Your mess can cause distress: Decluttering as self-care | Inquirer Lifestyle

Your mess can cause distress: Decluttering as self-care

Your mess can cause distress. Living in a cluttered environment directly contributes to feelings of angst and anxiety.

American Council for Exercise (ACE)-certified health coach Stacey Colino and the Benilde Well-Being Center of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde both believe that decluttering—both the process and the results—promotes health.

Colino is an award-winning writer specializing in health and science. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek and Good Housekeeping. She said, “Tidying up can help you de-stress, gain a sense of control, and improve your state of mind in numerous ways. If it puts you at ease, it can be an important part of self-care.”

Here are some pointers on how to declutter for a better mental state:

•Clutter reduces productivity. A disorganized environment may impact attention, concentration and focus. It may even drain cognitive resources. An overabundance of possessions is a result of overattachment. It may foster chronic procrastination. Living in a crowded space can reduce productivity.

• Clutter affects both physical and emotional well-being. Excessive physical things negatively affect subjective happiness. Our home should be considered our safe space. Piles could be magnets to bugs and bacteria. Wires on the floor may be accident hazards.

•Clutter affects our health. A chaotic kitchen can contribute to an unruly mindset. Disorganized kitchens may facilitate a choice of higher calorie snacks over healthier options. This causes weight gain and poses other health risks.

• Decluttering brings a sense of freedom and liberation. Getting rid of unnecessary belongings manages symbolic pollution. Put away miscellaneous physical things. Place them where they belong. This makes it easier to locate items at home. It likewise gives a new sense of being in charge. Doing these helps us feel more confident, efficient and accomplished.

• Decluttering gives us a fresh start. It removes visual interruptions. It cleanses our palate. It allows us to have a fresh start in a more organized space.

• Clutter is a spectrum. Individuals differ on the clutter they can tolerate. Decluttering can also go overboard. It is important to find what works for us. Be flexible enough to dial back when appropriate.