Okay, let me start by saying I am NOT a health professional of any kind. I am not offering medical/dietary/lifestyle advice, because I am not an expert. But I am an expert in my own life, and I can say the the above-mentioned title of this entry applies to me.
I don't do well with clutter. Or mess. I can't think clearly. This dates back to college, when I couldn't study at my place if it was messy or if there were dirty dishes everywhere. I'd have to drive off to the library or a coffee shop. (It's one of the reasons I probably would not make for a very pleasant roommate...I'm not just Type 1, I'm also Type A!).
Clutter for me is a mental distraction. It distracts me from whatever I am trying to concentrate on, whether it's reading a book, working on a project, or even trying to manage my diabetes. Clutter and mess shifts my focus away from where it should be.
I've read that the clutter in your house is a reflection of the clutter in your head. This is definitely true for me. There are times when I'm feeling stressed or maybe I'm not feeling well, and seeing a dirty house only makes me feel worse, whereas looking around and seeing a picked up, organized house makes me feel somehow better about the situation, no matter what it is.
I'm a person who always makes their bed. It's a small thing you can do to make your room look instantly more organized and clean. You can have crap all over the floor, but if your bed is made, the room looks 200% better. In fact, I have a little saying I cut out of a magazine a long time ago that reads MAKE YOUR BED EVERYDAY. "THE STATE OF YOUR BED REFLECTS THE STATE OF YOUR HEAD," SAYS ZEN BUDDHIST PRIEST AND AUTHOR KAREN MAEZEN MILLER.
Also, there's nothing better at bedtime than crawling into a nicely made bed with the covers oh-so-slightly pulled back. Crawling into a bed that is un-made from the night before feels gross to me.
Plus, I never know when I'm away from home and need at the last minute to have someone stop by my house and let my dog out to potty. Nothing like someone who doesn't come over often coming in and seeing your house look like holy hell. It's just not my style. If that's your style, no judgement. It's just not for me. And I don't mind if your house looks like that, I just don't like mine to.
Back to the point I was attempting to make. When my house is dirty, it makes everything feel a little harder, including my diabetes. I am much more relaxed when my place is clean. I can think more clearly. I feel less stressed. I can sit down and relax. And keeping it clean is less work for me. Keeping the house picked up saves me from having long, tedious cleaning sessions (which always result in my blood sugar dropping low). I might save the bigger cleaning tasks for the weekend, like mopping and scrubbing, but throughout the week I will keep it picked up, vacuumed and dishes cleaned, and keep stuff from piling up. I have a little place, so it's pretty easy to keep it clean. Here's a little peak of how I like to keep my house.
One of my secrets to keeping your house clean is to not have much stuff. I used to suffer from "stuff-itis." I don't anymore. I have donated all of the household items that I don't use or wear. I recently went through every room in the house and donated any item that I hadn't used or worn for a period of time. Getting rid of "stuff" is free-ing. You have more space to breathe. More empty space to look at. Less things sucking up the energy in the room. Even though my place is little, I like to keep an open feeling to it, and the easiest way to do that is to get rid of excess.
My other secret is I open my mail immediately and act on it right away so it doesn't pile up on the counter. If it's a bill, I go online and pay it. If it's a call I need to make, I make the call right then. If it's something that needs to be filed, then I go right to my office and file it. What's not needed goes into the recycle bin. No piles of mail. Boom, done.
I know some people will find it ridiculous to think that a clean vs. dirty house could affect your diabetes management. But for me, it really does make a difference. I need a clear head in order to make good decisions every day about my diabetes. I also do well without the added stress that I feel when my house looks like a pile.
Keeping a clean house is just one small thing I can do to make life a little easier!