Make Home a Haven from Stress

Written by: Jennifer Scott, SpiritFinder
Note: Ms. Scott offers a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can discuss their experiences.

Photo Credit: SplitShire, Pixabay

Most kids don’t have full-time jobs and major bills to pay, but they face plenty of pressure at home, school and even hanging out with friends.

Indeed, adults aren’t the only ones who experience anxiety and stress. For instance, one survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) found that 27 percent of teens polled experienced “extreme stress” during the school year, and 34 percent expected stress to increase in the next year. Other research from the APA indicates even younger kids could be experiencing headaches, sleeplessness and other stress-related symptoms due, at least in part, to worries about school, family finances and other issues.

Clean Up Stress

While it’s impossible to eliminate every source of stress in kids’ lives, parents and other caring adults can try to turn their homes into havens by striving to create a stress-free environment. The first step could be as easy as clearing clutter.

A cluttered environment stresses us out because it floods our brains with too much stimuli making it more difficult to focus, according to Psychology Today. Clutter also makes it more difficult to relax mentally and physically because it signals we should be working to clear away excess and can create feelings of guilt and embarrassment when we’re caught in cluttered conditions.

Fortunately, all it takes to tackle this common source of stress is some time and effort. To give kids a sense of accountability and accomplishment, get them involved in the decluttering process. Crank up the music and turn the activity into a decluttering dance party. You can start with a space everyone uses so the whole family can reap the rewards of some more organized living spaces before trying to tackle their own rooms. Once the decluttering process begins, lead by example. Pare your own possessions, create designated spaces for oft-used items, and return things to their proper place after you use them.

Get Moving

Now that you’ve culled clutter, maybe you’ll have space for a designated exercise area. Indeed, a nook set aside for yoga or online workout routines doesn’t have to be large to encourage everyone around to be more physically active.

Maybe your guest bedroom or a quiet corner of your basement can double as your family’s home gym and yoga practice area. Make the area inviting to all by investing in individual yoga mats for each member of the household, stocking age-appropriate equipment for everyone, and seeking out routines that your kids can follow.

For instance, even young kids can do yoga poses that improve their flexibility and strength, refine their balance and coordination, and encourage focus and concentration. According to an article in Parents, practicing yoga also boosts kids’ confidence and self-esteem as they master moves. Finally, it strengthens young people’s mind-body connection, creating calm by encouraging kids to put worries aside and be more mindful of the moment while they are practicing poses.

Physical activity, including yoga, can also offer adults a constructive way to deal with stress and other health issues. For instance, research shows exercise can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, depression and chronic pain, among other conditions. So, rather than relying on alcohol or prescription drugs for respite, you can set a good example for the young people in your home by making healthy choices for yourself. If you do drink or use prescription drugs, young people will observe you using them appropriately, which includes being conscious of everything from your own consumption to how drugs and alcohol are stored to ensure they can’t be easily accessed by kids.

Although you can’t shield kids from every source of stress, employing these ideas could help your home be the healthy, happy environment they need to thrive.

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