I am not a naturally neat person, so tasks like making the bed, doing the dishes, tidying up after myself do not come easily. In fact, sometimes I think I’m like a walking tornado because a totally picked-up house can become a disaster in such a short time if I’m around–3 pair on shoes by the couch, two glasses and a dirty plate on the coffee table, a sweater draped on the chair…you get the picture…a wake of Katherine’s been here! In childhood, my sister, who was really neat, and today is the tidiest person I know, put up a barrier to keep me off her side of the room!
Well…maybe not quite that bad!
Today, I work hard at doing things like, make the bed, clean up the kitchen, hang up the clothes. Not because I make a judgment, moral or otherwise, about this, but because the environment impacts me, and when the experience is positive it actually registers in the body, and likewise, when it’s negative that impacts too.
POSITIVE EXPERIENCE IS NURTURING
You wouldn’t think anything as mundane as making the bed could have any psychological relevance at all, but it does. Every experience of perception impacts us, so, for example, walking into a chaotic bedroom gives you a little dose of negativity. Those dishes that are still in the TV room the day after–a little dose of negativity. Believe me, I am not rooting for obsessional cleanliness, but I am suggesting that one of the ways you can improve self care is to think about how you arrange your environment to give you a little burst of positive impact. And, for example, by cleaning up the kitchen before going to bed–there’s a double impact: you eliminate one negative and trade it for a positive.
Here are some suggestions:
- Make the bed
- Do the dishes before you go to sleep
- Put a flower in a vase
- Display a favorite photo
- Get a dog
- Take a minute to look at a tree
- Watch the sun set
- Go for a walk and pick up something that catches your interest. Put it on the window sill in the kitchen.
- Use the good china for dinner
- Light a candle
- Bathe in lavender scented water
- Burn incense
- Weed the garden
- Sweep the deck
You can add many small things to the list. Anything that makes you smile is worth the effort which I why I include “get a dog” on the list. Cats will also do. Either will make you smile a hundred times a day. See how creative you can be by devising little splashes of positive impact in your life. It’s all about genuine self care–not about anything else!