A Spotify Playlist to Trick Yourself into Cleaning
A Spotify Playlist to Make Cleaning A Little More Fun
I have to confess: I am the worst at doing the dishes.
In fact, part of the reason I write about cleaning so often is that I struggle to maintain a clean living space while navigating Bipolar Disorder.
I used to be great at keeping my place tidy - but after the last year, my mental health has struggled, and my cleaning habits have suffered along with it.
I decided to start writing about cleaning while dealing with mental health because it serves as a gentle reminder to myself. Not only is it a reminder to clean, but it is also a reminder to be as kind towards myself as I would be towards another person.
I by no means have all the answers, but I can at least offer a couple of suggestions that have helped me out along the way.
I've used podcasts to distract me while I'm cleaning; I've used the sight of pristine TV and movie sets to inspire me... but some days, the best way to get the dishes done is to just throw on an upbeat playlist and trick my body into moving.
"Drinkin' Alone" by Cooper Bloom
So, I hook up my speaker, internally apologize to my upstairs neighbors, and throw on the tunes.
If you've read my article, "Cleaning in the Face of Depression" then you know that I am a big proponent for going easy on yourself. We are all fighting our own private battles. It's important to remember that emotions use up a lot of energy - it makes sense if it's been harder to get yourself going, lately. Your mind and body have had to deal with other stuff - feeling unmotivated is absolutely nothing to beat yourself up over.
Sometimes all you need is the tiniest spark of motivation - just a split second where you find yourself thinking, "Ok, maybe I can do this."
That split second is when you pounce.
This playlist is specifically put together to help take advantage of that initial moment of motivation. I keep music on here that is high energy and that I notice my body reacting to. This way, I can let my body take the first step when my mental health isn't quite up to the task.
You know when, all of a sudden, you notice that you're nodding your head along to a song, tapping your foot, or slightly swaying your hips?
Those are the types of songs I keep on this playlist.
When your body starts to unconsciously react positively to a song, it can be easier to follow that trajectory than it is to create that trajectory all on your own.
Some days the best way to get yourself motivated is to start by pressing play.
"The City" by Louis the Child (with Quinn XCII)
There are days when it can take a couple of songs to get me going - on those days, I start my cleaning playlist and let it run in the background as I fiddle on my phone or work away at my computer. I'm not focused on the music - I'm just letting it wriggle its way into my bones one beat at a time.
By not focusing specifically on the music (or my chore list) I lessen the chance of shooting myself down before I've even begun.
I can get caught up in cyclical, intrusive thoughts when I'm in a dark place. By focusing on other stuff while the music goes, I can mentally zone out, as well as, give my body a chance to tune in.
"My Favorite Sound" by Audien, Echosmith
Other times, I get that spark of motivation right before I hit the play button. On those days, I find it helpful to have a ready-to-go cleaning playlist. That way, I don't have to spend any of that precious energy on finding just the right music - I can dive right in.
I also made sure to keep this playlist long. As in, a full 5 hours' worth of energetic, upbeat, feel-good music.
A lengthier playlist ensures that you don't run out of music - even on heavy-duty cleaning days. A lengthier playlist also leaves you plenty of time to take breaks.
When you need a moment to rest, slow down, or even just reward yourself, you can take a few songs - heck, even an hour or two - and keep the playlist going. That way, you can return to your task whenever you're ready - even if it's tomorrow.
"Coloring Outside The Lines" by MisterWives
Every person's mental health is as unique as they are. It can take a lot of "getting to know oneself" - as well as, a ton of support - in order to figure out what does and doesn't work for you.
We all have a personal soundtrack to our lives - whether that be a Spotify playlist, the sound of the household around us, or the nature outside our window.
We each have a soundtrack that energizes us, comforts us, or motivates us.
By experimenting with different sounds and the sensations they bring along, we can start to use those sounds as tools for self-awareness and growth.
Sometimes pressing play gives you permission to go play.
Dance while you clean, sing while you scrub, or shuffle awkwardly as you sweep - you deserve to enjoy the life you're living, even the tedious parts.
There is no "one-size-fits-all" when it comes to mental health. There are days that are more difficult than others. Forgive yourself on the hard days the same way you would forgive a friend, a loved one, or even a stranger.
You are just as worthy of compassion on your worst days as you are on your best ones.
So go ahead - press play and go play.
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