Anxiety and depression can make the simplest of tasks difficult to manage. In certain circumstances, some people battle with getting out of bed each day. In others, some find themselves cleaning their homes from head to toe each day and have OCD compulsions. Anxiety and depression affect the housework, how often we do it and how we manage it.
If you are going through a really difficult depressive or anxious time, then I would urge to seek help from a professional, such as your GP. If you find that you are in a slump, try these 8 tips on how to get out of it.
Housework Can and Will Wait
When you find yourself going through a particularly difficult time, don’t feel guilty about the housework. It can and will wait for you to get better. The most important thing is to focus on yourself and your mental health and wellbeing.
Seek professional help and focus on getting yourself better first. When you feel that you are able to tackle more each day, start off slow. Bring in the troops without embarrassment or guilt too. See if you have some friends or family there to help with elements. If someone offers, than accept it. It’s not shameful to accept help, it’s likely that if you were feeling yourself, that you would also offer help to those that needed it.
Don’t take on too much too soon. We don’t need to Marie Kondo our house straight away, but even just keeping on top of the dishes and kitchen side will help. Eventually, you can build up to creating a cleaning schedule.
Cleaning Schedules Work Wonders
The best way to organise cleaning and keeping on top of housework, would be to create a cleaning schedule. You could do it to fit your current lifestyle and responsibilities. For example, if you work long hours on certain days, try to schedule your cleaning for your days off.
I follow The Organised Mum Method, which is a great method of keeping on top of cleaning. Team TOMM splits the housework into 2 levels; level 1 are basic jobs that just need to be done quickly (spending no more than 15 minutes) such as making beds, or making sure floors are clean and level 2 jobs. Level 2 jobs are to take no more than half an hour and are divided into rooms depending on the day, so for example, Monday is living room day.
Then there is a Friday focus where you get to spend half an hour on a Friday doing a deeper clean on a room and this works on an 8 week rotation. So for example, if it was on the bedroom, you could have a clear out of your wardrobe. Her website explains things in great detail, and her book is available on Amazon. It is the best, most manageable cleaning schedule I have come across.
If You Find Yourself Cleaning Too Much, Stop!
It’s easy when you are struggling to throw your energies into activities in a bid to cover up your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes people with anxiety and depression can develop OCD tendencies and want their home to be clean and tidy constantly, or they may feel stressed if it isn’t.
Instead of cleaning constantly, try putting your energies into some self-care or a hobby instead. Take up running, baking, cycling, cooking, sewing or any type of crafts. You will find yourself feeling accomplished without the smell of bleach permanently etched in your nostrils. By adopting a cleaning schedule, you can still keep on top of what needs doing, but without over doing it.
Hiring A Cleaner.
At times things can just simply get too much. Then the thought of becoming behind on the housework can make you feel even worse, especially when you have a family. If it is an option, a good alternative to battling against the scrubbing, is to hire a cleaner. Obviously, this isn’t an option for everyone.
Even if you hired one for 2 hours every fortnight, they can help do the deeper bits which you may find difficult to get on top of. There is nothing wrong in reaching out for help in any situation. So if the housework is getting on top of you and you want to focus on your recovery, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the constant list of jobs; then see if you can pass this job onto a cleaner.
Hinch Yourself Happy is a best selling book by Mrs Hinch. Mrs Hinch was known for struggling with anxiety before she found cleaning became therapeutic for her.
If you are struggling to clean and keep on top of the housework, remember that the most important thing is you’re recovery and boosting your mental health. The housework can and will wait. However, when you are feeling more on top of everything, try a cleaning schedule- but remember not to end up cleaning too much. As a final note, if you can afford a cleaner, even if it’s fortnightly, try delegating this life chore so you can spend more time on self care!
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