Home Improvement & Wellbeing
Making changes and improvements to turn your property into your dream home is something that a lot of homeowners have desired for years. The chance to redecorate and rejuvenate a space is exciting, as the home you already know and love, transforms into something even bigger and better than it was before. What many people don’t picture when imagining their dream home is the months of drills, saws, hammers and construction workers coming in and out of their property. On top of this, there’s a lot at stake. You will have poured thousands of pounds of your finances into your chosen project, so it’s only natural that you might feel a bit stressed and anxious about how things turn out.
Home Improvement Stress
When your body experiences stress, it goes into fight or flight mode, releasing adrenaline as a response. This was desirable to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, where the threat of a sabre tooth tiger hiding in the bushes was very real. The switch from foraging and digesting to running for the hills helped our ancestors to stay alive just that little bit longer, allowing them to pass on their genes. However, when it comes to home improvement, we’re rarely on the lookout for a sabre tooth tiger lurking among the bricks, but instead, this stress comes to us in different forms. We worry about what might go wrong with a project with endless what-if questions such as: “What if that delivery doesn’t come in time? What happens if the weather turns and the project gets delayed? What if the project doesn’t turn out how I intended?” This constant level of stress can become a real problem to your mental health if it’s left unchecked.
While stress is to be expected while you’re having work done on your home, it’s important to be able to deal with this stress and (try to) relax. Mindfulness is a great tool that we can learn to use to help us to remain calm and stay in the moment, even with so much going on in your life.
Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment while being fully engaged in what you’re doing. There is a tonne of proven benefits that mindfulness practice can bring to the table. One of the most popular benefits of mindfulness is its ability to help us to manage stress. It does this by helping the body to relax and repair itself while also shielding the body from the physical effects of stress itself, making it perfect for anyone experiencing a difficult home improvement period.
Another great benefit that mindfulness has for people undergoing work on their home is that it helps to manage symptoms of anxiety. Mindfulness helps us to let go of any worries that we might have about the future. If you have been worrying about all the things that could go wrong with your project and have a long list of ‘what-if’ questions, then this one is for you.
Mindfulness is effective because it gives us breathing room from our issues, stopping them from overwhelming us, and allows us to enjoy the greater world around us. It’s time to be able to calm the mind and focus on the tasks at hand, rather than letting your home improvement worries age you prematurely. Who needs more wrinkles anyway.
So with all these amazing benefits to be had from mindfulness, how do we actually start practising it? The easiest way to become more mindful is to build a meditation practice that suits you, and stick with it. For those of you who are new to this, I have included a short guide below to help you start your practice.
A Short Guide to Mindfulness Meditation
To start a mindfulness meditation practice, you don’t need much other than yourself, although a comfy cushion and a quiet space can do wonders. Simply breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth while paying careful attention to your breath. If thoughts pop into your head, acknowledge them and let them float by but try your best not to dwell on them.
For absolute beginners, it’s recommended to start this practice at 5 minutes a day and then slowly increase the length to 20 minutes over the coming weeks.
Some tips and tricks
- Sit on a comfortable cushion or towel. If you are comfortable during your practice then you are more likely you are to enjoy it.
- Find a quiet space with little background noise to disturb you. Small distractions such as voices and cars can get frustrating.
- Alternatively, if you don’t have a quiet space at hand, invest in a comfortable set of headphones. Listening to a meditation playlist helps to set the mood and relax into the experience.
- A great time to practice is either first thing in the morning before you have started your day, or at the end of the day after you have got all your important tasks done.
Once you have built yourself a mindfulness meditation practice and started to integrate it into your day to day life, you can start to use it any time and any place, making it especially useful when something unexpected goes wrong on your project and you need to stay relaxed. By taking the time to pause for a second and breathe can pull you back to the present moment and away from those creeping anxieties. Nine times out of ten, you’ll realise that you are safe and sound and were simply overwhelmed. You likely have a wonderful building project on the that is going to make your home perfect, so whatever you are going through is only temporary and will be more than worth it once you make it to the other side.
Having home improvements done to your property can be a stressful time, but by equipping ourselves with the right tools, we can better protect our mental health. This is crucial to prevent us from becoming overwhelmed while going ahead with your project and while staying relaxed and not gaining too many extra grey hairs. If you haven’t tried a mindfulness meditation practice before, why not give it a go and see what benefits it can do for you.