Melting snow, blooming flowers, and changing weather are all official markers for the welcoming of spring. With the beginning of a new season, many individuals like to prepare for the changes that accompany it by practicing their own rituals, like spring cleaning. Often, the term “spring cleaning” is thought to refer to activities like preparing the yard for warmer weather, decluttering messes that have piled up during the holidays and cooler months, packing up winter clothes, and deep cleaning. However, the mental benefits of spring cleaning, such as increasing focus, boosting mood, and reducing stress, are often overlooked . Spring cleaning is mostly a physical act, but actions like decluttering and deep cleaning lead to refreshed and renewed mental spaces, thus promoting better mental health. Adhere.ly offers tools that can be helpful when implemented in the spring cleaning process, like allowing clinicians to send their clients automated reminders, give digital therapeutic exercises to clients, and allows clients to practice assessments, which can be reviewed by the clinician for tracking of treatment progress.
3 Positive Effects of Spring Cleaning
1. Stress Reduction
A main part of spring cleaning is decluttering the messes that have accumulated during the winter season to become organized for the start of spring. This action of removing unwanted items and freeing up some space can actually decrease stress. Clutter can cause individuals to feel overwhelmed, trapped, and anxious, which are the leading negative mental health effects linked to clutter. Approximately 78% of individuals living in the U.S. find dealing with their clutter to be stressful . Having a space free from clutter reduces stress by removing the anxiety associated with constantly being in and looking at an unnecessarily crowded or messy space. Spring cleaning not only gives one a clean house, but it also aids in restoring a sense of control, further leading to a reduction in stress .
2. Increased Focus
By spring cleaning, potential distractions to specific tasks, like working from home, can be removed, allowing for more productive work and better concentration. Research shows that by organizing and cleaning one’s environment, an individual can retain information better and perform critical thinking tasks better . Being surrounded by clutter or other messes can be chaotic, which like stress, can have a negative impact on your mental health. With a clean environment, one can begin the new season with a renewed mind. Having an increased focus by being free from distractions, and the stresses caused by them, could also lead to an improved mood .
3. Boosted Mood
Decluttering as part of spring cleaning doesn’t just refer to getting rid of old clothes or cleaning out the garage, but it can also be applied to old habits or toxic behaviors. By decluttering old habits and inviting new, healthy ones, like going outside, one can start off the new season feeling refreshed and in a better mood.  Being in a better mood leads to a more positive mental health overall. Spring cleaning provides tangible results, something that can be physically seen, which can give someone a feeling of achievement or pride.  An individual’s environment has a significant impact on their mental wellness, and having a clean home or workspace has benefits that directly impact one’s mood. The physical act of cleaning can also release endorphins, which are beneficial in relieving stress and pain, leading to an improved mood .
Tips for Spring Cleaning
Whether you’re new to spring cleaning, or just need a refresher, here are some tips than can be helpful in ensuring your spring cleaning is effective:
- Clean one space at a time – By only focusing on one area at a time, the overwhelming aspect of cleaning can be prevented.
- Explore and implement healthy habits – While decluttering your physical space, don’t forget to take time to clear out the unhealthy behaviors or habits that you may have, making room for new, better, ones.
- Spend time in your mental space – With spring being a time of renewal, it is a good time to rid yourself of any negative thoughts you may be carrying relating to self-esteem, confidence, or self-love . As part of spring cleaning, try reframing those thoughts into positive ones.
The spring season has an association to rebirth and renewal, which is often why individuals feel the need to participate in this phenomenon of spring cleaning. Despite the well-known benefits of spring cleaning, such as a clean house, car, or workspace, there are also other positive impacts associated with it that are less commonly known. These impacts are on an individual’s mental health, in turn influencing physical health. Reduced stress, improved focus, and a better mood are all effects that spring cleaning can have on mental health. This spring, with the welcoming of warmer weather and more days spent outside, spring cleaning is the perfect activity to not only give you a clean space, but also a clean headspace. Additionally, using the tools offered by Adhere.ly, like therapists being able to send their clients reminders to aid them with the process of spring cleaning, is just one way that Adhere.ly can be beneficial to both clinicians and clients this spring! Try adding Adhere.ly to your spring cleaning routine by signing up today on Adhere.ly’s website using the following link: https://app.adhere.ly/auth/sign-up
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