Spring Cleaning is the Mental and Physical Health Boost You Need!
Spring is on its way, which means it’s time to clean. Throw open the windows to air out your living space and ask yourself: what’s some junk I can get rid of? Spring cleaning is necessary for getting rid of the clutter that builds up over the course of winter. But the ritual has additional benefits.
Studies show that spring cleaning promotes good mental and physical health! It’s just the right amount of physical activity to get you up and moving. You’ll feel good after some light exercise, and a clean living space will give you a clean mental space.
Whisk away the cobwebs in your mind
Spring cleaning is great for combatting seasonal affective disorder (SAD). People with SAD experience depression at a certain time of year, usually during winter. Depending on where you live, snow can keep you indoors for months at a time. On top of that, overcast skies and shorter days means we’re not getting enough sunlight. For some more than others, it really takes a toll on their mood.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of SAD, you should check with your doctor to see if treatment is necessary. In the meantime, try some cleaning! It sounds like a chore, but exercise is a proven mood booster and makes you feel energized. Start with something small like reorganizing a book shelf or dusting the TV stand. Your mind and body will thank you for it later.
A cleaner home means a healthier you
You don’t have to complete a full home makeover in order to feel the effects of spring cleaning. We all have that one item on our to-do list that never got crossed off. Is there a pile of junk mail that’s been taunting you? Do you keep saying the bathroom could go another week without a good scrub? Now is the time to finally get it done!
Even the smallest acts can make a huge difference. Researchers found that people who make their beds everyday experience sleep quality that’s 19% higher than those who don’t. Better sleep means you start the day feeling rejuvenated and ready to conquer whatever life throws at you. It’s a habit that takes only a minute and can give you priceless health benefits.
Tidy your work space to increase focus
You don’t have to wait until it’s spring to get some cleaning done. Make the decision right now to improve your living space. If an item isn’t helping you, it’s hurting you. Tuck away stuff you’re not immediately using or that prevents you from being productive. After all, a cluttered space is a sign of a cluttered mind.
You might not be consciously thinking about the clutter in your house. However, it still has a psychological impact on your productivity. When you’re surrounded by stuff you don’t need, your brain has to work harder to remain focused. This wears you out faster compared to a tidy environment. If clutter is absent, this alleviates stress on your brain and makes you focused instead of frustrated. Don’t let clutter compete for your attention!
Take a look at your desk. Whether you’re a student or sorting out your taxes, this is where you get all your work done. Should litter from your last food run be lying there? Probably not. What about your cell phone? Even that can be considered unnecessary clutter. Basically, remove anything you don’t need in order to get work done.
Still not convinced? Look at the science
If you think simply tuning out clutter works fine, think again. Researchers at Princeton University explored the negative consequences of unnecessary objects within someone’s view. They showed participants a street scene and asked them to point out cars and people from the video footage. The more distractions there were in the scene, the harder it was to focus on the task at hand.
Here’s why: your brain zeroes in on what it’s looking for, and everything else becomes peripheral. But the unnecessary objects are still there, forcing your brain to play tug of war between what it wants to see and what it wants to block out. Of course, this applies to more than just street scenes. Make life easier for yourself and clean up that house clutter!
Start spring on the right foot. Now is the time to put your living space back in order and get a fresh start. Cleaning feels like work, but it’s what you need to get off the couch and get that blood pumping. Summer is right around the corner. Don’t bring winter’s clutter with you!