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Spring Cleaning and Mental Health

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Published 08/04/2021
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Where does the phrase “Spring Cleaning” come from?

Spring is the season of new beginnings, and what better way to start afresh than with a clean house and clear mind?

Spring cleaning harkens back to the times before modern conveniences such as electricity and central heating were available, when fires were used to heat houses, lamps were lit with oils and everything was essentially much messier than it is these days. People would wait until spring and warmer weather in order to deep clean their houses, since windows could be left open to air them out.

There’s also the explanation that we simply cannot be bothered to clean in winter. We’re a lot colder and there are fewer daylight hours so it can be difficult to find the motivation to do loads of housework. When spring comes around, you tend to feel more refreshed and hopeful, ready to tackle the house you may have neglected over the winter months.

Benefits spring cleaning can have on your mental health

“A clean house is a happy mind” - we’ve all heard this phrase or something similar, so here are a few benefits spring cleaning has on our mental health.

The act of cleaning itself can be good for your mental health. That feeling of productiveness that comes from crossing off items on to-do lists, with the added bonus that cleaning counts as exercise.

Having a clean home can help to strengthen your immune system, which in turn can help you to avoid illnesses which could negatively affect your mental health.

A tidy house can also reduce stress and depression. A cluttered house can weigh on the mind, causing you to dwell on it (even subconsciously), which can in turn cause problems sleeping.

We’re now in the (hopefully) final stages of lockdown, and while the end is in sight, that can make it harder to get through these last few weeks. Spring cleaning gives you something to focus on in that time, with the added bonus that when lockdown does lift, you can go out and have fun knowing that your home is clean and tidy for when you return.

Spring cleaning to help clear your mind

While the focus of spring cleaning is on our houses and physical possessions, it is also important to “spring clean” our minds every now and then.

So how do you do this?

Firstly, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Sleep is extremely important in a lot of ways, and especially for our mental health. If you’re looking to refresh your mind, a good night’s sleep is the best place to start.

Exercise is proven to be an effective way to improve your mental health. Even just fitting in a walk every day can do wonders. As mentioned above, cleaning counts as exercise so why not kill two birds with one stone and get your exercise while spring cleaning your house?

Eat healthily - although the odd treat is absolutely fine, it’s important to eat healthily overall to improve your mental health. You need a balanced diet to ensure you have all of the vitamins needed in order to function properly.

Focus on managing your stress. Make a list of the things you are stressed about, and tackle them one by one. You’ll feel better the more you manage to cross off your list.

Take the time to check in with friends and family, set up a video call with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while.

Try something new. With your mind clean and refreshed, it’s the perfect time to try a new hobby. Learn a language, play an instrument, write a book. The options are endless and the choice is yours.

Thank you for reading today’s post, hopefully you are feeling motivated to do some spring cleaning, whether your house or mind.
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