When we discuss Health Awareness Month, mental health is an important element of overall health that is often overlooked. As our modern world becomes more demanding and we continue to feel the effects of the last year’s global events, people are reporting record levels of anxiety and depression.
Taking care of our mental health is becoming more important than ever before and one simple way we can do this is through regular cleaning.
A 2017 study¹ on clutter and overconsumption found that cleaning helps our minds feel more in control and elevates feel-good hormones in the body – which means cleaning is good for the mind and the body!
Psychologist and Life Coach Dr Tshepiso Matentjie outlines five ways cleaning can be beneficial to our health and wellbeing.
- When we clean, we get our bodies moving, which helps to release endorphins and feel-good hormones into the blood and reduce cortisol levels, which cause stress. Overall, this helps to relieve tension and anxiety, allowing the body and mind to unwind.
- Cleaning can create a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction by increasing our mind’s feelings of control. The achievement of a goal, like a clean space, can give us the motivation to tackle other challenges in our lives, beginning with the belief that we are capable and can overcome any obstacles we come across along the way.
- A clean and tidy environment can help to create a positive attitude and the resilience to keep going, no matter what. The discipline and habit of cleaning and tidying on a regular basis can also lay a foundation for developing positive habits like discipline, focus and motivation.
- When we clean with others, it can be a bonding activity that can improve intimacy and strengthen relationships. Untidy and chaotic home environments have been found to be related to parental stress2 and to negatively impact parenting behaviour3 and children’s problem behaviours4. But, when cleaning becomes a positive group activity, it creates cohesion, helps everyone to feel like they play their part and relieves the pressure from being shouldered by one individual, which often creates tension in the home.
- Your home is an extension of your how you feel about and see yourself, so cleaning is a form of self-care that can help with developing and maintaining self-esteem. People who struggle with depression and anxiety in particular often find cleaning difficult but report feeling safer, calmer and happier when their space is clean and tidy.
“For some people, motivation can be a struggle when it comes to cleaning. Others may feel they lack the necessary skills to get going, but resources like Cleanipedia.com can help by giving expert, simple cleaning tips, readily available online for anyone to use,” says Dr Tshepiso, “Committing to small daily tasks instead of letting the cleaning build up and become a daunting task is another good way to stay on top of cleaning and enjoy a happier home.”
Cleanipedia, South Africa’s first online, one-stop hub for easy cleaning and organising tips for a happier home suggests the following quick tips :
- Reduce clutter: Getting rid of packaging, gadgets, old clothes and anything that is no longer needed will make rooms look tidier and make it easier to keep them that way.
- For thick dust: wipe with a damp microfibre cloth that traps grime and allows you to get rid of it, rather than spreading it around.
- Storage: Hooks are a great way for efficiently dealing with coats, bathrobes and shopping bags when storage space is limited.
- Rubbish: Make sure there are always bin liners and recycling bags available so there is no need for rubbish to accumulate. Putting it outside promptly will prevent odours.
- Ironing: An effective hack is putting wrinkled clothes in the tumble dryer on a high heat with a handful of ice cubes for 15 minutes, so the melting ice can steam away creases.
- Stains: These vary a lot, but in general, a good approach with spills is to blot up any liquid with a clean cloth or paper towel immediately. See this for a guide to removing wine stains from carpet.
- Floors: Make cleaning floors easier by buying a powerful, cordless vacuum cleaner that is simple to use and empty.
From stubborn stains to home hygiene, laundry hacks to DIY basics, gardening tips, and more visit www.cleanipedia.com for easy cleaning expert tips.