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7 Household Chores with Unexpected Health Benefits

7 Household Chores with Unexpected Health Benefits

Not everyone enjoys household chores — that’s a given. But what if you knew that there were more benefits to them than just making your home look more presentable? Once you realize how these simple tasks can boost your happiness, lower your stress, or protect your body from diseases, your to-do list will never look the same again.

1. Making the Bed

Studies have shown that those who make their beds each morning take on the day with increased productivity and a greater sense of well-being. Most people feel a small sense of accomplishment when they make their bed each day, and are then encouraged to keep up the trend by completing task after task.

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Those who make their bed will also tend to feel more rested and energized throughout the day, rather than tired or groggy. Leaving the bed a rumpled mess can add unnecessary stress to your day.

2. Tidying up Your Yard

Here’s some motivation to get your yard in order: those individuals who do the most yard work, DIY projects, and housecleaning have about a 30 percent lower risk of suffering a first-time heart attack or stroke, as compared to those who are more sedentary. Plus, there is a chemical released in freshly cut grass that makes people feel more joyful and relaxed.

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As you spend time outside sweating (and re-hydrating!) your body is flushing out all of the toxins that it has collected. Often times, those who spend a lot of time sweating outside will feel a second wind of energy after they’ve cooled off.

3. Washing Dishes

Cleaning your plate mindfully has the ability to lower nervousness levels by almost 30 percent. By doing this, the individual is focused on the smell of the soap, the temperature of the water, and the touch of the dishes.

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Those who do not take the time to wash dishes by hand don’t experience this calming benefit. Washing dishes doesn’t take a lot of concentration, so the mind is free to just wander while the hands are busy. This is also a great time to practice breathing exercises.

4. Cleaning the Bathroom

The benefits of cleaning a bathroom extend beyond your own body and the motions of cleaning. A bathroom is the ideal place for harmful bacteria to grow. When you clean it regularly, you are reducing the chance of disease; disabling it from spreading from places like the toilet to your toothbrush. Regular cleaning will also prevent mold from growing, which if not taken care of right away will become more difficult to control later on.

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5. Growing Flowers and Vegetables

Taking part in activities in nature can help to reduce the symptoms of depression. A Norwegian study took a group of individuals who had been diagnosed with different forms of depression and instructed them to spend about six hours each week gardening. At the end of a few months, these individuals noticed a notable improvement in the symptoms of their depression, and it continued for a few months after the study ended.

An added bonus: healthy vegetables from your own garden!

6. Getting Rid of Kitchen Clutter

A recent study has shown that people with an extremely cluttered home were about 77 percent more likely to be overweight, if not obese. This is because it is more difficult to make healthy eating choices in a cluttered kitchen. Once a kitchen becomes organized, a person may begin to see benefits like weight loss without the need to diet. Also, getting rid of the clutter is the best time to trash any foods that are super unhealthy. Out of sight, out of mind!

7. Vacuuming

30 minutes of vacuuming can have the same benefits as 15 minutes of kickboxing. Aim to vacuum the whole house in one shot, as opposed to tackling each room individually. The motion associated with vacuuming will work out not only your arms, but your core and legs as well because of the pushing and pulling movements.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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