Cleaning Can Actually Make You Happier—Here’s How
If you hadn't heard already, 2020 is all about detoxing your apartment, buying vintage and the newly-trending Swedish death cleaning. Cleaning, tidying up, detoxing—they're all hot topics for the new year and we're completely on board. While it's not a new idea by any stretch, the benefits to your sense of self and overall wellbeing are being realised so the once mundane task is now a form of self-care.
Naturally, some people are more inclined to pick up a vacuum over others, but research into this topic has shown that a tidy place to work, socialise or sleep has some pretty awesome benefits for everyone. Whether you're a Marie Kondo convert or not, here are some of the ways cleaning can actually make you happier.
It boosts your self-esteem
It might not seem like much, but simply making the bed in the morning is an achievement in itself. Small, simple tasks around the home are easy wins to boost your confidence and achieve a sense of satisfaction. Whether it's completely overhauling your wardrobe or simply folding the washing, the brain's "pleasure chemical" dopamine is released and acts as a reward for your work.
Your mind craves a refuge
Most of us are lucky enough to have a place to call home where we can spend time relaxing, re-energising, and catching up on quality sleep. When things become cluttered, we can start to lose that important connection to "home" and in turn, we can end up feeling irritated and even depressed. It will be harder to muster up the energy to get things in order if you're feeling iffy about your place, so maintaining a balance between pristine and hoarder is vital to keep you and your home's relationship healthy.
Cleaning counts as self-care
Cleaning is so much easier when you're multitasking. I personally love to plug into a podcast while I'm cleaning to take my mind off the task at hand and reframe the activity as something enjoyable. I've begun to look forward to doing the washing or cleaning the bathroom because it means I can catch up on episodes I miss throughout the week. For some people, listening to music or even chatting on the phone to their friend makes the process more enjoyable and gives them time to slow down and be present after a long working week.
You're more mindful
Clutter, especially around the home, can be stress-inducing. Not only does it feel like it will take you weeks to sort through (so you never do), but it makes it hard to find things you need and also diminishes the value of the things you own. When you take the time to declutter and work through items in your houses and whether or not they deserve a place there, you begin to form a more healthy relationship with shopping and consuming. When everything left is purposeful and, to borrow a phrase—joy sparking—you'll automatically be more mindful of what you're bringing in and if it really adds any value to your life.
It gets you moving
Some days you just want to stay in bed and forget about household chores. Trust me, I understand. It's totally fine to allow yourself a sleep in on the weekend or on your day off, but there's really no better feeling than getting up, making your bed, preparing a delicious breakfast and tackling that to-do list. If you're like me, lying in bed for hours on end will only result in your brain circulating said list and result in a feeling of guilt. Moving around the house might not seem like much of a workout, but any activity is good activity and your brain and body will appreciate it.
Continue the detox with these landlord-approved tips for detoxing your apartment.