Taking your kitchen out of commission can cause major stress. Image: ungvar/Shutterstock
Compartmentalize the process
When your renovation is eating up so much of your time and budget, it’s easy to start letting it color all of your interactions. Who can think about date night when your kitchen is in shambles? But compartmentalizing the renovation helps you leave the stress of cost, materials and contractors behind when you spend time with your family. I like to look at it as a work day: I can put in ‘x’ amount of hours but when I’m done for the day, I focus on other things. That way, when I’m spending my time with family, I’m not focusing on fixtures or paint samples. That means no browsing for home stuff online or talking about the reno after certain hours — and keeping my sanity.
Use up vacation time
If you or your spouse are lucky enough to have vacation time, now would be a great time to use it. Sure, you might need a beach and a drink after your reno, but chances are that your time will be better served at your house. Whether it’s supervising a cabinet install or getting your paintbrush wet, working on a renovation is less stressful if you can do it during daylight hours. Working a full day and trying to schedule around your hours or heading home to work on the house after a full day at the office eats up your energy and gives you zero downtime. You don’t need to use up all of your vacation time, but budgeting for a few hours or days can seriously reduce your renovation stress.
Get your family to do a low-stress project with you. Image: Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock
Let’s face it: sometimes, it’s easier to just work solo and get the job done. But renovations can be an awesome time to reconnect with your family if you’re willing to slow down a bit. Choose a project that is easy and fairly inconsequential — creating art for the wall or painting a small space, for example — and tackle it as a family. Not only will you create memories and connection to your home, but it serves as a great reminder as to why you’re working on improving your space. If it’s not for your family, who is it for? Slowing down and laughing a little can help relieve some of the built-up tension and see you through to the finish line.
Get away from the house
When you just want something done, it’s easy to let it consume your life. Spending every waking, free moment on your renovation is a recipe for stress central, though. Reduce your anxiety by planning some time away from your house. After all, being there is just a reminder of everything you need to get done. A staycation for a night or two at a local hotel or just getting out of the house on a Saturday afternoon recharges your batteries and gives you the energy you need to keep working. Hey, there’s no award for most consecutive hours working on your home. Take a break and get away from the project for a bit.