Spring cleaning makes us feel happy and is good for our health
As we are all spending a lot more time at home, now is the ideal time to start a spring clean. And not only will cleaning and de-cluttering make our homes look nice, it can help with our mental health too.
Why does mess and clutter make us feel stressed?
Psychologist Natasha Tiwari explains: “The visual distraction of mess and clutter, combined with the inner eye’s vision of a dirty environment, leads to a cognitive overload on the brain which will add up to anxiety and stress.”
How does cleaning and tidying make us feel happy?
“When we can see how we’ve cleaned the space in which we live, this leads to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream, leading to an increased sense of calm and wellbeing,” says Tiwari.
How can spring cleaning help with our health?
If we are happier in our environment, then we feel better within ourselves. If we feel better then we sleep better which in turn helps our immune system to function at its best and a good immune system is what our bodies need to help fight viruses.
Enhanced energy flow
Dolores Andrew-Gavin, energy therapist, says we should see cleaning our homes as synonymous with cleaning our mindset.
“We can look at cleaning and de-cluttering as an act of cleaning both our environment and our mental and emotional body,” says Dolores.
“Chances are, if we work from a cluttered room and can’t find anything, we will feel overwhelmed and stuck because our energy can’t flow.
“When we actively clean and de-clutter it gives us more energy because it lifts stress from our body. If we add music and movement to our cleaning routine it makes it fun, it’s good for our physical health and we will release happy hormones. It’s an excellent stress buster.”
Help yourself to sleep better
Ideally bed sheets should be changed every seven days, especially if you are spending more time in the bedroom and making the bed each day will also promote a sense of wellbeing.
Our bedroom needs to be a place we can retreat to and find our inner calm. So, get under the bed with that vacuum and dust down the dressing table and shelves.
Cleaning, like cooking, is a ritual
Just like cooking, cleaning is a ritual that gives us purpose and a distraction says spiritual teacher Sarupa Shah. That also means we can sometimes have a ‘eureka’ moment while doing it.
“The act of physical cleaning gives you respite from your emotions,” she says. “It doesn’t resolve how you feel, but gives you a breather, so I recommend it to my clients a lot.”
Sparking some joy
Anyone who’s heard of tidying guru Marie Kondo will know her catchphrase “spark joy”. Her ethos is that if something doesn’t spark joy, it must go.
This might be hard at the moment while you can’t take the things you don’t want to the dump or charity shop, but it’s a good benchmark for some tidying up. You might even find some joy in old ‘treasure’.
Take your time
If you feel that a total spring clean is too much to achieve all at once, then try doing a room or even a part of a room each day. Take things at your pace, you’ve got plenty of time.
Click here for some clever cleaning tricks.
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