My day job, like any job based in an office, can be claustrophobic physically and mentally. Sitting close to the same people for hours on end, five days a week, can escalate small irritations and clashes of personalities into emotional avalanches.
Last week, a claustrophobic situation in my office erupted, leaving me doing mental and emotional gymnastics. By Friday, I was exhausted, my body seething with negativity and a focus on my work situation that was out of proportion with what are usually, and should be, the priorities in my life. I needed some way to get that negativity out of my system.
Come Saturday, there was only one thing for it. I had to clean the kitchen. And when I say clean, I mean scrub every cupboard inside and outside, wash walls and floors, get the grease off every surface and wipe windows. So, for four hours, that is exactly what my husband and I did. Armed with a playlist of dance-floor numbers, we got as much dirt out of our early-noughties-kitchen-in-a-rented-Regency-terrace as humanly possible.
Sitting back at the end of this session and smugly surveying our work, I reflected on how much cleaner I felt mentally and emotionally. I felt like I’d scrubbed out the negativity and made space in my brain for what I should prioritise in my life, namely my husband and the birth of my first child in four months.
It made me think about the mental cleansing power of cleaning and how effective de-cluttering, organising and scrubbing the home environment can be. When going through, or preparing to go through, a difficult situation or big life change, spending time cleaning out the old and giving the mind space for the new is an important part of the transition process.
While the power of physical exercise is held high as a method to stimulate mental happiness, my experience has made me a firm believer that working up a sweat sorting out the roof space, throwing away unused goods and scrubbing surfaces should be held in the same regard. There actually have been studies done on this topic, giving me some scientific back up for my assumptions.
My musings in this post touch on themes that are important to us at The Bulb, and which we have written about in the past: the importance of finding a sense of home where the heart is happy; giving ourselves time to enjoy that home; and where to turn for inspiration in the home (particularly when you HAVE to clean). Hopefully the below posts will help you, as they have helped us.
(Written by Laura)