Many housekeepers who are regular, frequent and thorough in their cleaning routines are accused of being “compulsive cleaners,” but observers do not realize that the housekeeper, in her cleaning periods, often reaps some excellent therapeutic health benefits.
Even if one has a regular day-to-day job and can only clean really effectively on weekends, the cleaning routine can be the best possible exercise for health, physical stamina and rejuvenation.
Many housekeepers, physical education experts, trainers and even athletes perform household keeping and cleaning chores regularly as part of their exercise regimen, and for several good reasons.
First, regular and thorough cleaning is an excellent form of therapy, both physical and mental. The individual who has minor pains, back problems, stiff joints or a simple run-down feeling will find herself positively looking forward to and enjoying her cleaning routine, if it is rigorous enough.
Most demanding exercise is an effective pain reliever (because of the release of endorphins in the process), and the house is efficiently cleaned as well, while one begins to feel better (obviously, this cannot be recommended for chronic pain and fatigue, which are best left to a physician).
Second, the mentally therapeutic aspect of regular and thorough cleaning is even more invigorating to experience. If one has had a hard week with peers, bosses or family, and there is a lot of frustration to vent, there is no better way to do so than to pick up mop, broom, brush or vacuum and go into what might be called a “cleaning frenzy.”
Cleaning frenzies can be confined to a single room of the house that one has long wanted to take on and cleanse thoroughly, or they can extend to the entire home. One can clean the sink rigorously, with brush, bleach and window cleaner, until it shines radiantly. One can exercise elbow grease on particularly hard patches of tile or the stains on walls or in toilets, and literally scrub and scrape away frustrated rage.
Finally, about midway through the cleaning process, if one is utterly committed to the process and is cleaning in a literal frenzy, there is the astounding feeling that not only have one’s physical and mental problems been alleviated, but also one has a literal “cleaning high” from the experience.
And if the entire therapeutic cleaning process is done with sufficient vim and vigor, the house stays spotless throughout the week, due to the weekend cleaning exercises. And the housekeeper can go back to work or her daily life without guilt or frustration, because she has taken the time to make the cleaning routine fun, energy-filled and therapeutically beneficial.
Thus the housekeeper is empowered past depression, minor pains, malaise, the desire to do nothing, and is powered up to accomplish the creation of a clean house. If she can persuade the family to join in on the fun, all the better; regular cleaning chores divided among family members was the method common ancestors used to cleaned their castles, and that system will work for homeowners as well.
That is how the drudgery of housekeeping can be reframed into a therapeutic joy.