In these uncertain times, it’s important to focus on self-care – including reducing stress. While there are many healthy ways to relax, not many people consider their surroundings while doing so. In fact, a clean and tidy space has more benefits than just a beautiful home. Cleaning regularly can reduce distractions, stress and anxiety throughout the day.
Neatness reduces distractions and stress
Clutter in the house makes it hard to focus. For example, if you’re working on a project and see yesterday’s mail on the counter, your thoughts may be interrupted by the mail, meaning you will have to make a conscious effort to refocus on your project. Even ignoring the mail while you’re working takes energy. So, reducing clutter around your home can help you focus on what’s important by eliminating distractions throughout the day.
Noticing clutter in your home also increases your levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. Constant, high levels of cortisol can cause sleep and immune system disturbances, high blood pressure and other health problems. Tidying up throughout the day can keep your cortisol to healthy levels, reducing stress. The physical work of cleaning can even count as exercise!
Cleaning gives you a sense of control
Cleaning up your bedroom, organizing a closet, decorating the living room — tidying up around the house gives you control over your surroundings. When you are anxious or stressed, giving yourself a sense of purpose and agency can make you feel better. Something as small as making your bed each morning can help you feel accomplished and ready to take on the day. Having a well-organized closet or pantry also makes it easier to find what you need. This can reduce anxiety, too!
Tidying up also makes it easier to throw away things you don’t need anymore. This can help you feel in control of your possessions instead of being overwhelmed by old items. Knowing exactly what you have in the house also makes it easier to shop for new things that complement what you own. Building a wardrobe is easier if you know what to buy.
During these times of uncertainty, you can reduce everyday stress and feel in control by keeping a tidy home.