If you have depression, it can be hard to do the regular tasks required to take care of yourself let alone get through your day. Certain tasks, like cleaning your room, can easily seem like an impossible — and optional — chore. This is unless you’re getting cheered on during a Clean Room Challenge on TikTok.
The basis of these TikTok videos essentially is that people show before and after shots of areas of their house or room they’re cleaning to show the transformation afterward. While the challenge was started by a mom who wanted to encourage her kids to clean their room, it’s also taken on meaning for the mental health community, as first pointed out on Twitter.
Though cleaning can feel like a 10-mile hike uphill when you’re depressed, often freshening up your space can brighten your mood when you’re up for it. Mighty contributor Courtney Wilkes explained how she came to this realization in her article, “What Happened When I Cleaned the ‘Dirty’ Parts of Depression.”
“A few days ago, I had one of those great epiphanies. … Maybe if I really clean my house, I will feel a little better about life. So, I started cleaning, and cleaning, and cleaning,” she wrote, adding:
I am exhausted, but I do actually feel better about the current state of things. I feel less weighed down by my surroundings and can breathe a little easier, knowing I finally accomplished a few things I had been putting off. I am still searching for the end of this mental tunnel, but having a clean physical path is definitely helping.
Gathering up the motivation to clean your space is often easier when you have a little encouragement. As Twitter user Joanna Robinson pointed out, those who posted their Clean Room Challenge as part of their mental health journey were cheered on by other users. Commenters shared they were doing the challenge for their mental health too or telling the original poster that cleaning their room was “epic.”
In addition to the kindness and motivation these TikTok videos provide their posters (and anyone watching), they also help destigmatize symptoms of depression that people may find embarrassing. And if you’re struggling with depression, these heart-warming videos are great evidence that you’re not alone.
If you need a boost, you can post on The Mighty using the hashtag #CheerMeOn and celebrate accomplishments, milestones and wins — no matter how big or small — with others who understand their importance.