Mess is Bad for Your Mind – and for Your Pets
Article submitted by Will Tottle (thanks!)
The concept of a tidy home resulting in a tidy mind is one that we hear a lot but don’t always practice – even though it couldn’t be truer. If your home is full of mess and clutter, it will impact your mental and physical health in a negative manner, but it’s not just you that you should worry about; it’s the effect it can have on your pets. You see, mess is bad for them too, and this article will talk about how it impacts them, you, and how you can fix things.
How Mess Affects Mental Health
Clutter and mess can, firstly, lead to really poor sleep quality. This is because even while you are sleeping, your brain is occupied with the fact that you are surrounded by an untidy home, and that there are things that need to be put away. Humans need at least a sense of structure and organisation in their lives, and this is why mess can have a negative impact.
Similarly, a lack of cleanliness can increase the amount of cortisol your body is producing (stress hormone), which leaves you feeling more tense, anxious, and uptight. It decreases motivation and productivity, but also reduces dopamine (happy hormone) levels and can increase the risk of feeling depressed and unhappy.
How Mess Can Affect Your Pets
If you are having a hard time keeping your home clean for yourself, think about your pets and the effect it can have on them. One thing to remember is that many pets are allergic to dust mites, and this can cause severe irritation on their paws and skin – causing them to chew obsessively and even make themselves bleed due to the itchiness.
If your home is messy, bedding unwashed (yours and theirs), and the carpet is not vacuumed, dust mites will multiply and become a serious issue. If you keep things washed, you can prevent an infestation that could cause your pet serious distress. Dust your home, vacuum regularly, and use a vacuum with a good filtration system to keep dust mites away.
Our pets feel what we are feeling, and when we are depressed or anxious, they feel the same way. An untidy home increases these feelings for us, and therefore they experience them too. While they will always do their best to comfort us (and studies have shown our pets are perfect for boosting mental health), their happiness is just as important as our own, and if a cleaner home can improve your mental health even a little, it is worth it for them too.
Tips for Keeping Your Home Tidy
How can you make sure things are kept tidy for you and your pet? We touched on regular vacuuming and washing sheets/bedding above, and have a few other tips for you below:
- Wash pet bowls every day to prevent bacteria
- Put toys away neatly
- Organise your home and create a system
- Do a little cleaning every day
- Start with one room at a time
- Make sure it smells good
Your mental health may not always be right for cleaning, and that’s ok. There is nothing wrong with needing a day off. On those days, there are only three things you need to do:
- Make your bed, and tidy your pet’s bed up
- Open the curtains/blinds and let natural light in
- Wash the dishes/pet dishes before you go to bed that night
It can be hard to keep things clean all the time, but the positive effects are so worth it – with better sleep and an improved mood two of the major benefits. However, it’s also important for your pets because they, and their happiness, are things that should be a top priority for you. So, even if you are only able to do a little bit of cleaning each day, it will have a positive impact on you and your companions.
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