Spring has arrived! How are you feeling? With longer days and warmer weather approaching, we typically desire to freshen up our homes and clear out the clutter. Not only does cleaning refresh the environment of our homes, but research shows that spring cleaning has many mental health benefits. If you feel unable to focus, overwhelmed, agitated, or anxious due to the amount of clutter in your house, the dust on the baseboards, or the state of your refrigerator, some spring cleaning may be just what you need. Spring cleaning can help you regain a sense of control over the environment in your home, reduce your stress levels, increase your focus, improve your mood, and may even reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you are struggling with severe anxiety or depression that spring cleaning can’t cure, then the psychiatrists and psychologists at Dt. Messina & Associates can help. Contact us to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment if you need help improving your mental health.
Are you feeling stressed over the mess? You are not alone. Research shows that clutter and disorder in your home can cause your cortisol “stress hormone” level to rise because it overwhelms your senses. When your senses are overwhelmed, you may feel as if you do not have control over your environment. Participating in some routine spring cleaning can bring back a sense of control over your home environment and lower your stress. While research shows that having a clean home can reduce stress, the physical activity of cleaning also helps reduce stress.
If you find it difficult to focus on a task, such as answering emails, sitting down to pay bills, or even reading a good book, because the clutter that piled up over the winter is bothering you, then spring cleaning will help. If your home is cluttered, your mind will be cluttered as well. A cluttered space can restrict your ability to focus on important or creative tasks because your visual cortex is overwhelmed. Research shows that people can process information better and be more productive when the environment is calm, organized, and uncluttered.
Let’s face it, sometimes those little messes and piles of clutter can negatively affect our mental health. The disarray may even cause us to feel anxious or depressed if we feel that the task of cleaning is too difficult to start. If you notice that your home environment is triggering symptoms of anxiety or depression, you are not alone. Research shows that women who describe their homes as unorganized or chaotic experience higher levels of depression compared to women who felt their homes were restful and restorative. Having a clean home can help reduce feelings and symptoms of anxiety and depression if clutter is what is triggering the symptoms.
Spring cleaning can also improve your physical health. The dust that settles during the winter on top of the clutter, baseboards, and windowsills can induce or aggravate health problems like allergies and asthma. Cleaning activities, such as vacuuming, sweeping, scrubbing, and organizing, can also be an excellent form of physical activity. Physical activity can help you sleep better at night, reduce your symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reduce your risk for heart disease and obesity.
Do you desire a calm space to relax in your home? We all do. When you think of your ideal space to relax in, do you imagine a space in your home that smells wonderful and is free of clutter and distractions? You can take advantage of spring cleaning too. You can utilize the space to journal, meditate, reflect, or even wind down and watch a movie if that is more your style. Having a calm space in your home is important for your mental health as it can ease your stress, calm anxiety, and boost your mood.
Spring cleaning may be an intimidating task to begin. Where do you start? What should you prioritize? Here are some simple tips to help you get started and avoid feeling overwhelmed.
It may be hard to find the motivation to participate in spring cleaning. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, such as fatigue, lack of motivation, hopelessness, trouble sleeping, or loss of interest in your day-to-day life, spring cleaning might not be the cure.
Here at Dr. Messina and Associates, our compassionate team of professionals are qualified to help you at our Flower Mound, Texas, and Southlake, Texas, offices. Our Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Counselors specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychological testing, and medication management for a variety of emotional and behavioral health needs. All services are available in-person and online (telehealth). If you or a loved one are seeking help with mental health, we are here to help.