Cleaning Can Help!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I wanted to take the time to talk about two things about which I am passionate: cleaning and mental health. Did you know that cleaning can help improve your mental health? Cleaning isn’t just something I do; it’s something I am passionate about and thankful for. Cleaning has helped me on my personal journey of growth, so I wanted to share four reasons why I believe it is good for your mental health as well. As an important note, please read the following disclosure: I am not a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, call 800-950-6264. You are not alone, it is okay to ask for help.
4 Reasons Why Cleaning is Good for Your Mental Health
It’s a Great Distraction
Whenever I’m having intense feelings of anxiety, I learned that I need to distract myself from my thoughts. Otherwise, my thoughts will take control of my body, and my anxiety will only grow and grow. The repetitive motion of tidying up really helps calm my nerves. My thoughts are easily distracted, because I’m constantly reorganizing and decluttering. I constantly have to figure out where something goes, if I should throw something away, or donate it.
What?! Yup, you read that right. My body is usually so sore after a full day’s worth of cleaning. The floors need to be swept. The carpet needs to be vacuumed. All the countertops, sinks, and showers need to be scrubbed down. It never seems to end. All this moving around means that you’re actually burning calories when you’re cleaning up. Burning calories releases endorphins, and endorphins are your feel-good hormone that relieves stress. Stress and anxiety go hand in hand.
You Spend Less Money
How many times have you run to the store to buy something only to find out you already had it? Yeah, me too. If you’re more organized and have less clutter around you, you’ll be able to find the things you’re looking for. This also means you won’t have to buy something you already have. Which means you won’t have to spend any more money for no reason.
Provides Peace of Mind
I notice a big difference when my surroundings are organized versus when they are a mess. When things are orderly, it’s much easier to have peace of mind. I always know I’ll find my keys in my purse. All my shoes are in the closet. The pens are right on my desk when I need them. If I’m running late, I know I won’t have to spend 12 years trying to find something. Plus, clutter creates so much unnecessary stimuli. I truly feel more calm when there isn’t unnecessary clutter.
Cleaning can work wonders for your mental health. You can do this! Start with the small stuff. Get into good daily habits before you add more to your plate. Take it one day at a time, and don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day--we all do. Last, don’t be afraid to call; it’s okay to ask for help. I am sending you all of my love!
My sources include personal experience and the following organizations:
Anxiety and Depression Association of America