Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: Cleanliness is Next to Healthiness: Engage in a Little Fall Cleaning This Year

Cleanliness is Next to Healthiness: Engage in a Little Fall Cleaning This Year

Recruitment Specialist

It's fall, y'all (in case you missed my tirade on Pumpkin Spice Lattes). Although this means that leaves will be changing and pumpkins will be carved, this also means that a significant amount of time is about to be spent indoors as we transition to sweater weather. What it typically does not mean on the other hand is that these inside spaces are going to be cleaned--that's a task reserved for spring. But just because it doesn't (almost) rhyme, should we really be neglecting the autumn tidying spree?

A messy, disorganized space causes mental clutter. Clutter causes stress and reduces your ability to focus, which are facts substantiated by research, one our favorite things at MMG. This kind of stress can affect your sleep, which can in turn impact your hormone production. This can influence your mood and cause physical symptoms, such as weight gain. Clutter is so closely correlated to some health issues that physicians and therapists will recruit the help of professional organizers for patients with mental health problems they believe may be coming from or affected by chronic disorganization.

Getting rid of your clutter can help others. Take a look around your house or apartment, and I'm sure you'll find plenty of items you never use or wear. Board games, outdated electronics, cookware, clothes, shoes, sports equipment, books, eyeglasses, furniture, musical instruments, craft supplies… The list goes on, and there are plenty of organizations that need just these items to help a variety of causes from underfunded school programs to military families. Donating to charity both helps to make the process of getting rid of items easier and can have a range of mental health benefits. If you're tight on cash, you can also sell these items to be a little more generous this holiday season.

Ensuring clean surface areas is one of the best ways to fight the spread of the flu and keep allergies under control. Although there hasn't been a crazy flu epidemic this year yet (don't worry, I knocked on wood), up to 500,000 deaths occur annually from seasonal influenza around the world. Hand sanitizer only goes so far. Plus, dust mites, pet dander, mold, and other household allergens occupy these surfaces, making asthma flare-ups and allergy symptoms that much more common.

Take the first step to cleaning out and cleaning up this weekend. Set aside a day, or even just a few hours while watching the game, to ask yourself what you really need and how others would perceive your space's organization and cleanliness. It's time to leaf the clutter behind. Get it? Because leaves change color in the fall…

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The Healthy(ist) blog is a platform to share, learn about, and debate topics related to public and social health, scientific research, health communications, and behavior change.
We invite and encourage anyone interested in current public health and health communication trends and issues to join MMG's contributing bloggers in adding their voice to the ongoing discussion about how we can advance health, together.

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