When you hear the term “healthy lifestyle”, you might immediately think about drinking green smoothies and going to the gym at 4 a.m. every day.
No wonder it doesn’t exactly appeal to everyone.
But, it’s important to understand that your overall health and wellness goes far beyond the walls of a gym and eating kale salads three times a day. While eating right and exercising regularly are necessary for maintaining your health, there are other things you can do and daily habits you can adopt that will have a positive impact on your wellness, too.
That includes keeping a clean home.
Whether you’ve recently moved into a new place and haven’t gotten around to decluttering yet, or it’s been a long time since you’ve swept and mopped, keeping your home as clean as possible can do wonderful things for your mental and physical health.
Not convinced enough to grab the vacuum yet? Let’s talk more about how your health can benefit.
It’s hard to find any “bright spots” when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, if nothing else, it reminded people how important it is to keep things clean and disinfected – even at home.
Viruses and bacteria can live on surfaces for quite a while. Even if you live alone, it’s easy to spread illness around your home just by touching different things. Or, you could increase your risk of food-borne illnesses by cross-contaminating ingredients in your kitchen.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting around your house can help to reduce your chances of getting infected with bacteria or a virus, especially if you share your space with family members or roommates. Follow these tips from the CDC for when and how to clean surfaces in your home:
- Clean high-touch surfaces (doorknobs, countertops, light switches, etc.) daily
- Disinfect after you have visitors
- Clean other surfaces when they are visibly dirty or develop a regular schedule
- Use appropriate cleaning products
If someone in your home has respiratory issues or you have sensitive skin, it’s also beneficial to your health to clean and disinfect with natural products. Not only are they better for your body, but they’re better for the environment. There’s a greater demand for natural products nowadays, so they are easier to find than ever. Don’t be afraid to read labels and decide which products are best for your needs.
In addition to breathing easier and feeling better, maintaining a clean home is great for your mental health.
First, having a cluttered, messy home can be detrimental to your mental wellbeing. Studies have shown that clutter can be linked to:
- Lack of focus
Regularly cleaning your home and keeping it free of clutter can help you feel more in control, which will help with your stress levels. Additionally, a clean home can improve your mood, make you feel less fatigued, and even weaken existing symptoms of anxiety and depression. At the very least, it can serve as a healthy distraction to keep your mind from giving into racing, anxious thoughts.
If you already do have a mental health condition, cleaning can be an active form of self-care. It can be difficult to find the motivation to get started. But, once you accomplish even a small area, you’ll be encouraged to keep going. You might end up finding that it’s something you look forward to each day.
When you haven’t cleaned in a while or if things seem especially cluttered, knowing where to start can feel overwhelming. It’s okay to break things down into smaller tasks. Doing so can make the entire process easier and less stressful. Eventually, you’ll get into a daily routine and form habits that will keep your space clean with only a small amount of effort each day. Try introducing habits like:
- Making your bed
- Doing a little laundry every day
- Cleaning up after every meal
- Setting a schedule
- Dealing with one room at a time
- Putting things away after you use them
If you’re still feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to start, consider hiring a professional cleaning crew. Reputable cleaning companies are often used for major projects. So, if it’s been a while since you’ve done a deep clean, they can tackle the “dirty” work, and you can maintain things when they’re done.
Or, if you have the income to hire a cleaning service regularly, some offer weekly maintenance packages that include things like vacuuming, dusting, and mopping. You can come home to a clean house every day without having to lift a finger.
In a world that is so focused on whatever it takes to maintain physical and mental health, keeping a clean home is something that can easily get overlooked. Start small, clear out the clutter, and you’ll immediately be able to enjoy the benefits that a clean home can offer.