Instant Stress-Relief for Your Home
By Christi Lehner
When was the last time you noticed that your home was stressed out? I
notice this kind of stress in my home sometimes. I woke up yesterday and
realized that my house felt burdened. This isn't the first time this has
happened. I'll often come home from a long day and notice that my house
looks out of control, as if someone threw a party in my absence.
This kind of burdened, out-of-control environment is contagious. When my house
is stressed, I feel stressed, too.
My friend Cheryl says, "If we don't create our environments, they will be
created for us." This month, take the time to lovingly cultivate your home
environment. Get ready to lighten its burden, release its true spirit, and
create a haven that makes your soul sing!
Take a few minutes right now to walk around your house and look for simmering
stress pockets. Take a small notebook with you to write down your
observations. Don't put this exercise off until tomorrow - it will only
take a few minutes.
First, use your eyes as your guide. Notice which areas are offensive to
your eyes. Visual stress zones will make your eyes glance away quickly.
Note: just because an area is cluttered does not mean that it's a stress zone.
You may really like the clutter in certain parts of your home.
In contrast, notice the areas that attract you and call to your soul. What
is about these areas that is so sweet and gorgeous?
Second, rely on your ears. Listen for the sounds that cause stress to
percolate in your home.
In contrast, notice the sounds that soothe you.
Third, call on your sense of touch. Be very conscious of the fabrics,
surfaces, and materials that do not fully embrace your body.
In contrast, notice the touch experiences that you look forward to and love.
Fourth, ask your nose to lead the way. Go around and do a sniff-test on
your home. See what scents attract you and which ones repel you.
When I did this exercise today in my home, I noticed several stressors:
Using my eyes: My biggest visual stress zone was actually my bedroom.
Not because it's cluttered, but because it's too masculine. There aren't
enough soft edges, delicate details, and "cozy spots" to suit my feminine soul.
The sights I loved were: the light streaming through my windows, the plants in
my kitchen and dining room, and the color on the walls of my office.
Using my ears: Since my apartment is usually very quiet, I was in for
quite a surprise today! Since it was the first nice day in weeks, I opened the
windows up. The open windows brought in all kinds of stressful sounds: a
power trimmer, a vacuum downstairs, kids cursing outside, and cars passing.
I also noticed that the buzzing of my laptop was rather bothersome (how had I
never noticed that before?), as was the sound of the TV at night.
The noises that I loved were: the birds chirping, the church bells ringing, and
the sound of the breeze coming in through the windows.
Using my touch: I realized I really don't enjoy my hard dining room chairs that
are too painful to sit in for more than 5 minutes. The dishes piled in the sink
created a tactile discomfort for me because there was no room for me to fill up
my water bottle.
The touches that soothed me were my soft couch, velvet bed comforter, and clean
Using my smell: This was interesting. When it came to smells, I didn't
notice anything! No good smells... but no unpleasant smells either.
There's obviously room for me to play and experiment.
What did you find in your home?
Now that you've identified the sources of stress for you and your home, use the
beauty of this week to make some changes that will truly support your health and
relieve your stress.
Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
For your eyes
* Take curtains off your windows to allow the summer sunlight
* Add a new plant to an austere corner of your house for an
* Hang a new piece of artwork on the wall
* Get rid of a pile of clutter
For your ears
* Create a media-free zone for an evening by turning off the
TV, radio, and phone. Enjoy the blissful silence.
* Put a small stereo in a room that is plagued by neighborhood
* Make sure your CD collection includes music for all of your
moods. Be picky about the music you listen to - only the
very best will do!
* If noise disrupts your sleep at night, get a noisemaker for
your bedroom. You can buy a fancy one that plays nature
noises, or you can use a $10 fan from Target.
For your touch
* Put soft, smooth all-cotton sheets on your bed
* Remove your heavy winter duvet cover and replace it with
a soft, light summer blanket
* Buy a soft, lush kitchen towel
* Invest in all-natural cleaners (like Seventh Generation)
so that you can clean your countertops and dishes with
For your nose
* Put peppermint or lavender essential oil in a bowl of water and leave
these fragrance-filled treasures around the house
* Dab a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillowcase to
relax you at night
* Place scented sachets into your dresser drawers and closet
* Light candles that will release sensational scents into your
This month, select just one change that will make your home less stressful, and
have fun making it happen!
Christi Lehner, H.H.C., AADP Certified Holistic Health Counselor
; 617.492.6450 Based in Boston, but inspiring people everywhere to fall in love
with healthy eating, juicy living, and guilt-free self-care! Author of the
forthcoming book "You Don't Have to Be Superwoman To Be Healthy: 50 Ways to
Reclaim Your Health" Do you sabotage your health? Take this quiz to find