The ups and downs of life rarely fail to surprise us, in ways both good and bad. To make it through a normal week while juggling work responsibilities, personal life, and physical wellness is impressive for any hardworking professional. The other side of this mantra is that sometimes, burnout happens. For most of us, hitting the metaphorical wall every once in a while is unavoidable. It is generally induced by stress – it could be a big project coming due at work, troubles with your significant other, a poorly house-trained dog, or anything in between.
These things happen, and accepting that reality is healthy, but acceptance doesn’t always change the impact these events may have on one’s mental well-being. With that in mind, it is important to figure out any consistent, repeatable behaviors that might allow our constantly overworked brains a chance to decompress a bit.
While it isn’t as much behavior as it is a lifestyle perspective, your ability to stay organized could possibly be the single most important change you can make to give yourself a mental breather.
Whether it means organizing your work desk, cleaning your apartment, or even combing your hair, having a strong commitment to keeping as much of your life in order as possible is a tried-and-true method of ensuring that your brain is being used as efficiently as possible. A clean space gives the brain less to worry about, and fewer subconscious micro-decisions would theoretically de-clutter the mind – but science shows that the benefits are more far-reaching than that.
The belief that visible clutter weighs on us mentally has become a consensus within the medical community in recent years.
Clutter can affect physical health. Constant, repeated stress in daily life is known to cause a host of problems relating to heart health and blood pressure, as well as lowering one’s protection from illness. In addition to this, an accumulation of household clutter means a buildup of dust, pet dander, and even mold if left unchecked. These substances lower air quality and can bring on worse cases of allergies or asthma.
By avoiding clutter, you are committing to a life where you have lower overall stress, live longer, and are less susceptible to allergies or illness. On top of that, you’re statistically more likely to regularly exercise, something that pays dividends for both the body and mind. So, pick up that dirty laundry, run the dishwasher, and take the time to maintain your appearance before you head out to take on the world – your future self will thank you.