Wednesday, March 20, 2019
How I clean my home when feeling Depressed
The first month of grief I went to my (then) therapist and told her that I felt like doing nothing. I was depressed, I didn't want to get out of bed and my house started to get messy, the messier the house got, the worse I felt. I made these big lists of what I was going to do each day and set out to do my chores. I became overwhelmed by barely checking off any of the items on my list. I explained to my counselor, "I am making myself lists, I am setting goals, Why can't I get anything accomplished?" My therapist told me I was expecting to much from myself. I was putting so much pressure on myself that I was failing then feeling worse about myself. She suggested I start by setting smaller goals, MUCH smaller goals.
Set small goals
Instead of giving up and doing nothing. Which by the way is completely okay some days! Set a very small goal. Instead of, "Clean My House" or even "Clean my room" maybe just take the laundry from my bedroom to the laundry room. That's it. Stop. Maybe later or tomorrow your goal is to put it in the washer (and you kind of have to put it in the dryer because it starts to smell, believe me! lol)
Give yourself small goals and feel good when you accomplish them!
Set the Mood
This one is my FAVORITE!! When I clean I set the mood, especially when I am feeling depressed.
Get Inspired: This looks something like sitting on my bed or couch and putting YouTube on one of my favorite cleaning channels. I love Love Meg and Clutterbug but you can search for others there are many channels out there. That step get's me inspired to clean.
Distraction: You are feeling down and probably have a million things going through your head while cleaning that aren't very motivational. Cleaning is an awesome time to listen to an audio book (there are some freebies on YouTube), Listen to some upbeat music (no sad stuff!) or play a happy movie (just as long as you are listening to it and not sitting down to watch).
Scents: This part is huge for me. I love to get my essential oils going, light candles, light incense and make the house smell good. This puts me in a happier mood and helps my house to already feel a bit cleaner because it smells so nice! I also love nicely scented cleaning products. My favorites are Mrs. Meyers and Method, or you can look up ways to make your own natural home cleaners!
Be Comfy: Throw your hair in a messy bun if it's long. Put on your most comfortable soft tee or sweats and make sure you are warm snuggly and comfy!
Get Rid of Stuff
Most of us have stuff we need to get rid of. I can always find stuff to get rid of and I purge my home often. Here's why getting rid of stuff makes me feel so good, it makes my house cleaner and it feels good to give things to people who can use them. I am not saying go Konmari method and put all the clothes you own in a huge pile, start small. You don't want to get overwhelmed. Got a drawer or shelf of vitamins? Go through it and look for expired bottles to throw away. Go through one drawer and donate clothing you no longer wear. Do small areas at a time. Relax, go slow, listen to your background music and slowly organize and get rid of what longer "sparks joy," (ok THAT part I borrowed from Marie Kondo)
Give yourself some credit, give yourself a pat on the back. Grief and Depression are exhausting, let whatever you could do be enough. Don't think about what you did not get done, instead think about what you accomplished.
If all you did was get out of your bed and pick up your dirty socks today, I am proud of you! Be proud of yourself too!
Ask for help
There is no shame in asking other's for help if you need it. I remember being so overwhelmed one day back in college (I was a working single mother of two babies in college) I asked a friend to come over and not do any actual cleaning but help keep me focused. She would steer me in the direction of what to do next and keep me company while doing it. It's fun to talk to a friend while folding laundry or sorting socks, you don't have to be alone to clean. Whether they help or not, it's nice to have someone there to keep you company.
Cleaning your home is a form of self-care
When I started setting the mood, not setting my goals too high, and giving away what was causing clutter I noticed I started to ENJOY cleaning. GASP! This was new for me! It started to become something that lifted my mood. My house being clean makes me happy and when it's organized it's so much easier to keep clean. The actual act of cleaning, while setting the right state of mind and atmosphere makes cleaning feel good for me, and not some form of torture. My home is far from perfect but I am okay with that!
Keep it simple. Be easy on yourself. Do what you can do and Be Proud of Yourself!!
Got more cleaning and organizing tips for cleaning while depressed? Drop them in the comment box below!!
None of the YouTube channels or companies mentioned in this post are in anyway sponsored!