Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Stress in the home can be tough. In fact, I venture to say that it's probably one of the most debilitating because it occupies our most sacred space. The home is where we should feel safe and secure, not stressed out. When faced with stress in the home I like to apply my overall go to. It works for most stress reactions no matter the source:
Detach - Take a step back when you're starting to feel that overwhelm. It may be a deep breath or a couple of deep breaths. It allows you to use your mind and step away from the situation that is causing you stress.
Prioritize - What is your next step after you've detached and had the chance to examine the situation?
Execute - Do the very first step.
I know that sounds simple. It really does work. So again, with every kind of stress you want to first take a step back from it, detach from it, don't let it get to you emotionally and then look at what is going on. Then prioritize and then execute.
When you execute, you are in action. If you stay in action, the stress will diminish because the brain cannot focus on more than the action you are taking at that very moment.
I grew up in a household full of stress. My dad would bring home everything that went wrong at work and it was always about somebody doing something to him and he would bring that home and unload on us. Sound familiar? I am guilty of it as well, and I've learned to manage it.
So what's the best way? Well, first decide. Make the choice that whatever is going on externally for you in your work life, that you're not going to bring it home. What I found through doing a lot of research and meeting a ton of people who manage their stress really well, is that they're able to come home from their jobs each day, or if they work from home, they have a time limit, and when that that time limit is reached, or they drive into the driveway, that's it. The work shuts off. Everything stays in that car. They're not bringing the office into their home.
Now I know you're probably asking, well Sam, you know, there's stuff that happens outside of work that I need to get to like emails and stuff like that? I totally understand. Because I lived that life as a law enforcement officer, where you are on 24/7/365. What I decided was that when I walked into the house, first thing was to reconnect with my family, not talking about work, just reconnecting with them, asking how their day was. It allowed me to detach from anything that was causing stress. In most situations, it's the stress we bring from outside the home that bleeds over onto our family if we allow it to. So if you talk about it, if you do like my dad did and just yell about everything, it'll bleed into everything. And then you're left with nobody wanting to talk to anybody. And lots of slamming doors.
Now, there's nothing wrong with talking to your spouse or your significant other in a private, calm, quiet conversation. That is completely different than coming home and being like, oh this person did this and that person did that. Again, taking the time to step away from what is stressing you out - detach. Having a conversation allows you to see your next steps, which you may not be able to see when you're talking about and railing about a the stressful situation. Prioritize. Ask what's really going here and what can I do about it at this very moment? Then execute. Go do and watch your stress fade away.