by: Luz Dayrit, PT, DPT
Due to the rising cases of COVID-19, we are trading our fast-paced lifestyle in the outside world to a slow and reserved lifestyle inside our own home. The idea of staying at home for weeks seemed bearable when the authorities first mandated for us to do it. Its been months living in this condition that we are realizing how difficult it is to stay indoors. Staying at home for weeks with no sunlight and connection from the outside world can make people feel unmotivated and depressed. This is complicated by more anxiety due to negative reports of rising death, unemployment, and economic downturn. With everything that is going on with the world today, people cannot be blamed if they do not feel as optimistic and productive as they want to be. This is a scary time for everybody and there are more important things in people’s minds than making their bed in the morning.
Experts, on the other hand, suggest thinking differently about making our bed in the morning. They states that making our bed in the morning is more than just a household chore and can inspire productivity at this moment of quarantine. Making our bed may not be everyone's idea of motivation, but unknown to a lot of people, it helps us sets our subconscious to have an efficient productive day. According to Navy Seal William H. McCraven in a commencement speech that he gave to the graduates of the University of Texas in 2014:
"If you want to change the world, start by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed".
The morning sets the tone of what the whole day would be like. Accomplishing a task as simple as making the bed in the morning can trigger a domino effect of successfully done tasks and can motivate people to do more as the day progresses. Also, finishing a task can make people feel confident in themselves and their abilities.
In addition, it does not only triggers feelings of productivity but also been discovered to prompt feelings of happiness. This is according to Gretchen Ruben, the best-selling author of “The Happiness Project”, who found it to be impactful and a source of joy after including it in her routine. The satisfaction that people find in making their bed can be attributed to the fact that people, in general, like things in order. When they see a neatly made-up bed, it does wonders to our mood and mental health. For example, a made-up bed makes up a lot for the ambiance of the room which brings out feelings of calm and relaxation. Seeing a clean and made up bed can also make people feel in control which enables them to feel a sense of certainty that by nature, humans crave. On the other hand, when people see disorder, it makes them feel confused and can affect their mood and productivity for the whole day.
Making the bed may not mean much on the surface but it has proven through different studies that it can improve mood and increase productivity. With the current stay at home order and quarantine status of our society; people would be tempted to just stay under the covers all day. I hope this article can give a reason for all of us to get out of our bed and prepare for a productive day.
This unprecedented moment in our society demand for each one of us to be more vigilant in taking care of our general health and well-being more than ever. Making our bed may not be the cure to our depression anxiety, or stress; however, it is one step in the direction that we want our day to be. Making our bed may just be minuscule compared to what people consider important in their day, but it is in the culmination of these small and meaningful things that make a person's day a good one. Try it for yourself. Try it as family morning event. One thing for sure though, it is always feels good to sleep at night with a clean, neatly arrange cover. #Stayhome #Pandemic #Quarantine
Andrew Merle, Make your Bed, Change your life, (December,6,2017)
Michelle Ullman, 5 reasons to make your bed everyday, (October,18,2019)
Carina Wolff, 7 signs you’re spending too much time inside & It’s affecting your health, (Feb,13,2018)