If you’ve undergone any type of home renovation, you know what it looks, sounds, and feels like.
Blankets of sawdust everywhere.
The banging and buzzing of hammers and heavy machinery.
Your patience thinning with each unreturned call to the contractor.
Money draining from your bank account for those unexpected expenses that pop up.
The endless list of factors to deal with and decisions to make is enough to trigger severe signs of burnout.
I get it! I’ve been dealing with home renovations and restorations for seven months now. Here’s my story and the strategies I’ve been using to avoid burnout and maintain my sanity throughout the process.
The Renovation Saga
This saga starts in June 2019 when we were installing hurricane impact windows and replacing our window treatments. We thought that was all until…
July 2019 greeted me with not one, but TWO separate leaks that rained down on our laundry room, hallway, and master bathroom, bedroom, and closet. The plumber fixed the leaks, but the cabinets and carpet were so waterlogged and moldy, they needed replacing.
But guess what happened when I told the insurance company I was falling ill from the mold?
They didn’t believe me!
Instead, I had to hire a mold inspector out of pocket to prove my case, and the insurance company finally approved our claim.
Great! We can finally get this moldy carpet out of here and install brand new hardwood floors.
Then our project manager GHOSTED me.
He was supposed to get back to me with quotes and a plan of action. But after constant requests for updates, I didn’t hear back from him for over a week.
I reached a boiling point. Enough is enough, I thought. I felt I had no choice but to assert myself with an email outlining my demands and expectations with a 24 hour deadline or they would lose my business.
I was reminded that standing up for yourself is the best course of action. I received an immediate response from our project manager, and the renovations were set to start in December 2019.
While we were excited about our new hardwood floors, more stress and inconvenience awaited us.
Our project manager informed us that it would take less than three days to finish the installation. During this time, my husband, my cat, and I stayed in a hotel.
But there were delays. The finish date was postponed three times.
Our three-night stay in a hotel turned into an entire week. But they still were not finished by the end of the week.
Even so, it was time to return home and attempt to live my life alongside the noisy renovations. (Yet our hardwood floors are now complete!)
If you’re going through a renovation similar to mine that makes you feel like the world is turning upside down, I empathize with you. When you’re feeling lost or helpless, use the self-care tips I’m about to share to strengthen and empower yourself.How to Prevent Renovation Burnout (Or For Whenever Circumstances Feel Beyond Your Control)
#1 Stay Empowered With a Morning Routine
During a renovation, you can often feel at the mercy of the chaos and construction around you.
This renovation disrupted my daily life — I was displaced from my home, negotiated with insurance adjusters and contractors, and my home was transformed into a construction zone.
At times, I admit, I felt helpless.
To stay empowered, I maintained my morning routine.
A morning routine helps to center you. It prepares you for the busy day ahead.
Here are some morning rituals I practiced, even when I was staying in a hotel:
Before I have a chance to feel bombarded with the upcoming day’s responsibilities, I go to my happy place.
Every morning, I visualize myself at my beachside house. The waves gently lap at the seashore. The tropical flora dances gently in the ocean breeze. I sway peacefully in a cozy hammock tied between two palm trees. Everything is tranquil.
Even when your home is a cluttered and dusty renovation site, you can still retreat to your inner sanctuary through visualization.
When your patience is thin, and your endurance is low, close your eyes and remember what you’re grateful for.
If I ever felt like renovation fatigue was about to kick in, I thought about how supportive my husband has been for me. I genuinely believe this difficult, but shared experience has brought us closer together.
When renovation burnout creeps up on you, take a moment to practice gratitude. It may help to remember that having a home that is undergoing improvements is a blessing and a privilege. While the process may be stressful, know that you’re creating a better home for you and your family.
Massage on essential oils
It’s often difficult to carve self-care into your daily schedule, especially during a renovation.
That’s why I recommend applying your favorite essential oils during your morning routine. Aromatherapy can trigger your body’s relaxation response — your mind and body calm down, your heart rate slows, and your cortisol levels reduce.
Also, sensory self-care is a great way to kickstart your morning. Massaging essential oils on yourself directly targets your senses of smell and touch, telling your body that it’s time to wake up and start the day.
When you face the rest of your day from this mode of calm groundedness, you’re better protected against stress and burning out.
#2 Call to Your Higher Power
The fastest path to burnout is doing everything yourself. You can feel empowered and independent, but you’re not invincible or immune to burnout.
That’s why those who desire perfection and control falter during a home renovation. You might even feel stripped of power within your own home.
Strangers are tearing down walls or hammering new floor panels into place.
Contractors don’t respond to your calls or emails.
Or you’re forced to move out of your home for a few days.
When this happens, try handing the situation over to your higher power — even for a few moments.
Liberate yourself from the stress, anxiety, and exhaustion of a long-term renovation by praying or reading your favorite texts.
Know that you need not endure this trying time alone. Your higher power is always there, watching over you, empowering you, and supporting you.
#3 Ask Yourself What Adversity Can Do For You
This renovation has tested my patience and resilience.
While my morning routine certainly helped, it sometimes wasn’t enough.
I had to dig deeper.
I needed to shift my perspective towards this renovation.
If I had asked myself what this renovation was doing to me, my response might be that it was stressing me out. It was inconveniencing me. It was interfering with my holidays.
However, my thoughts change when I ask myself a different question.
What was this renovation doing for me?
This renovation offered endless opportunities to practice patience and gratitude. It allowed my husband and me to bond over this experience. It also revealed my mental toughness and resilience when I thrived during this renovation nightmare. And I got new hardwood floors!
So, the next time adversity happens in your life, ask yourself what is it doing for you?
It’s challenging at first. But stick with it, and you’ll discover strengths and benefits you didn’t realize earlier.
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We installed our new windows in June 2019. It’s been seven months since then, and my home is still undergoing renovations and new surprises.
Our hardwood floors are finally installed, and they look great!
However, we’re still navigating through the aftermath — decluttering, organizing our belongings, and cleaning the thick layers of dust throughout our home.
Even so, I continue to practice my morning routine to empower my spirit, sharpen my focus, and protect me from burning out.
Renovations can be stressful, and self-care is often the first thing you sacrifice when you’re trying to get everything done. However, you could quickly burn out when the renovations chip away at your resolve and patience.
That’s why I want to remind you to love and care for yourself, especially during a long-term renovation. Instead of succumbing to burnout, care for yourself with my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge.
During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout and I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life (again).
If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…
- Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
- Energized, clear and focused
- Calm, easy-going and peaceful
- Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
- Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life