We are firm believers in the restorative power of ‘me-time’. It allows us to switch off and re-charge which is important for general wellbeing. But with nine-to-fives, after-school activities and homes to keep clean, it’s no surprise that we struggle to find time for ourselves.
Here at AspenClean, we spend a lot of time cleaning. We think that keeping our surroundings clean is an act of self-care in itself, but we’ve also found some ways to sneak other ‘me-time’ activities into cleaning routines to make them feel like less of a chore.
CLEAN YOUR WAY TO A GETAWAY
Just because you’re inside cleaning, doesn’t mean you can’t escape. Technology now affords us the luxury of getting out of our buzzing heads and into other worlds without leaving our homes.
Before you next vacuum your home, wash the dishes or roll up your sleeves for a scrub: take a look at what audiobooks, podcasts or music playlists you can escape into.
Our recommendations for listening that will motivate you to stay on-task are ‘The Minimalist’ podcast or the ‘Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ audiobook. But, if you really want to escape the reality of cleaning, go ahead and dive into a fiction audiobook.
If you’re lacking energy, an escape into your favourite music playlist is the way to go. It’s especially good for drowning out the noise of a vacuum cleaner!
TURN HOUSEWORK INTO A MINI HOME-SPA
Have you ever been to a spa or massage parlour infused with the aroma of bleach? We hope the answer is no. Not only because the scent is the opposite of relaxing, but more importantly it is harmful to your health.
Conventional bleach-based cleaning products like detergents, disinfectants and mildew removers ordinarily contain chlorine. Chlorinated products generate fumes that irritate lungs and are particularly dangerous for people with respiratory problems such as asthma or emphysema and people with heart conditions. Chlorine is also listed as a hazardous air pollutant and can damage skin and eyes.
The first step to turning housework into a mini home-spa is to clean with natural products. High-quality natural home cleaners work as well as conventional cleaners but minimize exposure to harmful chemicals.
It’s also a good idea to try and avoid synthetic fragrances altogether. Instead, choose products that are lightly scented with organic essential oils. AspenClean products get their aroma from pure organic essential oils (as opposed to synthetic essential oils) that work as effective cleaning agents but smell like a spa too.
After you’ve equipped yourself with healthier cleaning tools, you can add the fun stuff! Light a candle, put on a hair mask, under-eye patches, or hand cream with moisturizing gloves while you do stationery tasks like dishwashing, folding or ironing. It’s probably best to avoid trying a mini-spa during strenuous tasks as you’ll probably sweat off all the goodness.
TALK THROUGH YOUR TEDIOUS TASKS
Instant messaging and social media makes us feel like we’re constantly connected, but captions and texts can’t compare to the therapeutic power of a good conversation. Calling to catch-up with your mom, friend, or anyone ready and willing to talk is a great way to pass time spent on tedious tasks like decluttering, wiping up surfaces and general tidying.
This is particularly helpful if you have something on your mind. By talking while you clean, you’ll get the dual benefits of decluttering your home and your mind.
USE YOUR APPLIANCES AS SELF-CARE TIMERS
Justifying time spent on yourself is hard, especially when there are a billion-and-one other things that need doing. One way to add guilt-free ‘me-time’ into a busy schedule is to sandwich it between an essential cleaning task like laundry.
A load of laundry can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your machines - just enough time squeeze something in for you. Next laundry day, plan to go for a walk, do some exercise or even take a nap while the cycle is on. You can get back to your busy life once it’s done, and you’ll feel so much better after having done something just for you.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A HELPING HAND
When it comes to self-care, there really is no substitute for giving yourself time. One of the best ways to do this is to delegate tasks to family members or flatmates if you can, or by treating yourself to a professional cleaning service.
Setting up a regular cleaning schedule with a professional cleaning company is economical, but it also affords you regular time to do more of the things you love - including taking care of yourself. Just be sure you work with a professional cleaner that you trust and uses natural cleaning products so that you don’t stress about the service or harm your health.
Go ahead! Treat yourself this Valentine’s Day with the ultimate gift - time (and find the ultimate gift for yourself and your partner here).