January Blues is not an uncommon thing, so Rug Doctor spoke to influencer Harriet knock from @making_ahouse_ahome about her new book and how her new found love of cleaning has helped her cope with the mental stresses of life.
· How does cleaning help you?
Cleaning for me is a brilliant coping mechanism!
I suffer from anxiety which can make me feel really overwhelmed, at times it can make me feel low and unmotivated too.
Cleaning is a positive distraction for me to turn to, to switch off from my mind when my anxiety gets too much. It can be done from the comfort of my home and around my little ones, so easily fits in around my lifestyle.
I get so stuck in and focused on the task at hand, that I find it relaxing as it silences my worries.
· How did you realise that cleaning was the answer? Was it therapeutic?
I started my instagram account to try and inspire me to keep on top of the housework more. I used to hate cleaning but as I started to do it more, I learned to make it fun and began to love it!
I find it really helps my mind; it is therapeutic and makes you feel good to accomplish something.
I especially love taking before and after photos, that really motivates me.
· How do your family find your cleaning and need for order?
They don’t mind at all, my partner found it strange to start with that I actually enjoyed the housework!
It’s nicer for us to live in a clean environment, so everyone sees the benefit.
I definitely don’t have a need for order though; this is something I’m working on.
Confession time… although I love to clean, I’m a very messy person!
I really need to up my organisation game and have a good declutter.
· Do they ever say it’s too much?
No, I always prioritise spending time with my family because they’re the most important thing and also the best medicine.
There’s nothing quite like a smile or hug from your little ones to get you back on track after a bad day.
I try to make sure I have some balance, so I’m not cleaning excessively or missing out on the important things in life.
· Who do you turn to when you need inspiration?
I have lots of favourite accounts to watch! Some include Mrs Hinch, Jotties Journal and Lynsey Queen of Clean.
There are so many people in the instagram cleaning community now that if you ever need inspiration or motivation, it’s easy to find.
· The blog – feedback (How do people react to your blog)?
I have mainly good feedback which is great!
With anything, there always comes a certain degree of negativity but I have learned to rise above it. I clean because I enjoy it and it benefits my mind, so it doesn’t matter to me if anyone doesn’t like it.
I think more than anyone it shocked my Mum the most, as I never used to care about things being clean or tidy at all!
· The book (Tell us a bit about your book)
My book, ‘Emerging from the Storm’, is a mental health poetry collection about my personal experiences battling mental illness.
The aim is to inspire deeper conversations around mental health and to open people’s eyes to the depths of the reality of life with a mental health problem.
There are poems about hope and recovery, as well as poems about depression, anorexia, self-harm and anxiety. Writing has always been a passion of mine and it’s a dream come true to have my first book published!
· How do you find time for yourself?
I won’t lie, it can be tough! Especially with two toddlers! It’s very hard to find the right balance but for me cleaning comes under part of that me-time. I do also try and find some peace and quiet where I can to read, or write, have a nice hot bath or some self-care.
· Any advice for others who need an outlet?
There is something out there for everyone, so if you haven’t found that thing yet then keep looking!
Cleaning was never something that came to my mind as an outlet, as I said, I used to hate it! It’s not until you try things that you give yourself a chance to like them, so step out of your comfort zone and do something different.
Cleaning may not be your thing… but there are many alternatives whether that be writing, arts & crafts, music, exercise, etc.
It’s very important to have an outlet to turn to when we need some time to switch off.
I think we can all agree that it is important to switch off, why not tackle those jobs at home that you’ve been putting off!