Social media sensation and cleaning star Mrs Hinch, aka Sophie Hinchliffe, is known to her legion of fans for providing them with tips and tricks on how to keep a tidy home.
However, on Sunday the star took to her Instagram stories to showcase how she looked after mental health, instead of where she lived, by telling fans how she staves off a panic attack.
Wearing the old women filter on her face, which she affectionately calls 'Gretel', Mrs Hinch told her 3.2 million followers: “Good morning everyone! I’ve managed to get up, in the shower, hair washed , sincere done all before the boys are even awake!
“Happy days I had the shower on cold to begin with because I had the worst chest flutters this morning for some reason and I didn’t want to have a panic attack of some sort so a cold shower really helps me, but it wasn’t pleasant hope you all had a nice sleep guys xxx”
Having a cold shower is actually a tried and tested method called hydrotherapy and is proven to help with mental health. Healthline reports it can improve endorphins, writing: “One holistic method of treatment that’s gaining popularity is hydrotherapy. Taking a cold shower for up to 5 minutes, 2 to 3 times per week, was shown to help relieve symptoms of depression in a clinical trial.”
Sophie suffers from anxiety and actually cleaning was her initial coping mechanism. She has been open about how housework helps to quash her panic attacks.
"I was never cleaning because I was panicking about my house not looking perfect, I just found that by cleaning I could calm myself down if I felt a panic attack coming on," she said.
This, in part, is the reason she has a legion of loyal followers. They feel an affinity with her openness and honesty, as well as the benefit of her tidying hacks. Late last spring she published the book ‘Hinch Yourself Happy’, a guide that claims to show readers: “how to create not only a cleaner house, but a calmer you.”
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But what is it about cleaning that can help people to relax or tackle their anxiety? We asked psychotherapist and Counselling Directory member Katerina Georgiou for her thoughts on the topic. “I would say that it can be quite a mindful activity; it is focusing your attention on the task at hand,” she said.
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“Anxiety often comes out of contemplating the unknown, so the familiarity of cleaning creates grounding in the immediate here and now. We use our hands when cleaning. We often also get down on our hands and feet. There is something primal about that and it engages our senses rather than our ruminations.
“When all these things are combined altogether we can see why cleaning can help us emotionally and why it's popular.”
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