“Cleaning Triggers My Anxiety”

Right now, you’re looking at the big picture. For a little while, you need to try to narrow your focus a little bit. Focus on just one surface, or one small area. Take before and after pictures, even if you don’t share them. Sometimes we can’t see the progress we’ve made when we’re in the middle of it.

Give yourself time to get used to the changes. See if you can pinpoint how you feel when you look at a cleaned area. Is it anxious? Relieved? Proud? If it’s anxious, give yourself more time. If it’s relieved or proud, you’re probably OK to keep going. Work around the room systematically, making sure to work slowly and take your breaks.

If your anxiety is being triggered, stop. Come back to it when it’s passed. Give yourself a set limit on what you’re doing (“I’m doing three 20/10s and then I’m done for today”), and hold yourself to do it. You will not be able to clean everything all at once. You shouldn’t. And not doing so is not a failure, it’s progress. You can do this.