Here's the thing about falling into a funk: it's hard to shake it off. Sometimes you can trace your mental and emotional shift to a specific trigger, such as a breakup or being laid off from your job. Other times, it's an intangible feeling that hangs over you like a fog. Either way, life loses a bit of luster.
If you're O-V-E-R it, checked out, dunzo, or are simply in dire need of a motivational boost, all hope is not lost, friend. In fact, you can feel like a new person in 15 minutes with this simple, yet amazingly effective exercise. Clean slate, here you come!
Open the windows to literally change the air
There are beaucoup benefits to letting fresh air in your home, and they're basically all gonna make you feel better. For starters, sunlight has natural disinfecting properties — most microbes that cause airborne infections have trouble tolerating sunlight. The World Health Organization (WHO) likewise recognizes that natural ventilation reduces the risk of infection. A few other perks? Fresh air scents (thinks flowers and fresh cut grass) decrease stress, and fresh air in the home reportedly circulates chi energies.
Clean one area really well
After you've opened the windows so sunlight and fresh air can filter in, pick one spot to tidy up. Just one! For best results, make it a high-touch area: somewhere you can't really avoid the clutter, like your kitchen, coffee table or the inside of your everyday bag. Not only is cleaning a proven stress reliever, but cleaning one area really well also provides a sense of clarity. If you typically have trouble "seeing the forest for the trees," consider this an exercise in clearing your line of sight — which, in turn, makes it easier to envision a fresh start.
Lastly, cleanse yourself. Take a hot shower, relax in a soaking tub or even just wash your hands — in fact, the latter has seriously surprising mental benefits. In a 2010 study by the University of Michigan, psychologists found that hand-washing doesn't just do the obvious job of getting rid of dirt and germs. It also "reduces the influence of past behaviors and decisions that have no moral implications whatsoever." In other words, the simple act of washing your hands really does help create a clean slate in every sense of the expression.
What do you do to instantly relax at home?