With it being World Mental Health Day, and with the theme for 2020 being ‘mental health for all’, I have decided to dedicate a blog post to the subject of Renovation Fatigue.
I started a blog series in July 2019 all about this subject. You can read more about my experience here, and the title of the blog series is An Honest Chat About Renovation Fatigue, because that was what I felt was needed; not just for me, but for other renovators too.
I knew “Renovation Fatigue” summed up how I was feeling and yet I didn’t see enough people talking about how their renovation was affecting them, and their mental health. There was a side of me that started to wonder whether it was just me, whether I was truly cut out for the renovation life that a part of me enjoyed and whether I would ever grow to love the house that I lived in. If I’m honest, I’d really started to hate the house, and with that I felt a sense of shame because, I owned a house and that I should feel grateful for this privilege.
I didn’t though. I really didn’t.
What started out as me asking for any tips on my Instagram stories then became a blog series with so many different experiences being shared. Through the variety of experiences, we were all in the same boat as we had all, at one point at another, felt fatigued by our renovation project.
Signs of Renovation Fatigue
Some of the signs of Renovation Fatigue include the following:
- Difficulty or lack of interest in making decisions. *I’m not referring to a personality trait, or there being too much choice, I’m referring to it all just being TOO MUCH.
- Feelings of exhaustion that don’t improve with good rest.
- General negative feelings about the house, the project and your achievements.
Obviously, these signs will vary in degree and I’m sure there would be others that medical professionals would add to the list. Unchecked, as with all signs that our mental health needs attention, they could lead to further health complications. I know that I have struggled with my physical and gut health at times because my mental health was suffering.
What external factors can have an impact?
There may be other factors affecting your mental health that, are not related to the renovation but, may increase your need for a “haven” or calm at home.
This was something I had to recognise and I was soon diagnosed with PTSD following a car accident I was involved in, not long before we bought Spolland House. Have a read of some of the experiences that have already contributed in the blog series – some have also had physical obstacles to contend with, existing health conditions that they have to manage, have experienced Post Natal Depression and have navigated the loss of a family member. This has all been while renovating.
I visited my GP and was helped to find the support I needed, so I’m sure they could do that for you too.
What can help you?
Here are some initial things you can do if you feel that you are experiencing Renovation Fatigue:
- Look at pictures of “before” and compare to see how far you have come in your renovation already.
- Write down all of the skills you have learned and the obstacles you have overcome.
- Talk about how you’re feeling with a close friend/family member, who you know will be supportive and not judgemental.
- Take a step back – book a spa day, a manicure, have a day out to your favourite place or have a break away.
5 Practical Tips
Here are some practical tips you could implement going forward to try and manage your mental health and prevent burn out:
- Plan one weekend off DIY/Renovation each month.
- Get your visions for the project clear – edit down your Pinterest boards, vision board or mood board. It gives you something to focus on and eases decision making.
- Break down each room into achievable tasks.
- Prioritise your jobs – prioritise your energy.
- Ask for help (I find this one hard to do!)
6 Social Media Tips
Let’s be honest, a lot of us are using social media now and we’re either documenting our renovation or we’re following other accounts for inspirations. Here are some social media tips that you could implement and will ultimately help you to maintain good mental health:
- View your account as your renovation diary.
- Share your learnings – DIY, Planning Permission etc.
- Post the reality!
- Don’t apologise for not having a “finished” room or a “room reveal”.
- Unfollow/mute other accounts where you need to.
- Take a social media break if you need to.
You can control your social media intake, and this is so important for maintaining your mental health during a renovation.
What can you do?
Do you know a renovator?
When was the last time you checked in on them and how they were really doing?
Could you offer practical help – a meal or a place to shower, for example?
Could you help them with their DIY?
Offering the help first saves them from feeling that they are a burden, or becoming burned out first. As I mentioned earlier, I find it really hard to ask for help and so I always appreciate it when I don’t have to!
- Check out the Renovation Fatigue Blog Series here and read some of the experiences that have already been contributed.
- I have some Live chats saved on my IGTV that contain more information too. There are more to come!
- “Transparency Tuesday” – Jess of @cluelessrenovators has a range of Lives saved in her IGTV.
- #RenoFancyFriday – Amee of @regent_lodge_georgian_home started this hashtag earlier this year and it’s a really fun way to show renovation progress and get dressed up at the same time!
- Hashtags such as #mydailyrenovation and #myrenostory celebrate all things renovation and there are great prizes to win from the brands that they collaborate with too.
I hope that some of these tips and resources are helpful. Don’t forget to keep talking to and keep checking in with fellow renovators. It keeps them motivated and may help you with your mental health too.
I know how you feel and I know you can do this. Keep going!
As always, you can follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. If this resonates with you and you feel that you would also like to share your experience with Renovation Fatigue, then please contact me via Instagram or firstname.lastname@example.org