Fresh & Clean

{Feature B&W Room: Claire Vaughn}

We all know cleaning up our space is a good thing. When we are having a tough week, however, this is typically one of the first things to fall to the wayside. I’m speaking some personal truth here, because I cleaned up my own desk this morning and watched a wave of productivity and fresh thoughts roll in. As I worked away at (and finished!) a couple of assignments I had put off, and sent multiple emails that I remembered were on my to-do list, I scribbled down ideas for this blog post that just kept popping into my brain. Talk about a good morning.

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Now I’ve begun thinking what I would have felt like if I had done this 3 days ago…

I’m a big believer in the importance of a positive environment. I have become aware of this throughout college, and I feel like the more I work on it, the more benefits I see. This is present in so many areas! For example:

  • A messy space invites you to throw more things down. Throwing more things down invites you to throw yourself down and be lazy.
  • A clean room is pretty, inspiring, and makes you want to have friends over!
  • Cleaning out your closet is such a help. You remember all the cute stuff you have, and actually want to enjoy all your clothes instead of pulling the top t-shirt out of the drawer again.
  • Starting the day with a fresh glass of water (squeeze of lemon optional) clears away yesterday and sets a good intention for the day’s health.
  • A clean kitchen is more fun to cook fresh meals in. Dishes piled up make you want to order pizza – or just go out!
  • A pretty, organized, health-filled fridge leads to nice options being more appealing (e.g. berries you already rinsed and neatly stacked yogurt cups).
  • The people you spend time around influence your ambitions, self-worth, and attitude.
  • A balanced budget makes you aware of what you have, and frees you to spend on what you need/ give to others.
  • A good team environment – people giving their all and being happy to be there – makes practice so much better.

I’m sure you can think of examples in your own life where an environment change, “cleaning house” or “starting fresh” made things right. It’s the changes that take place in your mind as much as it is the physical changes that make the difference. The mind is where all of our actions originate, so why not weed and water the roots?

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Visual cues. A clean desk with a visible to-do list surrounded by space lets you know that you have room to tackle those items. Placing the things you love on your desk, in your kitchen, or on your walls reminds you what you care about. Keeping our loves and visions in mind is one of the biggest keys to living a happy and fruitful life.

When I know I cleaned, my room has a certain lightness – like I dropped a heavy weight. This lightness can carry over to anyone who enters your space – not just you – thus improving your relationships and the lives of those around you. When you take the trash out and light a candle, the place just feels good, doesn’t it? Aromatherapy is a whole different subject, but a good-smelling space can really boost your mood.

Knowing you cleaned up – even if things still aren’t perfect – contributes to good self-efficacy vibes. The physical act of cleaning seems to stir up the mind, allowing us to usher in new thoughts. Even those tasks you don’t enjoy… when I finish my laundry (which requires climbing flights of stairs and $1.25 per load), I feel like the baddest girl on the planet. I know if I can tackle things I really dislike, without anyone making me, I can handle life as it comes at me.

Cleaning has a lot of parallels with making good dietary choices. If I can be kind to myself by doing the dishes, making sure my sheets are clean, etc. – I see similar benefits to those that come with making healthful food choices. There is power in action. Doing what’s good for us and experiencing the positive rewards makes us want to do it more. Even when some junk piles up, we can “take out the trash,” mentally or physically, and experience a fresh space again.

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Here’s a few  ways to get this bright, fresh, clean feeling in your life today:

Whatever you see that’s a mess – for me usually the pile of clothes in the floor – tidy it up. Find a home for those homeless items. Your space will thank you.

Sweat. Exercise jogs the mind like moving and cleaning does, and can renew your focus. You can even use cleaning as exercise!

After you break a sweat, shower. There’s nothing like a hot shower to refresh you. Which brings me to…

Water. The ultimate cleansing substance. Did you know juice cleanses and “detoxes” are a myth? The body does all its own cleansing and detoxifying, all day, every day – and water is the #1 to help move those processes along. Water is also highly concentrated in fruit and veggies, and this is one reason they are great for you. If you ever feel like you need a “system restart,” water and foods with a high water content are the places to look. It’s good for the mind, too, because our brain needs it! Drink an icy cold glass when you’re having trouble focusing, and you’ll typically see improvement. If it’s cold out, brewing a hot cup of water with lemon, or even herbal tea, has the same cleansing effects.

Clean out the fridge. Get rid of old stuff, stuff you’re sick of, and stuff that doesn’t make you feel happy and healthy. This is even better if you’ve got a friend to help you! You’ll let someone else in on the process, they’ll feel good too, and you might be inspired to cook something good together later.

I hope you’re motivated to sweep the dust away today!

Stay bright,

Rae

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. raesnana says:

    Thanks Rae. I’m drinking a bottle of water right now hoping it will wash away the remainder of the “mean old bug” that has had me down for almost 2 weeks. Love you. Nana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. brighteats says:

      Love you!! I hope it does too! 😊

      Like

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