Spring Cleaning for the Body, Mind and Spirit
It’s that time of year! Time to whip out the old broom and dustpan, but not just for the floor - time to dust up your mind and spirit too! Spring cleaning can have a positive impact on your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Some of the physical benefits of cleaning are quite obvious:
Remove pet dander and dust
This decreases allergens in the air you breathe!
Clears mold and bacteria out of kitchen tools and surfaces
Gets you active - without realizing it!
Reducing clutter decreases the risk of falls.
A 2013 study from the University of Minnesota discovered that orderly environments increased the likelihood to make healthy food choices
Choose low VOC cleaning products or make your own! Lemon, baking soda, and white vinegar are some natural products that can do the trick! Remember to ventilate your home when cleaning, a nice spring breeze can clear out fumes and lighten the mood! Play some upbeat music while you’re at it and get the family involved!
Get a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which will trap troublesome particles as you go
There are an equal number of mental benefits as there are physical:
When you clear out the physical junk, it clears space in the mind as well
People who make their beds are 19% more likely to consistently sleep well
A 2010 study at UCLA found that when you have a clean home, your mood is improved and your risk for depression decreases
A 2011 study from The Journal of Neuroscience utilized MRIs to actually map the brain’s response to a cluttered environment and found that clutter limits our brain’s processing capacity. We also become more easily distracted when surrounded by things! Decreasing clutter can improve our ability to focus.
Often overlooked, spiritual cleaning is just as important!
Cleaning out and donating old items provides a sense of giving back, selflessness
Forgiveness allows you to wipe the slate clean and release the burden of anger. This Spring season, try to focus on the resentments you hold (whether towards others or towards yourself) and let yourself release them. Give yourself a clear, loving slate this Spring season!
When cleaning out old items, you will naturally become nostalgic. Whether it’s an old photo book, a shirt your dad gave you as a kid or your grandma’s necklace, our items house many past memories and emotions. Give yourself space to feel the emotions that arise and process these past memories.
PIM wants to hear from you! What does spring cleaning look like for you? Do you find this article helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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Written by Dani Mortimer, Clinic Manager
Saxbe, DE and Repetti, R. "No place like home: home tours correlate with daily patterns of mood and cortisol." Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. January 2010. Accessed 4 April 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19934011.
“The Health Benefits of Cleaning.” Rush University Medical Center, www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/health-benefits-cleaning.
McMains, Stephanie, and Sabine Kastner. “Interactions of Top-down and Bottom-up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex.” The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 Jan. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21228167.
Vohs, Kathleen D. “Physical Order Produces Healthy Choices, Generosity, and Conventionality, Whereas Disorder Produces Creativity.” SAGE Journals, 1 Aug. 2013, journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797613480186.
“Four Surprising Health Benefits of Spring Cleaning.” Parsley Health, 15 Apr. 2019, www.parsleyhealth.com/blog/health-benefits-spring-cleaning/.