Perhaps you live in a crowded household and find yourself frazzled a large amount of time, desperately in need of some ways to handle stressful family situations. Or, perhaps you just don’t get along with your family, or are going through a rough patch at the moment. Living under a household full of tension is hard. I grew up very close to my family, but we’ve usually always lived in a small house and have definitely had our share of tense moments. Many of them resulted out of crisis situations within our family, while other tense times resulted from mistakes one, or many, of us had made. Living with family isn’t easy, regardless that you love them more than anything. If you’re looking for some ways to handle stressful family situations, pull up a chair and have a seat, because I’ve got ‘em!
1. Find Some Space
One of my personal favorite ways to handle stressful family situations when it comes to living under the same roof is to find some way to get your own space. Being around your family during tense times can make things harder if you’re not in the right emotional frame of mind to talk things out rationally. Better to get your own space, and have time to think. This way, you can deal with the stress and have time to sort things out.
2. Give Others Space
Just like you need your own space, give others their own. Since I live in a small household, sometimes I would go outside and go for a walk if that was all I could do to get some space, or perhaps go for a drive. People think more clearly after they’ve had time to process thoughts and emotions in their own space. Just like you need yours, give others their own too. This will help them be able to think more clearly and sort out their emotions as well.
3. Don’t Ignore the Problem
The very last thing you should do when trying to learn how to deal with stressful family situations is ignore the problem. Sure, that’s the easy answer, but it’s also the worst one. Never just keep “sweeping things under the rug,” so to speak. Doing so not only makes things harder to talk about in the future, but it also creates more internal anger and resentment, which will come out in other ways. It’s also bad for your health by stuffing emotions and most likely will result in negative and self destructive behavior.
4. Hash It out
Now, here’s the ugly part, and my least favorite. Sit down, stand up or whatever, but hash it out with your family. Try not to yell and say things you will regret later, but seriously- everything needs to be put on the table. If someone refuses to talk about things with you, then by all means, give them a little space first. After that, however, ask them if you could please talk things out to see if you can come to some sort of understanding, if not an agreement.
5. Accept Each Other's Faults
No one is perfect, including us, so we can’t expect others to be either. Living in a household with other people is stressful, even if there is no argument going on. People have quirks, and things about them that get on other people’s last nerve. Yet, part of living together is learning how to deal with these things and not go insane. Perhaps get everyone to try to see if they can be more helpful around the house, or not cause another person to have to pick up the slack after them. Or, if they’re rude when you have company over, or you never get any alone time, just sit down and talk to them about it. They might not know they’re doing anything to bother you, and perhaps a resolve can be found. Other than that, just accept they aren’t perfect and try to move on with your day, even though it is hard.
6. Work out
What in the world does working out have to do with living with other people? Well, technically nothing, but it will help you from going insane. Get some time everyday or at least 5 days a week to exercise. It is the absolute best way to manage stress outside of a good night's rest and healthy diet. Exercise helps your body process more endorphins, which naturally fight stress, inflammation and promote feel good hormones, like serotonin, in the body. Don’t skip exercise if you’re stressed. You’re actually hurting your stress worse by doing so.
7. Accept Your Own Faults
Lastly, it’s important to accept your faults if you’ve made a mistake. Trust me, I know how hard this is, because I’ve made plenty! Accepting that your own mistakes are the reason for household tension is hard, but the best thing you can do is accept it, apologize and make actions to change. If you honestly did nothing wrong, then try to talk to another person if they made a mistake and see what can be done to make a resolve happen between the two of you. Acceptance of your own faults and forgiveness for another person’s are the best things you can do for your family’s relationship and your own life.
Living in a tense household is hard, but there are some effective things you can do to make things easier, such as these above. I’d love to hear any ideas you have as well. If you have ever dealt with tension in your own family household, what tips do you have?