Tricks for Dealing With Unexpected Stress (Without Falling Apart)

updated May 4, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Monica Wang)

None of us know what our homes have in store for us this year. As unfortunate and as unpleasant as it is to think about, there could be all sorts of situations in store for you and your home. From breaking up with a partner and needing to find a new place to live yesterday, to coming home to the living room ceiling impolitely crashed down onto your living room furniture to your dishwasher vomiting up sudsy water all over your kitchen, there are millions of ways homes can surprise us with the need for major repair or unexpected upheaval. How do keep yourself from falling apart alongside your home? Try these tricks.

Take a deep breath and find the funny

Your first reactions upon walking in and finding your home flooded from the washing machine might be to cry, curse or start punching the walls, but take a deep, long breath before you do anything. In fact, take four or five deep long breaths (totally okay to shut off some leak or deal with an emergency before taking these breaths if you need to though).

Then, start laughing. Like, even just make yourself laugh a little, until you start laughing for real. Because as horrible as it might seem immediately upon discovery of say, a giant hole in your roof from a neighbor’s fallen tree, there’s a sort of funniness to it all, too. All the things that had to fall (pun intended) into place for the universe to offer this crisis up to you on a silver platter. It’s almost magical, the way bad things happen to homes sometimes. Enough to make you want need to laugh.

Face it head on with a smart plan

Discover that there’s a horrible infestation of giant spiders in your attic? Burning the house and everything you own and joining the circus is NOT a smart plan, as viable as it might seem at the time. No, after you’ve taken your deep breaths, laughed a little, face the problem face on. Don’t shy away from what’s going on or cringe and pretend you’re not listening after the professional you called in to look at the mess is trying to tell you what’s really going on. Be present, really hear everything that’s happened and what needs to happen, and then make a step-by-step plan of what needs to happen next. And put everything on that step-by-step plan — not just the stuff that needs fixing. If you’ve got to evacuate your house for awhile to spray for termites, fold into your smart master plan what to do with the pets and more.

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Call a friend with the best shoulder and cry away for a bit

Support is more than warranted in these sorts of situations. Reach out to a friend you trust, tell them what’s going on, and allow them to just listen or even give their advice. Take to social media and see if anyone you know has ever gone through this particular home crisis. You might find a lot of invaluable information and you’ll definitely get some much-needed support.

Treat yourself

Depending on the type of home calamity that may have befallen you and what kind of budget for treats you have, make sure that you treat yourself in some way. Also aim to keep on track with your own personal self-care and normal daily routines as much as you can.

Look on the bright side (make one if you have to)

This might be a tough task. Even tougher than making yourself laugh about everything. But just like working on finding gratitude in your everyday life can be tough going when you’ve had a particularly unpleasant day, so too might be the task of finding the silver lining of your home catastrophe. But it’s there, if you look hard enough. A flood in the house could mean new floors! Accidentally punching a hole in your wall could mean fresh paint. Find that nugget of good and remind yourself of it often when you find yourself focusing on the hassles of cleaning up the mess.

How do you deal with home stress? How do you keep from falling apart? Any positive attitude tricks you have up your sleeve? Share in the comments below!