How mindfulness can be applied to household cleaning and chores:
- Establish a routine:
Establishing a cleaning routine can help you organize your cleaning tasks and achieve a sense of structure in your everyday life. By having a fixed schedule, you can manage your time more efficiently, reduce clutter around the house, and know exactly what and when something needs to be done. A routine can also help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by a seemingly never-ending list of tasks.
- Set the right environment:
The environment you clean in can impact your cleaning experience. Set a comfortable temperature in the room, play some soothing music, light a candle, and let natural light flow into the space. Wear practical and comfortable clothing, especially when digging into more serious messes, so you are unconcerned about damage or staining. When your cleaning space is well-lit, airy, and comfortable, it can help you feel more relaxed.
- Get rid of distractions:
Distractions, such as your phone or TV, can compromise your ability to focus on your cleaning tasks. Create a space that’s free from distractions by turning off or muting your phone, closing the door, and fully dedicating yourself to the work at hand. This will help you concentrate, stay present in the moment, and avoid getting lost in your thoughts, or even worse, your devices. If you find this difficult, invest in a timer. Start with short increments of really focused work, and then eventually work your way up to longer stretches.
- Engage your senses:
Engaging your senses while you clean can help you stay focused and aware of the present moment. Pay attention to the sounds, smells, and textures of your surroundings while you clean. For example, listen to the sound of the water as it runs in the sink, feel the texture of the cloth in your hands or the warmth of the water on your skin, and smell the fragrance of the soap in the bucket. This will help you tune into your surroundings and immerse yourself in the moment.
- Focus on the task at hand:
Once you’ve eliminated distractions and set the right environment, focus on the task at hand. By concentrating on one task at a time, you can complete each task more efficiently and avoid getting overwhelmed. Start with smaller tasks and gradually move on to more complex ones as you become more comfortable with the process. If you are visually motivated, keep a list of individual tasks, and feel fulfillment every time you can cross something off.
- Use cleaning products that make you happy:
Find cleaning products that evoke positive feelings in you. Pleasantly scented cleaning products or products that remind you of happy memories can make the cleaning task more enjoyable. If you like and believe in the cleansers and materials you are using, you are more apt to want to use them. Set yourself up for success by having the tools and resources you need for the task at hand.
- Show gratitude:
Cleaning is often viewed as a chore. Show gratitude and take a moment to appreciate the items you are cleaning and their role in your life. For example, instead of dreading a pile of dirty dishes leftover from a family dinner, appreciate the role those dishes played in nurturing your loved ones. Recognize the value of each item and how it contributes to your well-being. Take time to notice the improvement in your environment after cleaning and acknowledge the effort you put into it.
- Be gentle on yourself:
Perfectionism can be a significant source of stress when it comes to cleaning. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, acknowledge that mistakes happen, and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. Remember that progress is better than perfection, and practice doesn’t always make perfect, but it definitely makes progress!
- Practice self-compassion:
Self-compassion is the practice of being kind, gentle, and non-judgmental towards yourself. It involves treating yourself with the same caring concern as you would a close friend. When you practice self-compassion, you can eliminate negative self-talk, reducing stress and promoting a sense of well-being.
- Incorporate meditation
Take a few moments before each task to visualize the progress you want to achieve. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and think about the service you are doing for yourself, your family, your clients, etc. Start the job with a positive mindset and intention and end the job with a reflection of how much you have accomplished or achieved.