The connection between your outward life and what lies within

I was waiting in line for my nonfat, no whip Gingerbread Latte this morning (yum!) when I heard a report on the radio about a link between having a messy, cluttered home and difficulty in making healthy choices for your food and exercise. I think anyone who has ever suffered from depression has seen this link in action - I certainly have. Much like the chicken and egg, however, I've never been able to nail down which comes first: the depression or the clutter.

In my own life, I know that seeing clutter start to pile up in the house is a good indicator that depression is lurking someone at the edges of my consciousness and that generally isn't supportive of my making an effort to prepare healthy meals or get out and exercise, either. Still, I don't know that I'd ever really tied the two (or is it three?) things together, but it really does make sense when you think about it. This just reinforces my natural (probably OCD based) antipathy toward letting clutter build up, which is all well and good, but I live with a man, three cats, and a Pug, and they all seem determined to destroy our home with clutter, mayhem, and foolishness.

So what's a girl to do? Just as I'm not expecting perfection in other parts of my life, I'm choosing a "make tiny steps each day" approach to the house, too. I've talked with TCB about how much clutter upsets me and why and he's really making an effort to do better at keeping horizontal surfaces clear. He's still got his "hot spots" but it's much better than it has been. And then there's the "if it's to be, it starts with me" philosophy which says that I ought to get my own clutter in order before trying to make over the rest of the world.

Still and all, every new puzzle piece gives me a clearer view of the picture I'm trying to create in my life, and I like it.


JessiferSeabs said…
It makes sense to me too -- just a general apathy about everything. The other correlation I always notice is finances / weight... when one is out of control (spending, debt, not paying bills on time), my weight is usually up, exercise is down, and eating is less than stellar...
gingersnapper said…
I'm pretty sure there's a connection. I don't know what's cause and effect, what is a co-symptom, etc., but I'm sure there's a relationship.

One thing I've noticed is that depressed people put up a lot of clutter in all areas of their lives, physical and mental clutter. I think it's an avoidance technique, a bunch of noise or flak in the air. It lets a person avoid looking at real issues because there's so much flying around.

Not that I would know anything about that :)

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