Upgrading Your Home: the Mental Health Impacts (and Its Solutions)

Estimated reading time: 8 mins

If you’re feeling stressed about even the bare basics of life, you are not alone. So many of us are experiencing the aftereffects of the pandemic, and because of the sheer upheaval it made in our lives, and then the seemingly ongoing nature of the world deteriorating in some form or another, is going to have an impact on our mental health. But what we also need to remember is that there are daily tasks that can also have an impact on our mental health because of the cumulative effects. 

Upgrading Your Home: the Mental Health Impacts (and Its Solutions)

It could be easy to be somewhat dismissive of the little things in life; however, there are certain things that, despite being a part of everyday existence, can have a significant impact on our mental health. Making changes to our home is one such example, and while many people talk about how moving home is one of the most stressful things we can do, home renovations can be right up there as well. Therefore, we have to look after our wellbeing. 

It’s essential for us to manage the psychological impact of renovation, so let’s talk about these impacts, but also how to manage our stress and anxiety.

The Impacts of Renovating a Home on Our Mental Health

Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue is all too common these days because of the many elements that come together during a renovation. Lots of people look forward to the shopping aspect, and in many ways, it can seem like the ultimate version of retail therapy because you are spending money on nice things that are going into your home. However, you can find yourself scrolling through many websites for an object that you have very little interest in. 

Decision fatigue comes from trying to balance cost, aesthetics, and technical requirements. You may need to read more about corrugated plastic when renovating a pergola or making upgrades to a conservatory, but there can be a lot of frustration because it may seem like an endless search that, contrary to popular belief, is not done in a matter of seconds with a simple Google.

Loss of Control

Renovations involve spinning countless plates, from budgeting to planning, designing, shopping, and dealing with the work people, and there can be so many things you need to keep in your head that you become forgetful. When there’s too much going on, it’s only natural that things start to slip from your mind. It’s because there’s no sense of being rooted in the present. 

There is a lot that needs to be done, and it requires being extremely organised, but even then, there are things beyond our control that rear their ugly heads. Problems with getting a certain material, the task taking longer than necessary, and of course, the financial stresses.

The Feeling of Everything Being Up in the Air

When everything is on the go during a renovation, trying to split your head into so many different directions is exhausting. 

Living in what looks like a war zone is one thing, but when you are rinsing dishes and the tap in your bath for what feels like the 56th week, you can feel completely disoriented. Add into the mix trying to work and family duties, and it can seem more than a little chaotic.

Unexpected Costs

We can budget for years to make changes to what will ultimately be our dream home, and seeing all of that money slip away in a matter of days can feel so underwhelming. It’s when a tradesperson runs into problems that this stress becomes even more apparent. 

If they’re trying to explain something that may as well be in a foreign language, you’re not alone. The problems they have become your problems, and when these issues need to be paid for, this is naturally going to feel incredibly overwhelming.

Feeling Like It Won’t End

Renovation is a major test of your ability to be patient. The sounds of the drills going all day, the music blasting from the contractor’s car, and feeling like you need to apologise to the neighbours (yet again) can eat away at you. 

The longer it all takes, the more it takes a toll on your sanity, not to mention your wallet…

How to Reduce the Impact on Our Stress and Anxiety

Get Organised

It might seem like common sense, however, minimising the stress of any renovation is about being as completely organised as possible. Renovation stress and decision fatigue are about preparing for the problems beforehand. When shopping for things that you have no passion for, you can make things easier for yourself by finding suppliers that come recommended and reducing choice. 

One of the biggest problems is that we can search constantly for something but not trust our instincts in the process. It’s like watching Netflix; you can spend an entire evening just figuring out what to watch. This is why if you feel like there’s always going to be something better, you would benefit from a longer preparation process to ensure that you can get inspired. 

You may want to create a Pinterest board for the things you like the look of, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right at home in your property. However, being organised in every single way will take that feeling of not being in control out of the equation as much as possible.

Acknowledge It Is Hard

There is always that desire to push through and think that this won’t be forever, but when renovations enter into the third month with no end in sight, trying to be perennially positive is not always feasible. Sometimes we just need to recognise that home renovations can be challenging. Seeking “renovation respite” can prevent us from feeling overwhelmed

Because if there’s something staring us in the face that we need to fix, the reality of the situation is that we can press pause at any point as that issue will still be there. When it’s aesthetic issues, there is no need to rush it because if you think that you need to get everything done as quickly as possible, placing this pressure on yourself is not going to benefit your mental health or well-being in the slightest. 

It is difficult, and therefore we need to acknowledge this, which also means giving ourselves a pass if we need a rest from it.

Healthy Habits and Self-Care

Sticking to our usual routine as much as possible may seem like a pointless endeavour, but we should remember that when everything is done, if it’s taken its toll on our mental health, was it truly worth it? Lots of people believe in short-term suffering for long-term gain in life, and there are benefits to putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations to benefit in the long run; however, home renovations are long-term suffering for the most part. 

This is why we need to go in with a clear understanding of how to prioritise our self-care. Our well-being can take a major hit during this stressful time. Home improvements can be exciting, but they can also take us to the brink of worry because they can be pretty exhausting. Working on something before you start your working day and then carrying on as soon as you finish is instantly a 12-hour day at least, and when there’s that dogged determination to see something through, we can push ourselves beyond our limits. 

Self-care and doing healthy things for yourself are all things you may overlook when you are stressing out. You always need to take it back to those things that make you feel rested, even if this means not living in the home.


Home renovations can suffer for a number of reasons, but the most common reason why problems occur is very simply a lack of communication. There are two sides to this: communication with the contractors, but also communication with everybody else. 

It can be easy to start talking about the renovations whenever you’re not there, especially when people are constantly asking you, but this is where “renovation respite” can be fantastic for your well-being because you don’t need to keep everybody up to speed about the house. When people ask you about your renovations, it usually means they’ll chip in with stories of their own renovation woes and will sometimes say that they are still renovating their home, even years later…

While this could very well be a reality in terms of the aesthetics, it’s important to recognise if these types of conversations trigger your stress and make you feel overwhelmed. Communication is so important for our mental health, which is why we also need to communicate how we’re feeling and if we are experiencing overwhelming sensations because of everything that’s going on. A problem shared is a problem halved. Communication will ensure you can manage your expectations, reduce stress levels, and also get how you’re feeling out of your system.

Home renovations can be stressful, but we can underestimate just how impactful they can be on mental health. Therefore, understanding the root causes but also the solutions means that if you are heading into a renovation project, you can be prepared for the very worst that could happen.

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