CLEVELAND – With the change of season, many of us are starting to think about spring cleaning.
Not only can a little tidying up make our environment look better. It can also benefit our mental health.
“Spring cleaning can be beneficial for several different reasons. In general, cleaning can restore a sense of control. When things are feeling out of control, people often like to take back control in ways they can – like cleaning up their environment,” said Dawn Potter, PsyD, psychologist for Cleveland Clinic. “It can also be beneficial because many people find clutter distracting, so engaging in spring cleaning can help you refocus on your other goals.”
Dr. Potter said the spring sunshine tends to give us a boost of energy, making it a great time to tackle some of the cleaning or other projects we put off in the winter.
Checking off items on our to-do lists can provide a sense of accomplishment and mark a fresh start to complement the season change.
To get started, Dr. Potter recommends writing down some tasks and coming up with a reasonable timeline to complete them.
She said people should work at a comfortable pace and not be afraid to ask someone else for help if needed.
If you decide to take on the lofty task of spring cleaning, make sure it’s because you want to.
“When you take on spring cleaning, do it for yourself. Don’t necessarily do it to meet other people’s expectations. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, ask yourself if this is what you want to do and if this is the right time for you to do it,” Dr. Potter said. “I think spring is a great time, but don’t feel pressured if it’s not the right time for you. Do what you want to the level that you feel good about.”
Dr. Potter said people should seek professional help if they feel depression, anxiety or another mental health disorder is stopping them from doing everyday tasks like cleaning.