Updated: Apr 24, 2022
BY CLAIRE TOOTH - THURSDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2021
DIY - Cleaning my mind happy - how cleaning supports my Mental Health with simple actionable steps to help you along the way!
Have you or someone you know, ever suffered from mental health?
Many of us do, and that’s ok. It can be a difficult time, but having the right help, support, tips, and strategies can really support us along the way; making such a difference to your day, week, or month.
“One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” — Linda Poindexter
Having suffered personally with anxiety myself and knowing many that have suffered themselves, I thought I’d share why and how cleaning is good for your mental health.
Can cleaning really help?
Those who have tried it, often say yes! Cleaning provides organisation and routine which is fundamental when helping to manage anxiety and depression. In studies, cleaning has been found to release endorphins within the brain, these are chemicals that give you a ‘feel-good’ mentality helping to combat stress.
More recently in the last 18 months, we’ve seen so many use cleaning as one of their outlets to help cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. The Instagram famous mother of one, #MrsHinch (@mrshinchhome), has bravely revealed her struggles with mental health and has been a positive ambassador of how cleaning has helped her mental health in her new book ‘This Is Me: A Memoir’.
Tackling your cleaning chores.
The best way I have found to get stuck right into my cleaning is to turn on your favourite feel-good music, whilst dancing around the kitchen with a mop in hand as a microphone. Just like Mrs Doubtfire! If that's not for you and you prefer a nice calm and relaxed approach, you’ll benefit physically from the energetic nature of the cleaning.
Cleaning on a regular basis or having weekly routines can help to lower stress levels and anxiety. Having successfully cleaned or tackled a chore, you get that ‘feel-good’ sense of achievement.
1. Very Well Mind: The Relationship Between Mental Health and Cleaning
2. The Soothe: Cleaning supports mental health: The Mrs Hinch effect
Tidy house, tidy mind!
Our minds can be so easily overwhelmed by our busy daily lives, impacting our ability to focus at work and home.
Clutter lying around your home or workspace can make it much harder for us to focus on more important things. Sitting at your work desk space or getting up in the morning whilst being surrounded by clutter, are little reminders that you have lots to do. This can increase your level of stress and often impacts your mental state where you need to be focused the most.
I find it a good idea to plan a decluttering session. Take some time out to empty the bin, put away that pile of washing that’s been on the dining table for days, empty the dishwasher so you can reload all the breakfast plates off the kitchen side, and clear the letters off the living room table. These simple chores that take minutes can be broken down into smaller tasks but achieve so much for us mentally.
Cleaning and sleep
Sleep plays a massive part in impacting our mental health, as most of the time they go hand in hand. More often than not, if you're struggling with your mental health, you're struggling to sleep too. This has a knock-on effect on our mood and energy levels.
William Harry McRaven, a retired United States Navy admiral, delivered a famous speech in 2014 to a group of university students. The speech dubbed ‘Make your bed’ helps you understand the importance of getting up in the morning and making your bed. This not only starts the day with achievement but provides you with a much better sleep that evening.
Who doesn't love freshly made, clean bed linen to get into at the end of the day?
After a day of achieving my small wins and getting into a freshly made bed, I find switching on my oil diffuser with lavender, chamomile and juniper berry really helps switch off my mind and allows me to have a fuller relaxed night's sleep.
The key to tackling mental health with cleaning
All of the above may seem like big tasks or too much to comprehend right now, but the key to success is setting yourself small goals whilst breaking tasks down into 5-10 minute sessions. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a break, get some fresh air and start again when you're ready.
The cleaning community has been a forum for people to talk about how they feel and support each other. Always remember there is always someone you can talk to, not on your own. Many people find mental health hard to talk about but there are lots of ways to get help:
Call 0300 123 3393
Call 116 123 free
Hub of Hope:
Find support in your local area: https://hubofhope.co.uk
Thanks for reading my @KitchTool blog, cleaning my mind happy - how cleaning supports my Mental Health. I hope the simple actionable steps help you.
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