It's A Sanctuary: Why Your Home Should Be A Place Of Peace, Not Stress

by Chris Riotta

Through some trial and error, I've come to understand the importance of my home being a temple.

Perhaps it was living in a mice-infested dump with a horrible, not to mention violent, ex-boyfriend who taught me to never accept less than what I deserve.

Or maybe it was rolling over in bed next to the man of my dreams in a beautiful top-floor apartment that smelled like vanilla and fresh linen when I finally decided I was done living in sh*tholes with dirtbags.

But, at some point along the way, I had enough of dealing with other people's drama by the time I dropped my keys and took off my coat. I guess I just started to see the importance of having a sanctuary to return to after the chaos of an overpacked daily schedule and hectic work and social life.

Sometimes, as much fun as it is to dish with friends, spend time with coworkers outside of the confines of our offices and socialize with strangers, there is nothing more peaceful than a lonely bottle of red wine and some music.

For people like me, being able to shut out the world for a while and enter a new realm is crucial to my health. I need to release the tensions and stresses that find their way into my mind and cling onto it like a leech throughout the day.

The best way I know how to do this is by shutting down my batteries and recharging for a while as I listen to my favorite playlist.

That's why we need to learn how to turn any unhealthy home situation into a positive one. It's a matter of quality of life.

Our generation needs to learn how to coexist under one roof.

In this day and age, living with other people is the standard. That being said, most Millennials will move around quite a bit during their youths and will experience a plethora of personalities and type A, B, C and Z characters while sharing a home.

If you haven't roomed with anyone yet, don't panic. Nine times out of 10, it's a perfectly fun and happy environment for anyone to experience.

But sometimes, our awesome places of residency can quickly turn into nightmares through no fault of our own. Whether it's roommates gone rogue, an infestation or even a lack of life and ambiance, our homes can go from dream palaces to our worst-case scenarios in the blink of an eye.

You see, before us, going away to college and living with friends throughout your 20s wasn't exactly the norm. People were getting jobs, houses and even married at much younger ages than us and didn't flock far from the nest, as our generation has become known for.

My parents had their fair share of horrid living situations.

In fact, my dad always tells me this one story from his early 20s with my mom, when they had to stuff their first place's walls with tinfoil so the rats would stop coming in. But he found love there with my mother and moved to a suburban oasis shortly after in a beautiful home they managed to buy after eating rice and beans for a year.

But our fairytale dreams have become more like cheaply produced romcoms nowadays, with roommates having mental breakdowns and slamming doors in the wee hours of the morning or suddenly deciding to hate you and your SO for finding love while they're still single in the city.

Throwing all of these various personalities into a four-walled space is bound to cause friction at some point.

As a 22-year-old who has now lived with many different, entertaining, hysterical and sometimes psychotic people you could cast an entire “Real World” season with, I've lived in all sorts of homes and had to find happiness in some of the darkest of situations.

Roommates have all different sorts of routines that can definitely interfere with your "me" time. Living with people you consider yourself to be friends with can be a huge game changer in your relationship, and the added pressures of living under one roof has broken apart some of my closest friends.

Discovering all of the weird tendencies other people have may make you realize you had pet peeves you didn't know existed, but you're going to have to deal with those if you're going to survive in this new America.

Being able to find serenity in your home has always been a crucial factor in quality of life, but being able to create serenity is a task this generation will be forced to face without the help of our elders, so we can coexist with each other.

How to transform a hot mess into a happy home.

It can be extremely difficult to pull a bad living situation out of the gutter and turn it into something beautiful. And it's a whole lot easier to fall into a deep depression when your home is the last place you'd like to come back to at the end of a long day.

But where we lay our heads at night should be the safest, happiest and most relaxing environment we can imagine. Your home should be the place you itch to get back to and let go of all your barriers. It should be the place where you find true comfort.

Recent events have reminded me just how important it is to have a calm, peaceful home environment. And, as our generation has come to understand, the chances of you living in a studio penthouse is slim to none.

If you're anything at all like the rest of us, you're living in a slightly cramped, multiple-bedroom apartment with one bathroom and paper-thin walls.

Sometimes, fighting, stress, tension, heartache and pain can evade our living environments and break down our safety nets.

But there is so much we can do to alleviate any problems going on behind closed doors, and what it all comes down to is open communication. By engaging in conversations with the people we live with regarding any issues that may have occurred, we can take steps together to build the type of environment each person in a living situation needs.

The importance of respect is another crucial concern for establishing a peaceful home environment.

Not only do we need to respect each other's things and space, but we need to learn to respect each other on a more personal level as well. Not every single person has been cut from the same cloth, and we all have our own demons that we battle day in and day out.

But, when we are required to share living quarters with others, we need to find healthy ways to vent our frustrations or release our stress.

Otherwise, those negative emotions bottle up within us and explode, usually spilling into all matters of your life, including your relationships with family, friends and roommates.

Instead, seek out passions and hobbies that get your anger out. That way, you can use communication to improve your home life. Find ways to alleviate your stress and anger that don't involve screaming at your roommates over small issues or tiny messes.

By separating your stress from your sanctuary, you'll see most of the dilemmas we face in our homes are easily fixed if everyone is willing to work together.