According to Head To Health women thrive when they feel safe and respected by their surroundings. And as women ourselves, we know this is true. Women experiencing grief and trauma don’t have this, and depression can take over. Depression. What an odd name it is and definitely not the correct one. When people think of depression they think it’s just being sad and crying. But it is so much more! It is just step one of the grief process. Depression is sadness, numbness, guilt, anxiety, and a lack of pleasure in things you once found joy in. It is feeling useless and like a burden on the people you love and on society. It is being irritable, restless, socially isolated, and taking risks. It is sleeping too little or too much, and/or having a loss of appetite. Depression can even lead us to genuine suicidal thoughts.
Libby Sander (2019), an expert in organisational behaviour said research found clutter increased anxiety (cortisol levels), and affected our sleep and our ability to focus. This often results in reduced productivity and an inability to keep up with self-care habits. The build up of mess creates a revolving cycle that is really hard to come back from. So here are some tips to help ease the mental burden of clutter that your home inevitably is during these challenging times. One of the first lines of defence in the battle against mental health challenges has always been to get organised (Deering, 2019).
5 Tips to Help When Depression Takes Hold
- Commit to lack of perfection
Let go of “perfect,” and instead aim for a level of organisation that doesn’t hurt your quality of life.
- Break a large task into smaller tasks
Make it doable by dedicating 15 to 20 minutes at a time to doing things that need to get done. Or by sorting out that crazy kitchen in draw-by-draw chunks.
- Let go of items that don’t serve you
Emphasise the importance of considering what makes an item truly “valuable”. Instead of judging what to keep based on the fear of letting go or other emotions.
- Clear distractions
Clearing away distractions that cause procrastination, putting on some soothing music and leaving your phone out of the room. While planning to use that time to organise will create a much more productive and rewarding session, making you want to do it again.
- Visualise the end result
Human motivation is assisted by visualising the outcome. Can you feel how calmer you will be? Or how much easier it is to find things; you won’t waste time or become frustrated and ask, ‘now where did I leave that? And if all else fails, ask for help. Sometimes an impossible task becomes possible with another set of hands and eyes (Deering, 2019).
Once you’re ready and you have your designated chunks. Put aside the time you need, setup your work environment to be productive, and know how you want it to look. It’s time to get started:
- Pull everything into a pile.
- Set up boxes, one for items to go back into, one for items that belongs elsewhere, and one for throw away/charity items.
- Clean/wipe the area if needed.
- Put the needed items back where they belong.
Repeat this as many times as needed to reach your goal. Well done on achieving healing for your mind through organisation!
Sander, L. (2019). What does clutter do to your brain and body? An expert in organisational behaviour examines the effects disorganisation. NewsGP. https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/what-does-clutter-do-to-your-brain-and-body
Deering, S. (2019). 5 Small Ways to Get Organized When Your Depression Has Other Ideas. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/organized-even-on-toughest-mental-health-days