think of an easier time and allow you some distance and perspective.

We recommend these Spotify throwback playlists:

  • Throwback Jams
  • Throwback Covers: 70s and 80s
  • Throwback Thursday

Be silent for an afternoon

Taking some quiet time for yourself is a good way to take a break and a step back from stressors in your life. Reflecting and practicing a bit of mindfulness can be that breath of fresh air you need. If you need help quieting the mind, try setting up a simple meditation room to add peaceful structure and direction to your quiet afternoon.

Some other stress relieving practices we’ve been trying in our homes

Surround yourself with positive energy

Spending time with the people you love can be a quick and easy way to destress. A simple get-together allows you the opportunity to spend quality time with your people. Entertaining doesn’t have to be stress inducing: keep it simple with a movie night, a game of cornhole in the backyard, or board games in the living room.

Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is huge. Not sleeping enough can make you more anxious, nervous, and stressed.

Here are just a few ways you can ensure that you’re getting enough sleep:

Infuse calm energy

Infusing calm energy into your home environment is a great way to stay stress free. Practice the art of feng shui or hygge in your home. Or maybe use an essential oil diffuser to freshen up your room. Perhaps all you really need is a change of perspective or an inspiration revamp to help infuse some calm new energy into your space.

Separate work life from home life

As much as we hate to admit it, more frequently than not we end up bringing some of our work home with us. This is a sure way to inject stress into the homeand affect our mood, skin, and relationships. Separation of work and home through the use of location is key: choose a designated work space in the home and reserve work only for this area. Don’t bring work into the living room or kitchen, which should be reserved for leisure or socializing.

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