“Having a place to go – is a home.  Having someone to love – is a family.  Having both – is a blessing.”  ~Donna Hedges

Everyone deals with family stress. Home is a place where you dream of having peace and rest. The biggest problem with this type of stress is that it stays in your home, where you want to spend your time relaxing. However, stressful schedules, activities and illness can cause undue stress. The effects of high stress can result in sleeping problems, feelings of exhaustion, arguments and other negative effects for everyone in your family.

Even though you may be experiencing a lot of family stress right now, there are things you can do to bring about peace and harmony in your home.

Here are some tips to help you reduce your family’s stress:

1. Look at unrealistic expectations. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that your home will always be stress-free. We all know this never occurs. Even though you really love everyone in your family, sometimes life at home can be stressful. It's also important for you to avoid the expectation that your family is perfect or that your children will always behave. Everyone is human; everyone makes mistakes. Be prepared for this, and you'll get rid of much of the stress in your home.

2. Admit when you are wrong.
When you don't admit your mistakes, you cause resentment among your family members and more stress. Do the right thing; admit and apologize for your mistakes. This reduces stress and teaches your children a valuable life lesson. As Maxwell Maltz said,” You make mistakes. Mistakes don't make you.”

3. Spend more time with the family. Spending more time with the family is a great way to alleviate family stress. Eat dinner together as regularly as possible. Taking the time to eat together and share the meal can be a great way to talk, laugh, and get rid of some of the stress in your home. Many families eat dinner separately, or in shifts between activities. If you eat dinner this way too many times in a week, you can be easily disconnected from what’s happening in your family’s lives.

4. Check your expectations. Remember, you're not a super hero. Even though you may want to get everything done, it's not always going to work out. Making the effort to be there for everyone all the time is important. Be easy on yourself when the to-do list doesn’t get done. Putting huge expectations on yourself is likely to cause you to live a stressful life full of disappointment. Allow yourself to be a person rather than a super hero, and you'll find the time to relax and take pressure off of you.

5. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Treat your family with respect, serve your family, and shower them with kindness. This will start a trend in the family of treating others in the way you want to be treated. Say “thank you” and “please” as an example to all. When you start incorporating kindness into your family life, your family’s moods will lift, you’ll enjoy your time together, and the stress within your home will melt away.

The actions you take to overcome your family stress may take a little practice to become second nature, but soon you and your family will enjoy being around each other more.

For over 25 years in the health care profession, Lisa Birnesser has studied stress relief techniques and have helped hundreds of people reduce stress in their lives. Lisa specializes in stress management coaching by helping people do what matters most every day.


16 thoughts on “Family Stress: How to Make Your Home a More Peaceful Place”

  1. I love to be the super hero and have come to realize that causes a lot of stress too. I use to be picky about things but that also caused stress as life got busier and busier. So I have learned not to be the super hero and try to accomplish everything on my own and not being so picky to things around me have let the stress levels come down. Thanks for writing on this!

    1. You are welcome, Nancy. Thank you for sharing! Being a super hero causes a great deal of stress for sure.

  2. Great tips Lisa! Especially the one about eating dinner together. We always did that when I was a kid, and I've tried to make sure that even though my son is grown we still eat dinner together and have some sort of family time every evening.

    1. How wonderful! I think there is something special about dinner time and families. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great article Lisa and I love how you have stressed expectations of ourselves and others. Having the children at home for the long summer holidays can be stressful for all, but it's also a time to relax together and spend some quality time. And as you say, treating each other with kindness and respect goes a long way to maintaining family harmony!

  4. Ah yes – that tendency to want to be a super woman… I can certainly relate to that ;).  You know it's funny because no matter how many times I prove to myself that I accomplish more when I get my expectations in check – I still get back into that mode!  Thanks for these great tips.

  5. Great tips about reducing family stress. The family dinner is so important and I needed that reminder! "Remember, you're not a super hero"…yes!! Fab post, Lisa!

  6. I think checking and reducing expectations can go a long way in reducing family stress at home. Sometimes it's a good idea to just have fewer activities and fewer deadlines, as opposed to trying to do everything and get everywhere where they need to be and check off a long to-do list.

    Incidentally, I apply that rule on vacations too. I have learned that if you try to pack too much sightseeing and learning and seeing and doing into a trip, it just leaves you stressed out going from one thing to the next. Now I plan just a few activities per day and also schedule in some down time – which inevitably gets filled with something, but it's better to have those things as optional, instead of feeling like you have to get to everything. There's always next time!

    1. These are all true- great suggestions, Nisha! If we wouldn’t try to cram so much into one day we would enjoy this so much more. Thanks!

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