Out with the old, and in with the new. We all know that spring cleaning is a great way for us to declutter and freshen up our homes as the seasons change, but did you know that it can be good for your mental health? Many people find that cleaning can help their mental wellness, but why is this the case?
According to Psychology Today, “Clutter can increase stress by distracting us and overwhelming our senses with extraneous stimuli – toppling piles and unsightly messes as well as associated smells and noises. Piles of papers can indicate that work is endless and that even when we finish what we are working on there is more to be done”. Since stress generally has a negative impact on mental and physical health, it makes sense that cleaning up the spaces we spend time in makes us experience less stress, therefore improving mental health.
While cleaning your room is unlikely to completely eliminate stress and create complete balance in your life, it’s not a bad place to start. There is evidence to suggest that individuals who make the effort to maintain clean living and work spaces are more likely to feel like they can take charge of their lives, leaving them feeling empowered and optimistic, both great things for mental wellness!
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be limited to our physical surroundings. Taking time to self-reflect and examine our mental health is an important part of a more holistic version of spring cleaning. Here are a few ways that you can practice self-care as part of your spring cleaning routine:
- Take the opportunity to evaluate your resolutions for the year. By the time Spring rolls around, New Year’s resolutions can be a distant memory. Use the positive energy Spring brings to recommit to the resolutions that mean the most to you, and you’ll find yourself approaching your goals with more intentionality and purpose than before.
- Clean up your act. Take note of unhealthy habits you may have developed in prior months and take steps to improve on them. Are you too hard on yourself emotionally? Do you tend to ignore signs that could indicate that your mental health needs some TLC? Acknowledge these habits and find ways to be kinder, or more realistic with yourself about your mental wellness.
- Commit to your own mental health. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to approach your mental wellness on your own. But, like most things, there are ways to make it seem more manageable. Whether you make a list of activities that you find uplifting, track incidents that may be triggering, or seek out a therapist, getting organized in your own mind is hugely beneficial to your mental wellness.
No matter how you choose to spring clean this season, remember to try to spend time outdoors! Sunshine, being surrounded by nature and being active are all great ways to support mental and physical wellbeing.