Hello Spring! We are now past the cold and gloomy winter months (along with being very fun from the holidays), and are now at a time of the year where flowers are blooming, butterflies are flying, and the sun is shining bright and for a longer duration during the day. The colors outside are brighter, people are outside more, and some of us may notice that our homes might be in need of some tidying up.
Many have heard of the phrase “spring cleaning”, but haven’t taken into account the traditions, origins, and mental health benefits of this spring ritual. Spring cleaning is a tradition that is practiced throughout various cultures. There are various influences on why different cultures engage in this type of cleaning ritual; whether it be of religious origin, a nationally noticed week, or a tradition passed down by ancestors, there are many people all over the world engaging in some sort of spring cleaning routine. There are also numerous scientific reasons as to why individuals decide to clean once spring has begun. One of the reasons is that due to the increased sunlight and longer days, our bodies produce less melatonin than in the winter months when the days are short and the weather is typically colder. This leads to more energy during the day and even motivation!
Spring is seen as a time of renewal, a time of starting fresh, transforming, and new beginnings. Adding spring cleaning to your spring activities have numerous mental health benefits.
Life can feel cluttered and chaotic, and having your home less cluttered can add the benefit of reducing stress. Quickly decluttering areas of your home can instill a sense of ownership and empowerment. It can also help us feel like we are in control of our surroundings, even when other aspects of life are stressful.
Anxiety is characterized by significant worry, and many worry about the state of their home. Taking time to focus on the areas of your home that promotes worry is beneficial, due to taking a proactive approach to an anxiety trigger.
Cleaning your home is a great activity to engage in when experiencing depressive symptoms, such as low mood and fatigue. Cleaning has been recognized as a mood-boosting activity, due to accomplishing a task, and making your home feel cozy. It’s a great way to distract yourself, by diving into caring for yourself and your safe space.
Improved sleep quality
It’s been studied and shown that the nightly routine of turning down your bed and preparing yourself for sleep, can improve your overall sleep quality. There’s also the added bonus of improved air quality when engaging in regularly dusting the fan, nightstands, and other surfaces of your bedroom.
Most can relate to feeling scattered when their living space is in need of a nice tidying up. This is due to our visual cortex being over-stimulated. When we engage in the task of decluttering, our concentration can improve, because our minds and eyes will be less overwhelmed by the surroundings.
There are several easy to incorporate spring cleaning into your daily routine, and it can be shifted to fit your lifestyle and mental health needs. Most suggest beginning with one room at a time and even one section of a room at a time. When doing a general decluttering or wiping off surfaces, set a timer for yourself. It’s okay to go back to it later! Incorporating cleaning into your routine can help start a healthy habit that has huge mental health benefits. And the cool part is that we don’t have to just do this during the spring, but spring cleaning is a great way to start!
If you would like to learn more ways to ease your stress and anxiety, give Tx Harmony Counseling a call at (832) 352-1600 or contact us here.