I had the unfortunate pleasure of recently helping my little brother clean his college apartment. His contract was up, which means everything needed to be cleaned for the ominous “white glove check.”
Due to COVID-19, my brother had not been in the apartment in five months, and let me just say, the place was disgusting. Spiderwebs, dust, old food, grime, and just about anything yucky you can think of was in his bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. Mind you, he still had three other roommates that were living there during the months he was gone. It had been so long since any one of them had cleaned a thing that there was a fuzzy mold growing on their cleaning products! Let me just repeat that, there was a nasty fuzz growing ON their cleaning products. If that doesn’t get your heart rate up, I don’t know what will!
I was brave enough, or stupid enough–you choose–to take on the bathroom used by the entire apartment. I had to scrub and scrub to get the buildup of nauseating grime that had been growing off of the counters, sinks, floor, toilet, walls, literally everything. I even had to use a knife to successfully scrape all the grime off. Needless to say, it was horrendous.
The whole time I was scraping and scrubbing I just kept thinking that if the boys, I mean adult college men, just wiped down the surfaces once a week, or even every other, this would not have been nearly as difficult to clean. It would have been as easy as simply taking out a Clorox wipe and doing a quick wipe down. Doing a quick wipe every so often would limit the grime buildup and make the big cleaning day much, much easier.
It may be because I work at a therapy clinic, but my thoughts went towards therapy and the build up of emotions. When we avoid our emotions, they tend to build up over time, leading to challenges in life. However, regular emotional processing can keep us on track as we connect socially and communicate about our needs.
My Marriage Preparation professor created a little system of check in that she and her husband do weekly. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest, they rate how they are feeling emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually, and spiritually. This gives them each the opportunity to speak up about something that is/has been bothering them in a safe place. Not only does it bring to light the feelings they have, but it also gives their person of importance an idea of what is going on and how they can offer support.
If you’re not in a significant relationship, find a trusted friend or family member and explain the rules of the check in and see how it works! I think all of us could use a little extra help in this crazy world of 2020. Try the check in technique and let us know how it works for you!