By Avery Newmark, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Troy Warren for CNT #HomeGarden
A clean home is a happy home, but you don’t have to stress yourself out with the thought of tidying up.
Many people consider their homes to be like sanctuaries; places where they can truly be themselves and unwind. However, as beneficial as a clean home can be to your health, your sense of zen is also dependent on your thoughts. Almost no one wants to spend all their time cleaning and if you have unrealistic expectations about how your space should look at any given time, you won’t be able to truly relax and enjoy.
The first step toward a healthier home is to change how you think about your space and how you live in it. Here are a few simple but important tips on how to change the way you think and talk about cleaning your home:
“Chores” are a bore
If you’re having trouble getting things done around the house, try reimagining them as self-care opportunities rather than chores on a to-do list. The simple but effective shift in thinking, according to KC Davis, founder of Struggle Care, can not only motivate but also protect mental health, Apartment Therapy reported.
“Chores are obligations with external standards, but care tasks are acts of kindness that help you care for yourself,” Davis told the website. “This simple shift moves the motivation inward and can make completing care tasks easier.”
Set clear goals
Saying “I’m going to clean my house today” might not get you very far because of how massive the task is as well as the amount of pressure it adds. When you have an ambiguous goal, there’s no clear line on when the job is actually done. Setting clear goals such as “scrubbing baseboards” or “organizing the basement” will help you stay on track and keep you from getting overwhelmed.
“Resetting my kitchen to me means cleaning the dishes, wiping the counter, sweeping the floor, taking out the trash, and setting up the next morning’s coffee,” Davis said. “That is a manageable list that feels much less intimidating, and it only takes me 25 minutes!”
Be kind to yourself
There are countless reasons why people struggle with everyday care tasks. Whether due to mental health, physical disabilities or simply feeling overwhelmed, you deserve practical help, not shame and embarrassment.
“As a therapist, I can attest that every time I have seen a client who describes themselves as ‘lazy,’ I have found not a character defect, but instead a functional barrier that needs support and intervention,” Davis said. “At this point, I am convinced laziness does not exist.”
Changing how you treat yourself encourages you to set boundaries and have reasonable expectations for yourself and your home, both of which are beneficial to your mental health.
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