Bust stress by clearing clutter

Picking up cleaning equipment and getting down to clearing the clutter around you could be one way to cope with stress during the quarantine period.

"The act of cleaning, if done within limits, can bring an added benefit of exercise, which can be great for relieving stress," said Dr Santosh Bangar, consultant psychiatrist at the Global Hospital in Mumbai.

A cluttered house can lead to negative emotions such as irritability, tension and worry, whereas a clean area is more likely to be linked to positive emotions such as happiness and calmness.

People can experience a sense of achievement, pride or enhanced self-esteem after a cleaning session.

Some people respond well to stress or even thrive, while others experience emotions that can be excessive, leading to a full-blown panic attack characterised by body shakes, dryness of mouth, sweating, palpitations, rapid breathing and a feeling of impending doom.

If excessive stress goes undetected or untreated, it could cause various physical and mental problems.

Too much stress could lead to depression, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders and even suicide.

The physical problems include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and cancer.

Various forms of relaxation techniques are useful in dealing with stress, one being house cleaning. Dr Bangar said that one way to clean your house and reduce stress is to set a schedule.

"Every day pick a room and dedicate five to 15 minutes to cleaning it," he said.

For example, on Day 1: Clean the kitchen by taking out the trash, wiping and disinfecting surfaces and appliances, and sweeping and mopping.

Day 2: Clean the main living area by picking up magazines, books, games, etc, then vacuuming or sweeping and dusting surfaces.

Day 3: Clean the bedrooms by stripping and washing sheets, vacuuming or sweeping and dusting.

Indo-Asian News Service


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