How Spring Cleaning Your Mental Health Can Benefit You

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Winter, fall, and summer are all beautiful, no doubt. However, spring has always been the best season. The sun glows warmly and the days become a little longer. Flowers bloom all around us and the grass turns green, symbolizing a period of brand new beginnings. It’s like Mother Nature understands that spring is a season for fresh beginnings. 

Could this be a hint that we should do the same? 

For many of us, spring starts with the desire to declutter our homes. Spring presents an opportunity for people to get rid of unwanted items, clean the dirt, dust, and de-clutter the house to give way to a sense of renewed energy. 

Spring cleaning has a significant effect on our lives. As you donate the old clothes that you don’t wear anymore, magazines and books that you don’t read anymore, and everything else that you have been holding on to, you allow yourself to start over, do better and be better. 

You may be removing physical stuff, but imagine yourself also spring cleaning the negativity, the regret, and any other form of mental clutter from your life. “Taking out the trash” boosts self-esteem and shifts our mindset so that we are more open-minded to change. It also puts us in a better space to move forward and embrace the future. 

Is there a relationship between spring cleaning and mental health?

Studies have proven that spring cleaning has unexpected benefits on our mental health and well-being. Cleaning boosts your mood by 53%, according to research done by experts at Clorox. 

Research published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin journal found that a strong correlation exists between depression and cluttered spaces; mental and physical. Maybe it could be because depression sucks the life out of people to the point where even the most essential activities such as cleaning become hard. 

This study further explained that women who felt like they had mental clutter or whose physical spaces were full of “unfinished businesses” were more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and fatigue compared to those whose homes were restful or restorative. Furthermore, this research revealed that women dealing with mental clutter reported higher cortisol levels. 

Another study done by Princeton University showed that in the presence of clutter it becomes quite difficult for people to focus on a particular task. To be more specific, the study highlighted the fact that the visual cortex gets easily overwhelmed with objects or thoughts that are not related to the task at hand. This makes it harder for people to focus and finish their projects well.

Clutter is oppressive. You may not think of it consciously, but you are aware of it subconsciously. Scientists have linked clutter and mess, both mental and physical to negative emotions such as irritability, tension, and confusion. 

The brain interprets clutter as unfinished business. Some people get stressed out by these feelings of lack of completeness. This becomes even accurate when people are dealing with pressing issues in their lives.

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Activities that you can do during spring cleaning

During spring cleaning, we get the motivation to improve our lives and organize our homes. It is also the perfect time to renew our mental health as well. It may seem obvious, but many of us forget how much self-care impacts our mental health. Self-care clears and refreshes the mind. 

You should always remember that self-care is neither a luxury nor an act of selfishness. On the contrary, self-care is a fundamental element for fulfillment and self-growth. 

Here are some activities that will help you clear and refresh your mind. These activities are not only enriching but they will also lead you to a positive, mentally healthy life; 

  • Start by improving your physical health

Time and again, experts have proven that physical activity plays a significant role in improving our mental health and general well-being. As you adopt a healthier physical life, it will be followed by a healthier diet naturally. You don’t have to make the change overnight. After all, renewing your mind, body, and spirit is a process that can be sustainable and successful when done gradually. 

For example, you can start by walking for at least ½ an hour, twice a week. You can also try replacing sugary snacks with dark chocolate etc. 

Be kind to yourself. Don’t push yourself too hard. 

  • Renew your spirit 

Have you ever tried yoga or meditation? 

Mindful mediation can cleanse the soul significantly. As you meditate, you will start to acknowledge your thought process. You will start to understand how to dismiss negativity, anxiety, depression, and bad thoughts with acceptance and non-judgment.

Many studies have been done on the power of meditation. Experts have been able to prove that yoga and meditation reduce negative energy and consuming thoughts significantly. This in turn improves mental health in general. 

Spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation help us to be self-aware so that we can easily and successfully attune our emotional needs to our physical needs.

  • Improve your stress management skills 

Sometimes, issues may exist that are out of your control. You should learn how to accept a situation for what it is and everything it entails. If you do this, you will reduce your stress levels significantly. 

What are your stress triggers? Pay attention to this too. 

When you understand the situations that make you uncomfortable, you will develop better coping mechanisms and minimize distress. If you don’t know how you can do this, you can start by taking on the advice of counsellors and mental health professionals. They can empower you with skills to manage your stress and anxiety better. 

  • Come up with a to-do-list of both short-term and long-term goals that you would like to achieve based on your purpose

Do you want to re-connect with an old friend? 

Do you want to spend more time alone doing things that you love?

Well, spring cleaning time is the perfect time for you to go after all the dreams you have always wanted to achieve, both big and small. When you have your goals written down, you will have a sense of purpose for your life.

The written list will act like a guide that points you in the right direction towards your desired path. 

  • Contribute to the community

If there is a cause that you genuinely care about, then volunteering for it can help your mental health significantly. When you volunteer or contribute to changing the world in your little way, you get a good feeling about yourself and your contribution to a cause that is important.

When you try to improve on the lives of others, you will surely improve on your life as well. 

  • Live in the moment 

Live in the here and the now. Take a minute to enjoy the beauty of nature- the sounds the colours, and the people around you. Most of the time we get distracted with the responsibilities of daily life so much so that we don’t take time to appreciate all the beautiful moments in our lives. 

Learn the art of paying attention to this moment. Use mental exercises such as mindfulness and meditation to bring your attention back into the moment. 

You can greatly improve your mental health by making a conscious effort of noticing and understanding both your inner and outer world. 

Benefits of spring cleaning your mental health 

Many benefits have been associated with spring cleaning our mental health. The most important include;

  1. When you clean your mental health, your focus improves. Our brains may be powerful, but they can be easily overwhelmed. When your mind is cluttered, focusing on the important things that need to be done becomes hard. 
  2. Cleaning your mind can lift your mood. When you accept that there are situations that are beyond your control, you will be at peace, knowing that you did your best. 
  3. You will create better relationships. You will be able to relate better with people when you get rid of negativity, anxiety, and regret. The relationships you create now will not suffer from things that hurt you in the past. You will focus on the present and look forwards to what the future holds and the good things that life has to offer.   
  4. You will have better sleep quality. When your thoughts are organized, you will sleep better because you are not worried about a lot of things. 
  5. You will have better physical health. The benefits of having the right mindset trickle down to your physical health as well. Taking care of yourself becomes a priority when you have your thoughts organized. 
  6. You will have peace of mind. 

You should make spring cleaning your mental health a priority. With a clean mind, you can focus on the most important things which are your purpose, your dreams, and your goals. 

Have you taken time to spring clean your mental health and prioritize self-care? Decide today that your mental health comes first. After all, everything else hangs on it. 

Share your suggestions on how to spring clean your mental health in the comment section and read Little Known Ways to Overcome Perfectionism 



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Spring cleaning your mental health
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Hi! I'm Dr Jessica

I share my expertise as a Family Physician to provide you with the support and tools to a holistic lifestyle.

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