Have you ever avoided hosting guests at your house because you haven’t cleaned in weeks? Or paid late fees on a bill because it got lost in the pile on your desk? If so, you’re not alone. Today’s chaotic demands often mean that the more mundane aspects of “adulting” fall to the bottom of our near-bottomless to-do list. However, research shows that avoiding these responsibilities can negatively influence our general wellbeing.
A recent article in The New York Times cited studies that found links between clutter and negative feelings, particularly among women. In fact, women who believed their homes were messy were more likely to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol throughout the day compared to men. The article also noted a link between the tendency to procrastinate and levels of clutter. While this link existed for all age groups in the study, the frustration level associated with clutter increased with age.
Another study cited in an NPR report found that a messy kitchen led to poor snacking decisions; specifically, study participants chose more cookies over healthier options offered. Results indicated that our external environment caninfluence our behavior.
Spring is the perfect time of year to clear out the cobwebs, both literally and figuratively. That’s because cleaning can be more than a chore – it can also be a form of both exercise and mindfulness.
Vacuuming, mopping, yard work, as well as bending, lifting, and carrying boxes full of purged items can all contribute to our 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity (as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services). And if you do these activities while consciously maintaining a state of presence and careful focus on the task at hand, they can become a form of meditation.
Once completed, you will reap the rewards of a clean home, a few calories burned, and a more relaxed state of mind. And if you’d like to further reward yourself for a job well done, consider a massage or a meditation/mindfulness consulting session with one of our practitioners. Not a Member? Start your free trial now: www.simplafyi.com/members