Now that December celebrations and festivities have passed, and most of us have returned back to the office or our usual routines, the reality of dark days and work can be a struggle. This doesn’t help with January Blues, more commonly known as Blue Monday and the most depressing day of the year, fast approaching later in the month.
Blue Monday falls on the third Monday of January and in 2023 this fall on Monday the 16th. Blue Monday originates from a travel company that marketed it as the best day to book a summer holiday while the weather is miserable and the return to the office has set in. Since its creation, Blue Monday has developed into a commonly accepted idea as well as a conversation starter to discuss mental health and look out for each other.
We understand that not everyone looks forward to cleaning their homes but we have pulled together a few ideas on how cleaning your home can help clean away the blues too.
Less clutter gives a clear mind
A cluttered home creates a cluttered mind. Your home is a reflection of your lifestyle, so on days like Blue Monday, your home is most likely to be looking cluttered as busy as your focus has returned to work or the school rush. A clean house can energise you and make you feel more connected to the world, while a messy one can leave you feeling overwhelmed, lonely, and resentful.
We suggest you start in the areas with the least sentimental items, such as under the kitchen sink. Finding sentimental objects will slow the process down as you want to browse and reflect on the memories of each item. By getting rid of clutter in the most used areas, getting other tasks done will become easier. A clean home allows you to enjoy your home more and reduces the annoyance of constantly moving unnecessary objects.
Getting active is scientifically proven to boost your serotonin levels which are the happy hormones in the body, and perhaps it’s even one of your New Year’s resolutions! It doesn’t matter if you go for a walk or join the gym, exercise is good for us. You’ll also feel much better about yourself mentally if you have a healthier body.
Adding more exercise to your life doesn’t require you to join a boot camp. A quick whizz around your home with the vacuum or a duster can give you the exercise kick to banish the January Blues. Look at your fitness tracker or a step count when you are finished with your home clean and we can guarantee you will be amazed at how much exercise you have actually done in a short amount of time. Blue Monday isn’t the time to push yourself too hard. Make achievable exercise goals and smash them.
Fresh clean scent
A clean scent is probably the easiest way to improve mood in the home, for you and anyone else there. Cleaning products can often have strong chemical smells but new products to the market come in a variety of other scents including mandarin, midnight bloom and rose. If your cleaning products aren’t enough, air fresheners and essential oils are a great way to make your home feel even cleaner.
The feeling of smelling something great every time you move is a real mood boost, regardless of whether you are WFH like most of society now and will go up to the kettle.
Open windows for fresh air
There are all sorts of reasons why getting out and about can help your mood, but getting out isn’t always an option for a number of reasons. Although we would all love to be outside in the fresh air, working from home means you might be stuck at a desk in your house for most of the day.
Fresh air is great for your physical health, your mood and your immune system. If you can’t get out on Blue Monday, opening the windows in your home let the old air out and fresh air back in. It’s easy to reduce your stress levels and boost your energy by letting the fresh air in and exposing your body to natural light.
Put on a mood-boosting song
It’s no secret that music can affect mood and in-the-moment emotions, but you might not be aware that music also affects long-term mental health. Blue Monday is the perfect day to find a mood-boosting playlist of your favourite songs or the lasted high-tempo songs that get you moving.
Why not listen to your favourite song while you check some cleaning jobs off your playlist or put a new song on to listen to while you wash up? If you are stuck with what to listen to, we have pulled together a playlist for you:
Jobs off your to-do list
A busy mind and a Blue Monday are never going to be a good mix. Creating a checklist of jobs that need to be done help you to get your thoughts out onto a list so you can visualise the cleaning tasks that need to be completed. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out our top tips one-hour cleaning list for you to try out. At Daily Poppins, we have also made this cleaning list into a bit of a challenge- compete with someone in your home and add a competitive element to your day.
Cleaning the home can then help you check off these jobs and give you a sense of accomplishment that overcomes the negative mood from Blue Monday. One less thing on your checklist will make your next couple of days more relaxed and clear your schedule.
Do a good deed
If you are lucky enough to already have a spotless home, we are jealous! But why not use this to your advantage and offer to help someone you know clean part of their home and check something off their list? It doesn’t have to be a full house clean, but perhaps a quick carpet cleaning with one of your new gadgets or, running the disinfectants around the living room if they are vulnerable to illness?
Our hearts are filled with joy when we help others. Being kind to others, no matter how small or large can increase happiness and life satisfaction. Helping someone close by will also get you talking and give you a chance to discuss how you and others a feeling. As we all know, a problem shared is a problem halved- both mentally and with cleaning jobs.
Rhiannon Cooper is the spokesperson of Daily Poppins.