8 mental health benefits of a clean campervan
It could be that a campervan trips will be back on the cards in the UK in the near future. I am certainly very excited about the prospect. Fern the Van has been sat on the driveway for three months and it has been hard to see her there – and not be able to go for a few adventures in the sunshine.
I spent some of my lockdown spare time giving Fern a thorough clean inside and outside. Apparently, this is good for your mental health and Spares2You has asked me to investigate why a clean campervan is the recipe for improved mental well-being.
If I’m honest, I operate much of my life in a bit of a mess. I am not the tidiest of people and my desk, office, bedroom and cupboards tend to be rather untidy. I don’t mind this most of the time and I usually do a big tidy up every few months. It always makes me feel better mentally.
However, the one place where I do like everything to be as neat and tidy as possible is my campervan. Space is limited inside the van and I like everything to have the right place so that items and products fit in neatly and also so I can find things more easily.
I decided to see if there are any benefits to having a tidy campervan, over and above the obvious practical factors. This is what I have discovered:
1 Reduced stress
Apparently, a spring clean (or summer clean!) can help you to better manage stress and anxiety, according to psychologists. It is actually the process of the tidy up that gives a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of reduce stress.
Research has connected cleaning with decreased anxiety. A small study published in the journal, Mindfulness, discovered that some people mindfully tidy or clean. The process of the cleaning allows us to switch off while we focus on a task at hand – and gives our brains a rest.
As an example, when using the Karcher window vacuum cleaner that lives in Fern, I feel a huge sense of calm and smugness. This never happens when I clean the windows of my home!
3 A fresh start
There is a mental health benefit to feeling as though you are creating a fresh start. So, rather than re-organising or tidying your campervan, you might want to throw stuff out that you don’t need or use regularly.
Having a minimalist-style approach to your campervan and kit will help you to feel lighter mentally and give the feel of a new beginning.
4 Clearer thoughts
It is thought that a cluttered environment can cause many people to display less concentration and to have fewer creative thoughts. I am not sure about this because I have read another study that reckons some people find creativity while working amid clutter. But, I am guessing, most people feel they have clearer thoughts when they are in a tidier and less cluttered environment.
5 Reduced frustrations
Have you ever tried to quickly find an item in your campervan, such as a lighter or the midge repellent, but then struggled to locate it? This quickly leads to frustration especially if you need to light the gas stove for your mooning coffee or put on midge spray to stop the beasties biting.
Having a place for all you items and perhaps labelling some pockets or baskets will help you to feel less frustrated.
6 Stops the bickering
Sharing a campervan with anyone, especially your partner, can lead to frustrations and arguments if you cant find items or the space is unclean. A clean van will reduce these kinds of stresses between people.
7 Peace of Mind
Even if you are not in your campervan, knowing that it is clean and tidy and ready for the off when you want a weekend or week away, can help many people to have peace of mind.
During lockdown, this peace of mind will be enhanced if you have given the campervan a thorough clean to remove any potential traces of the Covid-19 virus, too.
I also feel calmer knowing that items, such as the campervan seats, have protective coverings so that the actual seats are staying pristine while any dirt ends up on the covers.
8 Boosted confidence
I personally prefer that if other people chance upon my van and peer inside, they can see it is clean and tidy. I think this is rather like when friends pop around unannounced and you would prefer that your home gave a good impression. I probably have more pride in my campervan than my home, so I like it to be clean.