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Friday, June 10, 2005

Life's little stresses

There are certain stressors in life that are commonly associated with depression or anxiety - like a change of lifestyle (eg. divorce, moving house, new baby) or a significant loss (eg. of a loved one, of a job). Certain household chores rank quite highly as life stressors - doing the laundry is one of them, and at the top of the list of household stresses is changing bed linens.

In fact, a depressed person will eventually fail to look after their own appearance - it's just too much pressure to keep clean and keep their surroundings clean.

Sometimes, when an elderly person is ready to be discharged from hospital, we send a team of occupational therapists and social workers round to inspect the patient's living quarters and to find out if that person is able to cope living independantly at home. A good sign of whether or not a person is coping at home is how tidy the home is - whether the bedsheets have been changed or if they've got clean undergarments.

I find that the state of my surroundings often reflects the state of my mind. When I was studying for exams, my room would become increasingly more chaotic (books everywhere, notes in random piles) as my own stress levels sky-rocketed. I would have to spend some time meticulously tidying up my room before I could concentrate on my work again. By cleaning up and filing away the mess in my room, my own thoughts would also become clearer and more ordered.

I also find that on the days where I have to change my duvet covers, I get really really snappish.

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