Feeling a bunch of stress or anxiety over your homemaking? Here’s how to manage homemaking stress…
Reader question: Could you please help me? I’d love some advice for homemaking with an inconsistent schedule and dealing with the stress and anxiety. I’d love a more productive solution than “do more work and relax more.”
Even with the most thoughtfully planned daily routine, life is filled with inconsistency.
And schedules can be filled with inconsistency.
Throughout a week, different commitments fill each day or night. And no two weeks (or especially weekends) ever seem to be the same.
So how can you even begin to plan for homemaking when you don’t know if or when you can fit it in?
What to do every day
For starters, I like to stick to my non-negotiable chores every day (make my bed, wash dishes, wash a load of laundry, pick up the house) – and I refuse to get frustrated or stressed out if that’s all I can do. Especially during busy seasons of life, that may be all I can do.
Once your non-negotiable chores are done, fit in other cleaning and chores on days that are less busy than others. Try to do these extra jobs in five to ten minutes chunks – and count it a success if you accomplish one. (Your home IS getting cleaner, little by little!)
Some days, you may be able to fit in one extra cleaning chore, other days you might get to four or five. Regardless of how much extra you can accomplish, count every bit of it as an added bonus.
Making a list, checking it twice …
To know what bigger cleaning jobs I need to tackle, I find it’s helpful to write a list of the cleaning chores that I need to do. Yes, my list can look overwhelming at first. But once I know I’ve written down everything I need or want to do, it’s freeing.
By looking at this list, I can also judge what I have time to clean during my little chunks of found free time.
(And it’s satisfying to cross off a cleaning chore from my list once it’s accomplished!)
A change in perspective
Aside from making a list of chores and then fitting them in when I have extra time, I’ve found that the key to dealing with the stress of an inconsistent homemaking schedule is creating a different perspective.
When I try to give myself grace and refuse to live with unattainable expectations, I’ve been able to relax in my imperfect homemaking. When I expect more than I could possibly accomplish in a day – or a week – I add a lot of (unnecessary) stress.
Ideally, I try to find a balance between a house that’s not a pit (I will not become a hoarder!) and not expecting more from myself than I would from others. It’s a hard balance to find … but there’s a lot of freedom in it.
I’ve found that I’m typically the one who adds the pressure of perfection, or trying to do too much. But if I can just relax, I know my homemaking is far from perfect, but it’s manageable. And that’s the best stress-relief.
During this year’s Homemaking Ministries Online Conference, Balance in Homemaking, 17 different homemaking mentors will help you manage stress in your home and family. (I’ll share how I’ve created Balance in Homemaking!) For details, click here.
What are the best ways YOU manage homemaking stress?
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