If you have Netflix, you might’ve been enjoying some shows like The Home Edit and Marie Kondo, the Joy of Tidying Up. These shows are relaxing to watch and give us many ideas about what we can do to our own space. There has also been an increase in influencers on Instagram who share their cleaning tips, helping with their mental health and anxiety.
Some jobs can add to the stress of cleaning, though, like deep carpet cleaning; in this case, it is a good idea to get an organic carpet cleaning from a professional – it makes the rest of the cleaning so much easier.
Are there links between mental health and cleaning?
Yes. There have been several studies completed that look into different aspects of cleaning and mental health. In 2010, 2011, and 2014 research showed that people who regularly cleaned and tidied their homes felt more restful and relaxing. Those who had messier environments had higher levels of cortisol. And, as we know, cortisol is the stress hormone.
Does it matter how you clean?
For example, you could clean very quickly, and this will increase your heart rate. You are getting that little bit of exercise. And exercise gives us endorphins, which is one reason that a little bit of cleaning can make us very happy.
When done slowly and mindfully, cleaning can be very relaxing and general give you a base for your overall mental well-being.
Cleaning is a repetitive task; repetitive tasks are great for easing anxiety. Most of the time, we can switch off as we clean down the sides or do things like the dishes.
Decluttering and focus
Although our brains are fantastic, there’s only so much they can do without becoming overwhelmed. Once they become overwhelmed, it can be more challenging to focus on the tasks that you do need to do. For example, if your office or study space is messy or dirty, you will think that you should clean; this is on a subconscious level.
It gets worse if there are things all over the desk or table that you should put away. And each time that your focus is pulled from your work, it takes approximately 20 minutes for you to be able to re-focus. If this happens multiple times in a day, it is an incredible loss of working time.
One of the best ways to get your cleaning done positively is to listen to some music while you are doing it. You are most likely to focus on your favorite music, and switch off and take care of the tasks at hand. Here is an excellent list of cleaning playlists for you.
Another thing that works for many people is setting a timer on your phone or using an egg timer and cleaning in 5 to 20-minute bursts. You might be surprised at just how much you can get done.