Today’s Solutions: January 29, 2023

Let’s be honest, washing dishes is not always the most exciting part of the day we look forward to, but it has to be done. Here are some ideas for making the process of dishwashing a little bit less of a drag.

Add a smell-good element: Before you start washing, add five drops of the essential oil of your choosing to the base of your sink. As you wash, the hot water will release its scent and make the whole experience more pleasant on the nose.

Make it meditative: According to author Peter Miller, dirty dishes are less of an annoying chore than a gateway to mindful transcendence. In his book, How To Wash the Dishes, Miller writes, “Curiously, by the time I have finished the dishwashing, I always feel better than when I started. It can be a kind of digestive, to both the food served and the emotions of the day.” When approached in this way, a sink full of dishes isn’t such a bad thing after all. See if you can make your next dishwashing an opportunity to clear the mind and get lost in the repetitive movement of scrubbing, rinsing, and drying.

Use it as a time to listen to someone or something you enjoy: When a plate of meditation just doesn’t seem appealing, take the opposite route and invite some outside conversation into your dishwashing. Make it a time to catch up with friends on the phone, ask about a roommate or family member’s day, or pop on that podcast or audiobook you’ve been excited to get to. According to the psychology of habit formation, when you pair a new habit with an existing routine, it becomes more manageable.

Treat yourself on the other side: In difficult times, there’s more joy to be found in the little things. After the last dish has been dried, grab your hand cream and take a moment to appreciate its refreshing scent or the nourishing feeling on your skin. Or pop on a favorite song, one you associate with good times, and get transported in your memory. 

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