Self-Care Essentials During a Renovation Project

After taking on soooo many projects in #mytinybungalow, I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two about how to take care of myself during a renovation. If I don’t, my skin will break out, I’ll be exhausted and cranky and my body will ache for days. Sounds like the worst, right? It is. And I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve heard from so many of you that you’re also living in a construction site. Which is why I want to share a few tips for some simple acts of self-care that can seriously make a reno project less painful. Keep in mind that I am still figuring things out as far as self-care goes because it definitely is more of an evolution, but these key steps have really helped me lately!

Self-Care Tips During a Renovation


Sometimes when I get really into a project, I’ll find myself falling down a rabbit hole. For example, I’ll be painting and I’ll keep telling myself, “one more wall, then I’ll stop.” I also have a habit of waiting to eat until I’m finished with a project, which really just makes things worse. And then I just keep going and going, but the only problem is, I’m not the energizer bunny. Remember how I mentioned I’ll get exhausted and cranky if I don’t take care of myself? Not taking proper amounts of time to rest is exactly how to make that happen. Don’t get lost in your project. Go to sleep and come back to it tomorrow. It’ll still be there waiting for you, I promise. These days, I go to bed around 8:30 because my body has told me loud and clear that an early bedtime is what it needs!


OK, don’t make fun of me for this, but stretching before doing any kind of labor is a must. Even if you are someone who works out regularly, chances are you’re going to use muscles you haven’t tapped into in a long time while painting or demoing, so stretch it out. This will help prevent body aches and ice/heat pad sessions that can set you back. Not to mention stretching just feels good, so definitely do it!

Keeping a routine

This might be one of the most important tips I have when it comes to self-care and renovation projects. For renos, it’s kind of like having the same mentality you do on vacation. Not because it’s fun, but because it’s very easy to fall out of your routine. From skincare to eating healthy and preparing meals to working out — it all seems to easily go down the toilet the second I pick up a hammer.

To counteract this, I’ve had to be suuuuper intentional during renovation projects. A few examples:

  • Eat consistently. For me, this means setting timers on my phone to remind myself to eat consistent meals and even hydrate.
  • Go to bed at a decent time and nap if you feel like you need it.
  • Keep a lot of lists. I become even more scatterbrained during renovation projects, so I have to write down everything.

Basically, I try to keep my life as “normal” as possible, even though it’s literally upside down and inside out!

Spending time with your partner outside of the project

Even the strongest of relationships can be tested when it comes to renovations. And part of taking care of yourself is taking care of your relationship, right? From disagreeing on budgets to finishes, there can definitely be more arguments than there are fun, happy moments. Which is why I think it’s crucial to take some time away. We’re on a budget these days, so going out to dinner isn’t always an option. Sometimes our time together is as simple as taking the dogs to the beach for a walk… with one rule: no talking about the renovation!

Declare a sanctuary

During this kitchen remodel, I have declare that our bedroom is a sanctuary. This means no discussion of the kitchen happens in there, nor does anything get store in there. The kitchen has taken over the rest of the house, but in that one room, everything is normal and lovely. I’ve even been more aware of making our bed feel luxurious and only using our best linen bedding. I am also planning to get an air purifier and use essential oils in there to keep it calm and lovely.

At the end of the day, you want to create something beautiful and love the result of your reno, but don’t let the process wear you down.

Any more tips on this kind of self-care?!

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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