Spring is in the air and so is the annual tidying campaign of spring cleaning. Now that we have a little more time at home than usual, this may be a good time to get a jump on our chores! While taking the time to clean doesn’t necessarily sound like a fun activity, it can have an important impact on our mental health. April is also Stress Awareness Month, and it’s important to monitor our stress levels and take appropriate steps to ensure that we are healthy physically, mentally, and emotionally.
While having a little bit of added stress may not sound like the end of the world, the Mayo Clinic reportsopens a new window that overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones puts you at risk for anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep problems, weight gain, and memory impairment.
One of the small things we can do to help lower our stress levels is to de-clutter our homes and personal spaces. According to a psychology study reportedopens a new window in the New York Times, “among older adults, clutter problems were…associated with life dissatisfaction” and “clutter can negatively impact mental well-being, particularly among women.” Another published study that examined married couples in Los Angeles noted that wives “who perceived themselves as having a cluttered home…tended to have increased levels of cortisol throughout the day.”
Another positive result of tidying up our homes and spaces is the potential for donating unused or gently loved items around our houses to the less fortunate. Things such as clothing in good shape, bedding, and excess furniture may be cluttering up our homes without getting much use. If you notice that you have some pieces or items that you rarely use or don’t need, consider donating to one of the following community donation centers:
Note: Please contact the following locations before bringing donation materials to be sure that they are currently accepting new donations due to the COVID-19 virus.
Gran’s Attic Thrift Shoppe, benefiting the Samaritan Center
402 Girod Street, Mandeville
Veterans of America
Visit pickupplease.org to schedule a pick up!
Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center
1600 N Hwy. 190, Covington
Habitat for Humanity St.Tammany West ReStore
1400 North Lane, Mandeville
Saint Francis Animal Sanctuary Thrift Shop
813 Florida Street, Mandeville
184 Gause Blvd, Slidell – 985-649-2909
790 Hwy. 190, Covington – 985-892-3937
4940 Hwy. 22, Mandeville – 985-845-1465
Let’s all take a few hours to spruce up our personal spaces and lower those stress levels! We all need something to take our minds off our current situation, and I hope you're all staying safe, clean, and healthy! To get you started, here are a few book recommendations on organizing, tidying up, and minimalist practices:
Tidy up your space and lower your stress levels!