Renovating a home can be extremely stressful.
Unforeseen issues can hamper progress and extra costs can appear out of nowhere.
And now a recent survey from Toolstation has revealed that 60% of home renovations impact general wellbeing.
It found that some aspects of the process caused stress levels to dramatically spike.
Thankfully, registered therapist Sarah Tombs has shared five ways to manage stress and anxiety throughout the process.
This is what she advises…
Acknowledge the difficulty
‘Renovating can be a stressful and costly time for anyone,’ Sarah explains.
‘Go into the project with your eyes wide open, do your research, and talk to other people about their experiences and any hidden challenges that they didn’t know about at the beginning.
‘All of this will enable you to get more of a sense of potential stressors and plan around them from the start.’
Keep up healthy habits and routine
When you’re stressed, many healthy habits – like exercise, walking, meditation or heading to that gym class – can be forgotten about, says Sarah.
She continues: ‘Yet in reality, those habits and self-care practices will serve to stabilise us during a stressful time and boost our wellbeing. Better still, if you are able to allow yourself the commitment of sticking to your usual routine as much as possible that will support you by offering periods of downtime.
‘A helpful technique would be to schedule these into your week and make them non-negotiables.’
Keep communication and conversations flowing
Talking can be a really useful tool to help us ‘express the stress.’
But Sarah says: ‘Ensure that all conversations are not solely focused on the renovation or, updating friends and family about how it is all going; as this can contribute to feeling overwhelmed.
‘Ensure you can get “renovation respite” and be mindful to discuss other topics just like you would usually do.’
Focus on fun
‘We know that renovation can often feel stressful and heavy,’ Sarah notes.
‘Therefore, it can be helpful to focus on fun, through occasions or activities that can provide you with a sense of light-heartedness.
‘If you are renovating your kitchen and so temporarily needing to do your dishes in your bathtub, then why not make a game out of it? Sing a song or introduce music.
‘Essentially, anything that you are able to do, to transform the stressful energy and bring lighter energy to the room will make a big difference to how you think and feel, boosting your wellbeing.’
Plan for the worst and stay positive
The stress we feel in our bodies can be exasperated by thinking the worst is going to happen, explains Sarah.
She adds: ‘Therefore, allowing yourself to plan for the “worst-case scenario” can help bring about a sense of control.
‘Discuss these “what ifs” with your friends, family, or neighbours and have a series of agreements in place. For example, knowing that you can use your neighbour’s oven for a day or that you can nip over to a family member’s house for a shower when required, will all help you reduce stress, manage anxiety, and feel calmer.
‘The future you will thank yourself for being prepared having already accounted for unknown, potential situations.’