Dealing with the At-Home Doldrums

published Mar 28, 2014
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(Image credit: Jason Yang)

What with the winter and a busy period at work, I’ve been feeling like I’m in an at-home slump. I have plenty of projects that should be getting done around the house, but instead, I’m consistently scheming of ways to get out of the house, I’m pining for the outdoors, and I seem to have a mental block on wanting to do home improvement projects right now.

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As a bit of context, we just moved into a new house a few months ago, so home fixes, design issues, and DIYs have been foremost in my brain. With all the work, it’s probably natural that I’ve hit something of a wall. I adore our house, but right now, I’m wanting a little bit of space. From what I hear from other friends who tend to love home improvement or decorating, I’m not alone, and this winter has also been taking it out of them. So for all of you who are feeling disenchanted with all this time at home, here are some potential solutions I’ve come up with.

For one, stop doing things to your home and start doing things in it. Even if you love DIY projects, a constant focus on the list of things you want or need to do will eventually exhaust you. Instead, get back to the whole point and remember that loving your home is about loving the things that it lets you do. Host a dinner party, have friends over for cocoa and a chat, wear your pajamas and read a good book. Have a board game night or play cards. And most importantly, whatever it is that you choose, as you prepare, try not to focus on getting your home ready; instead, focus all your energies on the fun you’re going to have.

Secondly, try to make the drudgery fun. Turn on some dance music, get the kids involved, or turn chores into games and races. “Spring cleaning” is a good way to spend time with your house, and it’s probably much needed, but to stave off the boredom or dread, treat it like a good way to get your blood flowing. It’s a completely unglamorous pursuit, but chatting or dancing or competing with a partner while you clean is much more fun than doing it alone.

Thirdly, remember what it was that made you fall in love with your space in the first place. It’s easy to focus on the “to-dos,” but you less frequently focus on the great crown molding or the interesting architectural features or the beautiful hardwood floors that made you want the place to begin with. As cheesy as it sounds, take time to look at your house with fresh eyes and to see it as you once did, before daily life took over. Sometimes taking pictures can be a fun way to explore your house and see it from a new perspective. But remember, this isn’t a flaw-finding mission. It’s a search for charm!

Finally, give yourself some leeway. It’s normal when spring rolls around to want to spread your wings a little bit. Grab lunch elsewhere, go get a coffee, and go out to dinner as much as you’d like. You should never let your home slip into disrepair, but remember that building a home is a long-term process, and you shouldn’t feel pressured by a never-ending list of things to do. That will suck the fun right out of it!

How do you deal with the at-home doldrums when they arise?