2020 was filled with fear, uncertainty, depression, mass shutdowns, and social distancing. We forgot one important thing: cleaning. People cleaned like they have never cleaned before, scrubbing every surface in their house with powerful disinfectant cleaners. The day-to-day or weekly cleaning took a toll on the mind and body, and the isolation didn’t do any favors for anyone.
Health experts say that one of the most common symptoms of depression is when you stop taking care of daily or weekly chores. Cleaning your home is a necessary chore, but depression doesn’t feel that way about it. The worst part is that the depression only worsens after neglecting your chores and seeing the mess you live in. It’s ultimately a vicious cycle: you stop cleaning because you’re depressed and you’re depressed because of your dirty home.
Productivity is one of the most beneficial characteristics that a person can have. Being productive fills you with power, and it can often pull you out of the slump you’re in. Psychologists say that being productive helps people with depression focus better, improve work-life balance, and maintain a healthy mind/body connection. A clean environment encourages productivity, and the productive act of cleaning encourages you to carry that momentum into other parts of your life. Use the cleaning tips below to maintain a clean home when you have depression.
Store Your Cleaning Supplies Wisely:
You know what really deters a person from cleaning? Not being able to locate cleaning supplies. Have your cleaning supplies in an easily accessible location, one where you don’t have to dig through everything you own to find them. Keep your bathroom cleaners under the sink in the bathroom. Keep kitchen cleaners in the pantry or under the kitchen sink. Keep the vacuum at the ready if you have carpets, and keep a broom or Swiffer ready if you have hardwood floors.
Set Manageable Goals:
Cleaning an entire house or apartment is a life-draining task. Not only is the thought daunting, but the act is also exhausting and hard on the body. Don’t scare yourself out of cleaning; rather, give yourself small, manageable cleaning goals each day. When you tackle a section of your home each day, you’ll always have a clean living space. Do laundry on the a Sunday or clean the bathroom on Wednesday. Smaller cleaning tasks are often more productive than attempting to clean an entire home.
Procrastination and depression go together like two peas in a pod, but you can fight back! It’s easy to push back your chores and say that you’ll get to them later. Do you actually do them later? More often than not, later becomes never. Take care of things in the present and you’ll help reduce the amount of time that you have to clean in the future. If you roast some vegetables in the oven, take care of your dishes while they are roasting. You’ll have much less to clean up when you finish eating. Depression can make you feel down or fatigued, but set manageable goals and complete them for a sense of fulfillment.
Delegate Whenever You Can:
If you have the option to enlist help from family or friends, take advantage of the help! If you live with people, rope them in to make the cleaning process a team effort. The work will get done faster and it puts a lot less responsibility on your shoulders. Don’t make cleaning the entire home/apartment your burden if you live with others. If you have children who are reluctant to clean, make housework engaging and fun! How you do that is entirely up to you, but we can tell you that offering a reward or treat at the end is great motivation.
Go With Your Natural Energy Schedule:
There’s no reason to force yourself to clean if it’s late at night and you feel sleepy. People with depression, even though it can cause feelings of sluggishness around the clock, still have bursts of energy. Take advantage of these bursts and ride those waves. Don’t fight them! When motivation strikes, channel that energy into doing dishes, mopping the floors, wiping the windows, or even cleaning the bathroom. The show you’re binging will be there when you’re done cleaning!