When the world comes crashing down on me, I love the instant gratification of cleaning. By the time I get my frustrations worked out of my system by tackling a cleaning project, I not only feel better, but my physical environment has been drastically improved as well.

Set the timer for 15 minutes. Pick the dirtiest bathroom and start to make things shine! Squirt the cleaner in the toilet. Let it sit while you scrub the sink, shower and tub. Finish the toilet, mop the floor and polish the mirrors. Maybe you’ll feel so good you’ll set your timer again and move on to the next bathroom!

You may get caught up in the momentum of making things look nice and run to the store to buy some fresh flowers for your kitchen table. You could put a few in tiny vases in the bathrooms as well.

Maybe you’ll feel content with what you’ve accomplished, or you may feel like moving on to conquer the kitchen next. Do the dishes. Enjoy the warm water on your hands. Scrub the sink, polish the faucet and make the stove top look like new. Then take the time to sit at the kitchen table and sip some orange juice or hot chocolate and admire your work.

I remember having a very difficult conversation with one of my children one evening. They’d pointed out every flaw and weakness I have, told me how stupid and inept I was and sited specific situations where I’d messed up and made wrong choices. I ended up feeling emotionally bullied and worthless as a mother.

The sink was full of dirty dishes and my kitchen was a mess. I decided to load the dishwasher before heading to bed. As I washed the pans with my hands in the warm soapy water, I was able to sort things out in my mind. I reminded myself that young people don’t have a fully developed frontal lobe yet. Their bodies are filled with raging hormones and they lack life experience. I reminded myself that I always do the best I know how with the knowledge, understanding and experience I have. I wiped off the counter, the stove and the toaster. I even swept the floor. Then I ate a small bowl of ice cream, wrote in my journal and said a prayer. As I got into bed, I realized that instead of feeling depressed and discouraged I felt a great sense of accomplishment and peace.

I’ve found that after I go on a cleaning spree, I’ve worked out most of my frustrations and have a better perspective on my problems – my attitude has shifted, and things look a lot brighter.