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The Benefits of Spring Cleaning for Mental Wellness

As the weather warms and blossoms appear, people are pulled toward an annual tradition — spring cleaning.
We all know deep cleaning gets our homes looking great, but do you know about the benefits of spring cleaning for mental wellness? It decreases stress, reduces anxiety, and helps us feel more in control of our lives and homes.

Reducing Stress By Clearing the Mess

A restful home supports mental well-being and relaxation. A cluttered home, not so much.
In the 2000s, a group of researchers looked at the words people used to describe their homes.
Those who expressed frustration with clutter were more likely to have higher cortisol levels.
Cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone. It drops during evening hours, allowing people to decompress. But when you’re surrounded by mess and clutter, you don’t feel that same sense of relaxation.
Spring cleaning is a chance to get rid of that distracting and stressful clutter. With it out of the way, your downtime can do its job.

Building Order From Chaos

Spring cleaning also lowers stress and anxiety by reducing the brain’s workload.
The mind is wired to make sense of its environment. We process everything we see, and the more visual noise we encounter, the harder our minds have to work.
Think about a cluttered kitchen table and an important task. Maybe you’re preparing your taxes — another of spring’s demands. If your table is covered with everything from unsorted mail to groceries, your brain isn’t sure what to pay attention to. Sure, you can tell it to focus on the taxes, but is that paperwork in the corner something you were supposed to complete?
Research has shown that when people reduce their clutter, they think more clearly and perform better on mental tasks. They also use unhealthy coping behaviors less often.
That’s what spring cleaning does. It frees your brain from thinking about messes so you can focus on getting your tasks done faster.

Cleaning Offers a Sense of Control

A clean house is great for your brain, but the act of cleaning is beneficial too.
One study showed that people often turn to repetitive activities like cleaning when they feel stressed. Deep cleaning tasks don’t take too much mental energy but have visible results, so you feel more in control.
Cleaning also helps you feel accomplished and capable of caring for your space. In a study in Current Psychology, people reported more life satisfaction when avoiding procrastination and keeping clutter under control. The older you get, the more important this becomes.

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds

Spring cleaning also benefits your physical health, which directly affects your mental health.
According to a report from Harvard Medical School, up to 12% of people suffer from health anxiety. That anxiety can increase if your house gathers dust, mold, and mildew, all of which can cause respiratory issues.
According to the American Lung Association, two-thirds to three-quarters of adults don’t prioritize dusting daily. Mold is even trickier to eliminate. Springtime deep cleaning goes into those nooks and crannies, getting rid of buildup and making your air easier to breathe.

Cleaning the "Mental Clutter"

Spring cleaning for mental wellness has a lot going for it:
  • It helps you think better and get more done.
  • It reduces the stress and anxiety that come from cluttered spaces.
  • It improves the air quality and helps you feel healthier.
But cleaning your home is just the beginning. Many people achieve fresh starts in the spring by doing some mental health spring cleaning — brushing away the clutter from their mental space.
The modern world is a constant barrage of information, and we can easily get overwhelmed. Use spring cleaning time as a chance to clear your mind.
Techniques like meditation and mindfulness can help. Mindfulness teaches you to live in the moment and approach tasks with full awareness. Meditation helps you cope with unwanted thoughts and can relieve some symptoms of depression.

Empower Your Mental Health Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is the perfect chance to take stock of your thoughts and feelings. If you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, a good cleaning binge can help — but it’s OK if you need more.
Core Recovery offers intensive outpatient programs to help you feel better. Therapists can help you understand your challenges and develop a customized treatment program, so you can go back to the life you love.
Reach out today and let Core Recovery help with your spring cleaning for mental wellness. No type of cleaning is more important.

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