I have recently begun the process of buying a house for the first time. This is likely one of the biggest purchases most of us will make in our lifetimes, and if it is your first time, it is probably the biggest one you have made by a factor of 10. That is certainly true for me. The process is probably 10 times as stressful as anything I have been through up to this point as well.

Luckily for you, I have developed five surefire techniques to help manage the stress of such a monumental task. Feel free to adapt them to your own needs as it suits you:

1 | Stress eat

You know, people say this is bad for you, but seriously, what better time to engage in comfort food than when you are considering sinking yourself up to your eyeballs in debt. The home buying process is, luckily, a finite one. Partake in just a wee bit of self-indulgence for a limited amount of time to keep from freaking out.

Bad advice you say? Well, admit it, you’re going to do it anyway, so just do away with the guilt and be free. Once you are settled into your new pad, you can set up your treadmill and burn off the excess weight.

My personal favorite stress management treat is an ice cream cookie sandwich from Chester’s of Vermont. Good stuff, and it hits all of the pleasure triggers.

2 | Complain

This is how your friends know you need them. They’ll listen to you for awhile until they get tired of it, and if they are good friends they’ll tell you when to shut up.

 

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3 | Procrastinate early

You never thought organizing the kids Legos by color was so important until you had to pack the entire house. I don’t know about you but I can fall down the rabbit hole of micro-organizing things to avoid the really monumental tasks that pile up with such a big move. Again, this is one of those things that you will do, whether you want to or not, so get a good jump on it to get the procrastination out of the way.

4 | Throw stuff away

This is really satisfying. The truth is, if you have something that has been sitting in your closet for more than three years, you don’t need it. Donate clothes to charity, have a yard sale to raise money so you can buy a keg for all the friends you are going to ask for help when you do finally move. It is so refreshing to realize that most of us acquire layers and layers of stuff that takes up time and space to organize and maintain. Strip down to the bare essentials and shake off the dust. Then, move what you have left into your new home where you’ll start the process all over again.

5 | Do yoga

I don’t know what personal practice you use to stay sane, but without yoga, I would seriously have blown a gasket already. I am one of those people who commits to too many things as it is, and to add the stress of all the details and the financial burden of buying a house, I wouldn’t be able to deal if I didn’t practice some kind of calming meditation like yoga. More importantly my family can tolerate me better when I am sane. And really, what good would the house be if my wife left me alone with my crazy self.

Good luck with your homebuying experience. Remember that it is all temporary and you will get through it.