Spring is on its way, bringing lighter mornings and brighter skies. Around about now, many people’s thoughts turn to spring cleaning.
So with time on your hands and products in the cupboard, a spring clean is on the to-do list. But it’s about more than just sprucing up your home. It can help your mental health, too.
Psychologist Natasha Tiwari explains: “The visual distraction of mess and clutter, combined with the inner eye’s vision of a dirty environment, leads to a cognitive overload on the brain which will add up to anxiety and stress.”
So if you’re wondering whether it’s time to get scrubbing the oven or vacuuming under the bed, here’s why spring cleaning can help your mood.
Spring cleaning lowers the stress hormone cortisol
“When we can see how we’ve cleansed a space, this leads to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream, leading to an increased sense of calm and wellbeing,” says Ms Tiwari.
“This leads to better sleep, better relationships and even stronger immunity.”
It’s all about energy flow
Cleaning and decluttering can be an act of cleaning both your environment and your mental and emotional body. So, you should see cleaning your home as synonymous with cleaning your mindset.
Chances are, if you work from a cluttered room and can’t find anything you will feel overwhelmed and stuck because your energy can’t flow.
When you actively clean and declutter it gives you more energy because it lifts stress from your body. Cleaning is good for your physical health and often releases happy hormones, so it’s an excellent stress buster. Adding music and movement to your cleaning routine can make it more fun.
Cleaning the bedroom will help with sleep and relaxation
The bedroom needs to be a place to which you can retreat to find your inner calm. So get under the bed with that vacuum and dust the dressing table and shelves.
“To create a room that helps you enjoy the best night’s sleep take a look at your space,” says Robert Lancaster-Gaye, co-founder of linen specialists Tielle Love Luxury.
“Getting into the habit of making your bed each day can give you a sense of achievement. Clean, fresh-smelling sheets are a treat to relax the senses,” he adds.
“But they’re also vital to our health. During sleep we perspire and body oils seep into our bedding. Change your linen once a week to keep sheets fresh and use protectors to extend the life of your mattress and pillows.”
It’s more than a chore, it’s a ritual
Just like cooking, cleaning is a ritual that gives you purpose and a distraction. That also means you can sometimes have a ‘eureka’ moment while doing it.
The act of physical cleaning gives you respite from your emotions. It doesn’t resolve how you feel, but gives you a breather and time to focus on something else.
You could spark some joy
Anyone who’s heard of tidying guru Marie Kondo will know her catchphrase “spark joy”. Her ethos is that if something doesn’t spark joy, it has to go.
This might be hard at the moment while you can’t take the things you don’t want to the dump or charity shop, but it’s a good benchmark for some tidying up. You might even find some joy in old ‘treasure’.
Do you love or hate spring cleaning? What’s your least favourite chore? Let us know in the comments section below.
– With PA