Cleaning for Mental Health
October 30, 2018
Everyone does their best to keep up on household chores and cleaning, but clutter always finds a way to seep back in. It’s as if messes pop up out of nowhere sometimes, no matter how often clean. If you staring down another Saturday’s worth of cleaning in the Stamford apartments, then there is some good news you might find surprising.
Leading psychological research as attributed clutter to stress and anxiety, but recent studies discovered that cleaning up messes actually has a positive benefit on your mental health. That’s right. If you want to destress, then pick up a cleaning rag and a duster. Here’s the science behind why cleaning is good for your health.
The University of California gathered thirty couples for a study on stress hormones. Those who described their house as messy or chaotic displayed increased levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal gland in response to stress. The same study also found that women were more adversely affected by clutter than men.
So, a messy home has a negative impact on your health. It only makes sense that decreasing the clutter would alleviate your buildup of cortisol, therefore being a healthy habit. However, there’s more to it than just that.
The Mental Benefits
Aside from improving cleanliness, cleaning does have a positive impact on your mental health. A recent study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine proved that a mere twenty minutes of physical activity was enough to decrease stress levels, but a Scottish Health Survey proved that activity didn’t have to be a workout.
Over 3,000 people surveyed reported that regular housework was enough to decrease anxiety and stress levels, with further research placing that decrease at around 20%. While cleaning isn’t a cure all, that percentage can work wonders on your daily level of stress.
Did you know that anxiety and stress are linked to a shorter lifespan? A 2015 study in the U.K. found that a stressful work environment can take up to 33 years off your life. Most people have stressful jobs, but adding on the stress of a cluttered home could be even more detrimental.
If you can clean for just twenty minutes a day, you can reduce the impact that stress has on your life. It gets even better, though. Vigorous cleaning (like washing the floors) is an outlet for negative emotions thanks to the energy your burn while scrubbing away.
Individuals also reported having an easier time unwinding at the end of the day when their home was cleaned. Altogether, that means doing household chores after a rough day at the office is the perfect remedy.
The Physical Benefits
Another study conducted by Indiana University’s Physical Activity Department looked at the impact a clean home had on both physical and mental health. Their findings on mental health coincided with the benefits found by previous studies, but they did find one interesting correlation between a cluttered home and an individual’s activity level.
As it turn out, people with the cleanest homes are the most active. While the correlation is unclear, there’s something about clutter that causes people to lose motivation, choosing to sit down in front of the TV instead of go for a walk or hit the gym.
Another benefit to a clean home is a lack of allergens waiting to attack your immune system. The longer you go without cleaning your home (really cleaning, not just dusting) the more polluted the air inside your home becomes. Compared to right outside your front door, your home’s air quality is often five times worse on any given day. That means more pollen, dust mites, dander, and other allergens hiding in plain sight.
Regular cleaning your home is an excellent way to relieve stress, stay active, and feel your best by removing the pesky elements lingering in the air. Keeping up with such a rigorous cleaning schedule isn’t exactly easy, though. However, there are a few steps you can take to make this chore less taxing.
De-Clutter for Good
The first step to de-cluttering your home is to cut back on the number of things you purchase. If you take a moment to think about it, how many items in your home are simply collecting dust? How many items do you own and never use?
If you have a free weekend, then you might want to consider taking the time to sort through all of your belongings and sell or donate the items you don’t need. Closets are an excellent place to start, as are cupboards and any form of storage space. It isn’t easy to get rid of your things, but the ability to make some extra cash or help someone in need is well worth it.
In the meantime, focus on paying for experiences instead of items. Not only are new experiences more fulfilling that a blouse or pair of shoes, they’re usually less expensive. Catch a movie with your friends, take your significant other to a new restaurant, or start saving up for your dream vacation. Whatever you choose to do, the memories you make will last longer than any product you can think of buying.
A clean home isn’t the only thing that has a positive impact on your mental health. Part of what keeps stress levels to a minimum is the community you live in as well as your location. Take Waypointe, an apartment community in a premier waterfront destination in Norwalk. These homes redefine luxury living with contemporary designs blended seamlessly into Connecticut’s timeless sophistication.
Refined amenities within the community provide healthy outlets for both your mind and body. Relax in the saltwater pool, soak in the rays at the sun deck, or enjoy the serene views from any of Wypointe’s rooftop terraces. Stay active in the state-of-the-art fitness, cardio, and strength centers. Treat yourself to a film in the cinema lounge or take your dog for a walk in the landscaped park on-site. Grilling areas, fire pits, a spin studio and more all offer you the benefit of experiences over more cluttering products.
Discover the new centerpiece of downtown Norwalk. The Waypointe provides an unparalleled living experience, acting as your sophisticated retreat between work and play. Welcome to a higher sense of living. Welcome home.