It’s no secret that we love cleaning. After all, L’AVANT Collective was born out of our combined love of beautiful design and a clean house! As it turns out, however, our “cleaning quirk” isn’t so much a quirk as it is…a stress reliever? It may seem like a stretch, but hear us out: Cleaning can actually be beneficial for easing stress. Here’s how cleaning can make you feel calm–and why what you use to clean with matters to your physical and mental well-being.
Cleaning can ease anxiety
If you’ve noticed that you take great comfort in wiping down your countertops or scrubbing the tub when you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you may be on to something. Not only does the final result deliver a satisfying outcome that can boost your mood, but according to Good Housekeeping, “A small study published in the journal Mindfulness found that participants who engaged in mindfully washing the dishes — meaning they took a moment to inhale the scent of the soap and to allow their skin to absorb the warmth of the water — reported a 27% reduction in nervousness, along with a 25% improvement in ‘mental inspiration.’”
Cleaning can help us channel our nervous energy into something that leads to a positive outcome, and forces us to be present and engaged with the job at hand. In addition, cleaning gives us a task with a clear beginning and a definitive end result–which can help us feel like we’re in control when the stresses in our lives may leave us feeling unempowered. According to Good Housekeeping, “Researchers theorized that people gravitate toward repetitive behaviors (such as cleaning) during times of stress. Why? It’s all about control.” As licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells Good Housekeeping, “We want to be able to do something when we get anxious, and what we really want is to be in control and take action. While there are times we have to accept some situations in life, we do not have to accept an untidy home.”
The scent of your cleaning products may alter your mood
But it’s not just the act of cleaning and the (blissful) final result that leaves us feeling more calm. The scents of the products we use may also help give us a mood boost. According to Oxford CBT, “There is a well known and long-established link between smells and scents and mental health, such as aromatherapy helping to reduce anxiety and stress.”
When you reach for L’AVANT Collective non toxic cleaning products, you can enjoy the proprietary Fresh Linen scent, which is made from a blend of mood-bolstering essential oils. Essential oils are derived from different parts of the plant. Leaves, flower petals, fruit and even bark are steamed or pressed to distill powerful compounds into what we know as essential oils, which lend not only fragrance that can help make you feel calm, but active ingredients that–when used safely and correctly –can actually benefit skin.
From the natural multi-purpose cleaner and the eco-luxe hand soap to the plant based dish soap and eco-friendly laundry detergent, cleaning with L’AVANT Collective means indulging in natural essential oils that were chosen for more than just their beautiful scents; they were chosen for how gentle they are on skin and how they make you feel. Geranium helps to reduce anxiety while clary sage promotes relaxation; lavender relieves tension as lemon boosts your mood, and basil helps combat exhaustion…and who doesn’t need that?
Declutter, clean, breathe easy
When it comes to alleviating anxiety, cleaning countertops with L’AVANT Collective is a wonderful start. But in addition to wiping down surfaces and doing dishes, clearing out clutter may have a pronounced impact on how calm you feel.
According to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, “Clutter can make us feel stressed, anxious and depressed. Research from the United States in 2009, for instance, found the levels of the stress hormone cortisol were higher in mothers whose home environment was cluttered.” Additionally, “A chronically cluttered home environment can lead to a constant low-grade fight or flight response, taxing our resources designed for survival. This response can trigger physical and psychological changes that affect how we fight bugs and digest food, as well as leaving us at greater risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.”
Decluttering before you clean with natural cleaning products is a surefire way to help instill a sense of calm. Take a few minutes to load the dishwasher or wash the dishes in the sink, go through mail that’s been piling up, throw out old magazines or newspapers, shred papers in your home office that you no longer need, or put shoes that have gathered by the front door back where they belong. The less cluttered your surface areas, the better your L’AVANT Collective biodegradable cleaning products can work.
Last but not least, don’t forget to breathe. If you’re cleaning because it helps you feel more in control, taking long, slow breaths that fill your lungs and diaphragm will help to ground you, lower your heart rate, and improve your sense of calm. Plus, when you breathe in the scent of L’AVANT Collective products, you’ll enjoy the scent (and benefits!) of all those beautiful essential oils.
Cleaning doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, when it’s done mindfully and with products that look and smell beautiful, it can leave you feeling satisfied–and most importantly, calm.