Spring Cleaning and its Effect on Mental Health
Spring is quickly approaching, which means several things. It is about time for warmer days, blooming flowers, and to tackle some much-needed spring cleaning. During the winter months, life tends to slow down since it is the holiday season, clutter piles up, and then life starts to go back to “normal” after the new year. It can be easy to get stuck in a rut during this time and feel overwhelmed by the accumulation of clutter and mess after likely putting organization on the back burner, which is why spring cleaning is such a beneficial practice.
Having an overly cluttered or messy space can enhance symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well, which is something no individual wants to deal with. If you are struggling with severe anxiety or depression, the Southlake psychiatry team at Dr. Messina & Associates can help guide and equip you with the tools to overcome these conditions. Of course, the act of spring cleaning can happen any time of year it is necessary. Spring cleaning does have a number of positive effects on mental health, which is exactly what we are going to discuss today.
Clearing Clutter Clears the Mind
Have you ever noticed that any time you are done cleaning your home, office, or other space that you suddenly feel so much lighter and clear-minded? The act of physically ridding yourself of clutter that is no longer needed, tidying up, and organizing creates a sense of order in the mind. Tackling some spring cleaning (or cleaning any time of year) has amazing effects on the mind, as it is if any unwanted thoughts and feelings are actually being thrown out, too. Studies have shown that a clean and structured space allows us to work and function in a much more optimal manner and more efficiently, as well.
If you are an individual that tends to get distracted often, it could very well be due to having an unorganized space. Dedicating time to clearing the unneeded clutter is an act of self-care and will undoubtedly leave you feeling so much calmer and ready to tackle and responsibilities that have felt too difficult to take on. If you are in a space that is constantly cluttered, this easily reflects directly in the mind and makes it way too challenging when it comes to getting obligations taken care of.
A Clean Space Decreases Stress
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense that since clearing out the clutter bogging you down helps clears the mind, stress levels also decrease exponentially when spring cleaning happens. Being surrounded by messes can heighten the body’s stress response, even if we are not conscious of it. It is ideal to set aside a weekend every couple of months, or whenever necessary, to do a deep clean at home. This is especially important now that many people all over the world are home way more than they ever have been before due to the current global circumstances.
A clean space goes hand-in-hand with feeling an increased sense of calm and relaxation. Even if your home or other area is not that messy, almost every person has dealt with things somehow just piling up in a less-than-ideal fashion, which creates daily inconveniences that we are often even not aware of. Fixing this issue by setting aside a day or more of spring cleaning will rid you of inconveniences such as having to search through piles of laundry for clean clothes or not being able to find that book or another item that you swore was on your cluttered desk.
Allows Room for New Interests
It can feel overwhelming to take the leap into a new interest or hobby when you already have so much stuff, especially when that stuff is not utilized any longer. Spring cleaning is the perfect opportunity to either donate or throw away items that you have been holding onto for far too long because it is something you used to be interested in. As humans, we are always developing new interests and hobbies, which is definitely a fantastic thing.
Spring cleaning can be the time to take inventory on your various items and decide what is and is not needed any longer. Maybe you have taken a new interest in a hobby such as painting or knitting, but you feel guilty getting all of these new supplies while still holding onto unnecessary things. Take this time as an opportunity to clear out anything that no longer serves you so that you can have a clear space and mind to fully immerse yourself in any new pastimes you have been itching to try.
Keeps Us Healthy
On top of all of the mind-easing effects that spring cleaning has, it is also highly beneficial for our overall health. Everyone knows that deep cleaning is sanitary and helps get rid of bacteria and viruses that may cause us to get sick. The immune-boosting effects that spring cleaning has is wonderful for the mind, too. When we are healthy and our bodies are performing optimally, so are our minds. Our overall health-mental and physical-is very much intertwined, so it is important to take the time to disinfect, dust, and tidy up. Having a home that is deep cleaned can decrease stress, as well, since the fear of contracting an unwanted illness will inevitably be a lot lower.
The springtime is the perfect chance to declutter and get rid of stagnant energy that can build up in the places we spend the most time. Spring cleaning helps clear the mind, destress, allows room for new interests, and helps keep us in great physical health. If you have been feeling unlike yourself or clouded mentally, give spring cleaning a chance this season and see if it has all of the wonderful positive effects that so many do notice with this practice.
Our office has a team of professionals that can help with all of your psychiatric, therapeutic, and counseling needs. Dr. Messina & Associates specializes in anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and adults. We offer in-person appointments to patients in the DFW area at our Southlake offices. We offer online appointments to patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston, and San Antonio areas.