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Mental Health and Self-care: Cleaning Is like Meditation and Yoga

There’s something very satisfying about cleaning. Meditative in fact. Like practicing yoga. Connecting to your breath. To the movement. To the space. To what is both outside of you and inside of you. 

person cleaning a rock with water
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

When it comes to cleaning and organizing, I’ve been letting our new house speak to me. And listening to what it has to say. To what it needs. Just like I sense what I need during meditation and yoga. Letting things unfold as they should. Without forcing anything. 

For example, after moving, I was unable to unpack both our bedroom and my office for weeks. The boxes remained stacked. I worked in the kitchen. I felt like I didn’t even know where to start. Not just because I was overwhelmed, but because I was stuck. Then one day, I went into the room that was our bedroom and realized it needed to be my office. There was more light. There was an energy. 

As soon as I sensed what the space was supposed to be, as soon as I listened, everything else fell into place. Items had homes. Spaces had purpose. And before I knew it, my new office was unpacked and ready to use. Had I forced the other room to be my office, I may still be stuck. And unpacked. 

And I find that since moving into our new house, cleaning has helped me to stay calm. Especially when all I see are the things I want to change. Cleaning reminds me to do one thing at a time. To accomplish what I can. To breathe. And to let everything else go. 

Like meditation and yoga, it reminds me to stay in the present. Not moving forward. Not moving backward. Standing with my feet shoulder width apart. Knees bent. Pelvis tucked in. Shoulder blades back and down. Heart forward. Leading with the crown of my head. Allowing myself to breathe in and breathe out with each move. Flowing with the rhythm of the cleaning. 

I once heard a Buddhist saying about washing dishes. That if you just wash the dish, one dish at a time, without focusing on anything else, everything will be okay. For in that moment, all is well. You are centered. You are present. You are safe.

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Mental Health and Self-care: Cleaning Is like Meditation and Yoga


Jenna Grace

Jenna Grace is a neurodivergent writer and educator with sensory processing disorder (SPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD) diagnoses. She writes and speaks about topics including neurodiversity and SPD in order to help others and to explore new meaning. Visit her website or Twitter, @jennagracewrite.


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APA Reference
Grace, J. (2019). Mental Health and Self-care: Cleaning Is like Meditation and Yoga. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 17, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/neurodivergent/2019/08/mental-health-and-self-care-cleaning-is-like-meditation-and-yoga/

 

Last updated: 9 Aug 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.