A Day in the Life of Stress: Daily Chores
When you are feeling stressed, even the most regular and simple chores can seem like a heavy burden, but do you need to do it all yourself?
Daily chores are a part of life. They are inescapable and must be done, that’s why they’re part of your routine. Take a moment to appreciate how many little jobs you carry out through the day. The list is probably longer than you think, especially if you live with others; here are just a few examples: Preparing breakfast, making your bed, taking the rubbish out, doing the recycling, washing, paying ills, tidying the house, going shopping, making dinner, walking the dog… the list goes on.
Managing Your Time
Making sure you get all your tasks done can be stressful – do you really have time to make sure you’re eating properly and the rubbish is cleared every day? It can be more stressful if you don’t get these tasks done. Imagine missing a big night out because your restless pooch has eaten your shoes and you’ve forgotten to collect your outfit from the dry cleaners. What a waste!
Making a Chore a Pleasure
How you manage your daily routine can make your day seem like a heaven or hell – it’s really all in how you approach things. If you procrastinate and leave things to the very last minute, you may berate yourself for not having done things earlier when you had time. This approach will add to your stress and could also affect the lives of others. For example, if you constantly show up late for your carpool, how will your passengers feel towards you and will they be reprimanded for tardiness once they get to work? The knock-on effect of being a slow starter can make life tough for others.
Just a Waste
You’re not doing yourself any favours by putting boring administrative jobs to the back of your mind, and paying late fees or interest on your bill.
The Zen of Daily Routine
- Eating is as important as breathing and sleeping. It is simply something you must do! Rushing to work without any breakfast is easily the first mistake of a long day and you should make an effort to fuel up after a restful night. You might think that you’re not a breakfast person, you don’t have the time or you just don’t like cereal, bacon and eggs, but you needn’t restrict your choice of menu. Many cultures eat rice, noodles, light broths or simply fruit and a glass of water. The same principle goes for the rest of the day. You needn’t follow the western convention of three meals, but following a balanced diet helps you keep a level head throughout the day. At home, try varying your menu and who cooks to keep things fun.
- Not so many people enjoy cleaning the house, never mind the dishes or the toilet. Cleaning is really something that needs to be tackled by every able body in the house; having everyone pick up after themselves makes keeping your home tidy much easier. Make sure you don’t get stuck with the same tasks each time – or all of them – when it comes to housework; a spotless home is something that your housemates can take for granted and can lead to feelings of resentment on your part. Try discussing delegating tasks or even getting some help in.
- Throughout the day you need to collect lots of things: parcels, dry-cleaning, groceries, children just to start. Shirking on any of these tasks could be disastrous: you could miss a time-sensitive letter or have no milk for tea in the morning. Managing a household can be a full-time job and if you have other commitments you need to find ways to minimise the time it takes to complete these chores. Again, delegate and negotiate and ruminate. Can you have milk and sundries delivered, even the laundry? Could you organise a carpool with other parents or co-workers? Maybe you could have registered mail delivered to your workplace? Think about how the things you need to get done can be streamlined efficiently into your day.
- You always need time out. You need to rest and reward yourself for the hard work you do every day. And believe it or not, sometimes your chores can play into this. For example, cooking and cleaning can be meditative actions; you can complete these activities with little mental effort and allow yourself to slip off into a daydream. The time you spend collecting your children can be the time you set aside to catch up with them and learn what they’ve done throughout the day. Walking the dog can be a workout for the both of you. When you look at them in a certain light, the mundane chores of your day can be your greatest joys. They serve as reminders of your achievements and reflect the care you offer to your loved ones.