If you are like me, you get down in the dumps for no reason. All you want to do is lie in bed, eat anything you can get your hands on, and watch reruns of The Golden Girls. While Dorothy’s advice to Rose is always indispensible, nothing seems to bring back your motivation. If you find wishing to be the fifth Golden Girl, the time has come to get up, change out of your pajamas, and do something to break the funk.
I have recently discovered a simple way to break the cycle of depression and return to my amazing life. My cure sounds simple, but the effects are instant and astounding.
Vacuum away the blues!
Don’t laugh just yet. You may be wondering how a mundane household chore like vacuuming could possibly make you feel better? Give it a try before you go back to your pillow. You will be amazed!
Vacuuming works wonders on depression in three ways:
- · Vacuuming forces us to be active!
- · Vacuuming allows us to think.
- · Vacuuming creates a clean space.
Vacuuming forces us to be active! Exercise (yes, vacuuming counts!) is the best way to alter your mood. Nothing else works quite as well as moving your body when combating a funk!
John J. Ratey, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School recommends exercise as a means to beating depression. “I like to say that exercise is like taking a little Prozac or a little Ritalin at just the right moment. Exercise is really for the brain, not the body,” he states. “It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being.”
Vacuuming is the best way to get active after spending a few lazy days on the couch. Maybe that jog will happen in a few days, but you can definitely vacuum today!
Vacuuming allows us to think. As Dr. Ratey emphasizes, “Exercise is really for the brain, not the body.” The roar of the vacuum motor drowns out that leaky faucet, the barking dog, and all those self-critical thoughts running around in our minds.
When we vacuum, we are forced to focus. We must narrow in on that one crumb in the carpet-that one that will not budge. All our mental capacities are centered on sucking up each speck we see blighting our living area.
Jesus might have said not to worry about the speck in our friend’s eye, while we have a log in our own; however, he never said anything about taking vengeance against the specks in our living room carpet! Plus, focusing on the smallest irritants in our lives gives us the ability to put the large irritants into perspective.
Sucking up those pesky crumbs brings about a feeling of control. Regaining control, even if only over something small, allows us to feel a sense of self-confidence. Even if you can’t immediately eradicate depression from your life, you can instantly eradicate the dirt and dust from your home.
Vacuuming creates a clean space. The ancient Chinese practice of feng shui has taught us there is a direct correlation between having a messy house and having a fatigued mind. According to the practices of feng shui, “clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward. Nothing new flows into your life until you make room for it.”
Whether or not you buy into the ancient eastern philosophies, there is no denying the negative effect a dirty, cluttered home causes on us, or the improvement of mood that comes from a clean living space.
We all experience times when the blues blow in and set up shop in our spirits. Trust me, you are not alone! Life is overwhelming. If you begin to notice the blues are taking hold of you, you must resist their grasp in order to continue the healthy balance of living and loving life.
Small steps are the best way to conquer large problems. Take the small step of getting off the couch, and grabbing your vacuum! You will feel an instant improvement in your mood by becoming active. You will regain a sense of clarity and perspective by focusing on the small problems in life instead of your own large ones. Lastly, vacuuming will bring about a sense of peace and self-esteem in knowing that your home is clean, and you are responsible for changing your environment, one speck at a time!