Why Cleaning is Good for My Anxiety

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I went down to my sister’s and stayed the night and had a Thanksgiving lunch with her and my Dad and his wife, and then I stayed the night with my best friend (aka, my wifey) and we hung out on Black Friday.

Anyway, when I was at my sister’s, she was always moving around and cleaning. Even as we talked, she was moving around tubs of stuff. I joked with her about it, but then a few days later, I read an article called something like “Why Cleaning is Good for Anxiety”. I can’t remember where I found this at; it just popped up on my Facebook news feed because Facebook is getting super creepy these days.

I didn’t get into the second paragraph when I read something along the lines of cleaning being good for people with anxiety because it gives them control over their environment.

That. Stopped. Me. In. My. Tracks.

My jaw dropped and I am sure my eyes were huge. Even in grad school, I would read things like, “Oh, cleaning is good for people who have OCD” or something like that, but no one had ever put it quite into those words before. This struck me because, as I mentioned in an emotional post a few weeks ago, my disordered eating was a means to control what was happening to me. I had no control over the external factors going on in my life, but I could control what I ate, how often, and how much…or didn’t.

Cleaning is a much healthier way to exert my will onto my environment!

I have no idea why I have never made this connection sooner! Why hasn’t a therapist told me this sooner???

After I changed my mindset, I now LOVE to clean. Where I used to dread lifting a finger after getting home from work, I am now doing Zumba or another exercise class after work, coming home, and making sure dishes are done, laundry is going, counter tops are wiped down, and a small sweep, if needed. It is a win-win: I am no longer stuck spending HOURS cleaning on a Saturday!

Cleaning is my new friend. It is healing for me, and now I get why my sister is constantly doing it. There IS method to the madness!

Now…if only I can work on keeping my desk at work clean…


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