Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring Cleaning vs Depression

Even when it's late in the day I like to suddenly start random jobs around the house when I should be getting into bed and resting... I've always done this. Things like move all my bedroom furniture around at 11pm like you do, well like I do! Or to start cleaning the bathroom because I can't sleep.

This got me thinking of something my Great Gran used to tell me "a clean house is a clear conscience." So I wanted to know whether cleaning does clear our minds as well as our environment? So I did what all non scientists do... I asked the internet!

I found out that having clutter in your home can link to stress levels being higher, low self esteem and affect our mood. Clutter doesn't automatically mean a home is unclean it just means a lot of objects. Things that have little or no purpose, duplicates, unwanted items... Although I'm not a minimalist I don't like lots of things everywhere and when clutter isn't ornaments or trinkets but dishes in the sink, paperwork out on the table, piles of dirty washing then it can be very stressful for me. I don't like clutter at work either and I am forever organising. Clutter reminds me that there is a lot to do when really these are 5 minute jobs and make a huge difference to your space once they are out of the way. Clutter or a build up of small jobs just gives you that overwhelming feeling of "where do I start!"

If you have a lot of belongings spend 30 mins or so dedicated to one area such as kitchen cupboards, your wardrobe, shoe rack and go through everything. Make 2 piles, one of things to keep and one of things to go. Everything you keep put it back in an orderly way so it looks neat and clean each piece if needed. Then go through your go pile and sort it into charity shop items, trash or items to sell (if you want to do this.) It might take you a while to get through your entire home but you can spend longer at it in bursts or spread it out. Either way you'll notice a difference; less to clean and tidy, more space and things are easier to find.

I also found articles saying that one of the signs of depression is letting your housework and chores slip and not taking care of day-to-day routines and responsibilities like you normally have. I can definitely say this happened to me. Getting out of bed was hard enough never mind taking time to have a good spring clean. Luckily my husband not only looked after me but worked full time and kept the house spotless. My mum also helped me clean to get me going around the house and moving again. This really helped and I felt I'd achieved something afterwards. Good thinking mummy! 

Unfortunately the article goes on to say a dirty or untidy home can add to your depression and make you feel like you don't know where to start so you just don't start anywhere. If you don't have the support from others you could try setting yourself one task at a time. I used to put on a song and put things away until the song stopped. This worked well for me and often when the song stopped I would carry on because it was the initial getting going that was the hard part. My other trick was to put the TV on half an hour before a show started that I wanted to watch and clean until it came on. If you can clean as you go and get little jobs out of the way before tackling bigger ones this makes the workload seem smaller. If someone offers to help you then accept it and if it's an option you might even want to hire a cleaning or decluttering service to get everything sorted so you can then keep on top of it once it is done. 

Feeling pride in your home gives you a sense of achievement and you know you have made yourself a gorgeous little nest to be in. I also think as cleaning and tidying are quite simple and repetitive tasks that they take our minds off anything else and you just concentrate on what you are doing. As it's now Spring I think I'm going to start my annual leave with a good clean around my home. Who's with me?!

Much love,

Becky xx


Anonymous said...

Can always tell when I'm down, my dirty pots get left. In general I can't leave them (not even clean in the draining rack) I totally agree with you about 1 small job at a time and building from there, music is brilliant to aid with decluttering especially an upbeat playlist. I find huge satisfaction in cleaning (well the end result) and everything in its place makes me happier. Much love xXx

Becky said...

Thank you for your comment. I like to have things just right but at the start of my depression I just let everything go. Don't get me wrong my house can be left sometimes when I'd rather be out and about or doing something else but once I start cleaning and tidying and see the end result, like you say, I feel so much happier about it and can really enjoy my home more :) xx