by Anneka Dalrymple
It is no secret that stress is a huge problem for most people in the UK. According to a study released by Mentalhealth.org in 2018:
- Nearly three-quarters of the population of the UK have felt too stressed to cope within the last year
- 32% of adults have felt suicidal because of stress
- 16% of adults have self-harmed because of stress
The solution to reducing the stress the population isn’t simple and, systemic change is likely needed for change, along with an individual effort by each person to recognise how they can reduce their own stress levels.
There are all kinds of ways any one person can seek to reduce the stress in their life, many of which are completely accessible without even leaving your front door.
For a nest you can rely on to neutralise bad vibes when your world feels chaotic, there are several ways to make your home a de-stress zone:
Have The Ability To Shut Off Your Work Zones
Statistics released last year show us that over half of work days lost annually are because of work-related stress or depression.
Recent reports also tell us that over 4 million people work remotely and that figure is set to rise.
Those two pieces of information merged suggest that there is a huge opportunity for work stress to find its way into the home.
With emails, Skype and project management apps, work already seeped into the home long before now, but working in an office meant there was some element of leaving work behind at the end of the day. When you work from home, that same element of leaving work behind isn’t there and so work stress can easily seep into a space that should be your escape.
The solution? Try to create a workspace you can physically close the door on.
Don’t have a home office? Have a box or a cupboard, a wardrobe or a shelf you place your laptop into when you have finished work and leave it there.
It can also help to allocate time to be away from work which might sound strange, but sometimes if those boundaries are not created, it can be easy to let work take over, especially when you’re only a 20-second walk from your office.
How About A Yoga Space?
Yoga is incredible for the body and the mind, and it is a fantastic way to be mindful care for your health and to release stress.
Even if you are a beginner yogi, you can enjoy yoga in the home, for free, without any need to go to a special class. Yoga With Adriene on Youtube offers lots of free videos to enjoy, some which are only 10-15 minutes long, so there’s always a chance to squeeze a little bit of Namaste into your daily routine.
Some videos are totally focused on meditation too, so even if you don’t want to move, you can instead focus on giving your brain a break.
Having a dedicated area for yoga will help encourage you to do more, and to value a part of your home that is just for self-care. It only has to be a corner of the house or the garden that fits a mat in. Maybe you only have a special place you keep your mat and blanket. It is the intention and sense of purpose that counts.
Harness Your Hygge
Hygge is literally translated as fun, but it means lots of things, usually related to creating special moments for yourself.
One central focus of Hygge is being social. Creating spaces that invite those you love in to relax and spend time together is a fantastic way to create non-stressful functionality for your home.
A beautiful outdoor seated area, a cosy fireplace cushioned section, a chunky kitchen bench with gorgeous coasters for giant mugs of hot chocolate. Give space intention and create stunning social layouts for future special times. Isn’t there a better way to unwind than laughing with friends and family? You can find more Hygge tips in this handy article.
Get Your Outdoor Space In Order
Being outdoors is known to be amazing for your mental health. Studies are ongoing, but research conducted in 2015 showed that healthy people after 90 minutes in nature, had less negative emotions in the brain compared to those who spent the same amount of time in an urban setting. Did you know that you can get a bit of that nature-therapy at home?
Sure, you might not have enough trees to actually forest bathe in your back garden. But you can definitely culture your own nourishingly natural serenity in your own backyard. Here are some ideas to help you get your garden gorgeous to help with stress reduction:
- Declutter your garden to see the space in its entirety
- Ditch areas of the garden that are high maintenance for little reward
- Consider creating a social area
- Think about creating a shaded area for weather protection so that you can always get outdoors if you want to
- Add points of interest in your garden that you love, such as your favourite flowers, a veggie garden, or a water feature
- Avoid faux grass and other unnatural additions, they don’t help culture a truly natural environment and you won’t get the same benefits from having them
Have Tech-Free Options Matter
Technology is a fantastic addition to modern life but it can also greatly impact the amount of stress we experience.
Technology is known to affect sleep, work/life balance, distraction, FOMO (fear of missing out) and problems with comparison. For that reason, it is so important to have spaces of the home that are technology free.
The kitchen is a great spot to only have practical technology, leaving the TV out of the way and instead allowing yourself to get stuck into the mindful practise of cooking.
The bathroom is another wonderful spot to leave technology well out of the space. Instead of investing in a distracting bathroom TV, why not instead treat yourself to a beautiful bath from Bathdisc.co.uk. Sink into the bubbles, letting the worries of the outside world melt away like a fizzing, crumbling bath bomb.
Letting go helps us to live in a more peaceful state of mind and helps restore our balance. It allows others to be responsible for themselves and for us to take our hands off situations that do not belong to us. This frees us from unnecessary stress. – Melody Beattie
You cannot control the amount of stress in the world and sometimes, you won’t have control over the amount of stress in your world. What you definitely can do, is to culture a de-stress zone in your own home so you do have the most relaxed and supportive environment for yourself to utilise and spend time in, whenever you need to recharge.
Anneka Dalrymple is a freelance writer with 5 years’ experience in writing about everything and anything. Anneka has a passion for nature, yoga, well-being topics and travel which is partly why freelance writing is not only a way to earn a living, but a way to experience life.