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Clean space = clean mind

Posted on 28 February 2020 by AF Web

Throughout the month of March here at AF, we are focusing on motivation, mental health and well-being. Some serious and topical subjects that touch most of us in one way or another and it may interest you to understand some of the benefits that a regular workspace cleaning regime can have on you and your life.

Some people, particularly if they are feeling stressed or anxious may turn to a relaxing massages, meditation or even tuning in to motivational podcasts. You may be wondering which of the aforementioned categories that I fall into and the answer is none of the above! My go-to relaxation and motivation source is actually a regular cleaning routine, not because my domain resembles a war zone, but rather more because the very act of cleaning makes me feel good and gives me a huge sense of satisfaction, thereby allowing me to relax. My work colleagues think I am rather an extreme case but believe it or not, putting in a little ‘elbow grease’ can do wonders for your mental health. All you fellow followers of the infamous ‘Mrs H’ (need I say more), will understand my rationale on this one.

If you’re a fellow Instagrammer, like myself you will have seen the cleaning craze and how it can affect your mood and well-being. For example, it has been said that the repetitive motion of cleaning can be meditative as you are focussing on one thing and your attention is engaged solely in that direction, not allowing your mind to wander or negativity to intrude. I personally get a real buzz from this and am totally focussed on the task in hand and the feel-good factor to follow.  

I also adopt this mantra in my working environment. Sometimes, I just have to take a moment or two to tidy and clean my workspace, particularly if I am feeling stressed, worried and lacking concentration; it helps me to regain my focus on the pertinent task and not feel overwhelmed by sheer volume. Studies have also found that on a subconscious level, clutter is likely to be linked with negative emotions such as confusion, tension, irritability and worry, whereas a clean space is more likely to be linked with positive emotions  - i.e. happiness, calm and an overall sense of wellbeing. I really could not be working for a more apt organisation as they manufacture some of my favourite office cleaning solutions such as the following:

1. Foamclene – this is a foaming 300ml aerosol can that I use on my desk surface, mouse, phone and is even suitable for carpet stains.

2 Screenclene Wipes – this is an easy to use tub of paper wipes for my screen. It really is a win win product as the paper wipes are recyclable and I can utilise empty tub for a handy pen pot after use.    

3. Safetiss – I also have this box of these handy lint free paper tissues on my desk as my go-to Rescue wipe for spillages. Packaged in recyclable cardboard, they really epitomise the AF sustainability ethos.Label remover


4 .Last but not least, I also keep an Anti-bac+ Hand Rub at my workstation for sanitising my hands and ridding them of 99.999% of bacteria and viruses.

A healthy mind can also be stimulated and encouraged by exercise – this plays a huge part in well-being, motivation and mental health. This month here at AF International, we are also participating in ‘Walk all over Cancer’ and individuals will be required to walk 10,000 steps daily throughout the month of March with all proceeds going to Cancer Research. For some extra encouragement, some of the main benefits are listed below:

1. Walking reduces stress levels and can improve sleep

2. Saves money on fuel and protects the environment

3. Burns calories and improves fitness

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A recent study has revealed that the people with the cleanest homes are also the most active.The direct correlation is not completely clear but there is definitely something about clutter that prompts us to lose motivation – perhaps choosing to sit down in front of the TV instead of go for a walk or hitting the gym.Remember – cleaning activities can also add steps to your pedometer.Working out at the gym is proven to release endorphins but it is also important to note that cleaning is actually a form of exercise, releasing those powerful feel-good endorphins. As an added bonus, it is possible to burn as much as 102 calories from only an hour of light effort household cleaning or up to 204 calories for more vigorous tasks, such as polishing a floor. Don’t forget the feeling of satisfaction gained from ticking items off your ‘to do’ list. Here at AF we really relish this task and have introduced an AF branded planner pad, a firm favourite amongst the AF team. It’s simple, clean your workspace for just a few minutes a day, tick off a few tasks on your list and enjoy the reduction in stress to your life.

I know that this will not be everyone’s cup of tea but it has proven to be a real game changer for me when tackling the struggles of everyday life. Don’t knock it until you have tried it……..