Self-Care Tip #170 – Listen to your mind and body when you do things like cleaning, even if it makes you feel better or worse. Be a friend to yourself.
Whenever someone in the house can’t find something, I ask them to please just start cleaning and sooner or later they’ll find it.
Today my kids and I spent two hours cleaning their play room. My daughters were amazed at all the treasures they found tucked under, over, this way and that way in their clutter. Although there was a lot of crying and gnashing of teeth along the way, in the end everyone was happy and pleased with themselves.
One of the blog-sites I enjoy reading is “Earthquakes and Rattlesnakes” by Zahara. The other day she said,
I have a lot on my mind. It seems when my mind is in a jumble, my house is in a jumble. Cluttered, disorganized. Can I unclutter my mind by cleaning my house? Probably.
According to BBC News, cleaning improves mental health through the exercise that is inadvertently done.
And as Louise Hay once said,
Cluttered closets mean a cluttered mind. As you clean the closet, say to yourself, ‘I am cleaning the closets of my mind.’ The universe loves symbolic gestures.
But there are times when this goes awry. In Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, people may clean ritually and compulsively to avoid an egodystonic fear; a fear they know doesn’t make sense but still terrifies and overwhelms them.
Or in Major Depressive Disorder, the illness affects their brain and body so much so at times that they can’t do basic life functioning, such as cleaning their house or even showering.
So I’ll tell the mothers out there such as myself, the BBC News, Louise Hay and the rest of us that cleaning is good self-care. The milieu around it is also a good indicator on when it is time to go get professional help. Listen to your body and mind.
Questions: When and how has something as simple as cleaning improved your mental state? When has something as basic as doing your activities of daily living shown you that you or someone you love might need to see their doctor? Please tell me your story.