You may have come across a video of TikTok or YouTube in which they speak of “depression room”, a term that reinforces the opinion of those experts who ensure that there is a clear link between the disorder and mental health. Another name that has become popular because of social networks is that of the “heaps of pessimism” (doom piles), which allude to the accumulation of random things with which we do not know what to do, being these accumulations of disorder more common among people who have greater problems with executive functions. Why are we telling you all this? Because there are those who wash the dishes immediately and those who accumulate them in the sink without any problem, and as we can see, the way in which we decide to wash the dishes says a lot about ourselves.
Cleaning and order are increasingly related not only to organization, but even to identity, and for this reason there is more and more content on the networks about how to organize closets and what tricks there are to keep the house spotless.
What are the psychological advantages of cleaning the dishes almost immediately and not seeing accumulated dishes? “Here, like everything else, a good premise is to execute what makes us laziest as soon as possible. Therefore, as long as we do not interrupt the after-dinner meal, which is one of the pleasures of a good meal, the ideal would be to clear the table, so that we can focus on the rest of the activities that we have programmed, without the mental load of knowing that there is a stack of dishes waiting for us”, says the author of ‘Cleanliness, order and happiness’, La Ordenatriz.
Washing the dishes is much less banal than we think, and that is why Peter Miller has written ‘How to wash the dishes’, where in addition to offering countless tips, he explains the advantages that we can obtain by doing so.
“You probably won’t get everything you hoped for when you do the dishes, but doing it will give you a habit that will come in handy. There are some obvious gains, of course, like having a clean sink and keeping glasses and dishcloths tidy. It is the elegance of an affair brought to an end. It is like a well-made bed, a neatly folded towel, clean brushes, and a watered and tidy garden. It is a statement that carries over to the next meal, but also to time. It involves recall and repetition of tasks and details,” she writes.
“Not everyone will be convinced. Someone will still put a hot greasy frying pan directly on a mountain of dishes. Someone else will hide a sharp knife in a mountain of foam. Another will place ten glasses of wine in a pot. Not everyone will be tempted to think about how to wash dishes. And many will always think of dishwashing as a cousin to basic manual labor, simply a task of little honor or prestige,” the author explains.
As if that were not enough, according to a report published in the magazine ‘Mindfulness’, Wash the dishes it is “a conscious attitude in which we focus our attention on the warmth of the water, the feel of the plates or glasses, and the smell of the soap we use, something that can certainly trigger a positive mood.”
More and more people are also advocating washing the dishes by putting our full attention on the activity, making the act an exercise in ‘mindfulness’. We often wash dishes in fear or in a hurry, rushing to do it as quickly as possible. Instead, you can engage in this task with present tense awareness and find some peace.
Look at the dishes you are going to wash. Try to remember the food you ate and how it supported welfare and the lives of all who ate. Take a few deep breaths, centering your awareness in the body. Feel where you are and the weight that pushes the spine towards the feet. Start washing, one dish at a time. Stay focused on the plate directly in front of you at the moment. As you clean, tune in to the smells that come from the soap and food”, explains the guide ‘Mindfulness of Doing the Dishes’.
“There are two ways to wash dishes. The first is to wash them to have clean dishes, and the second is to wash dishes to wash dishes… While washing dishes, one should only be washing dishes, which means that while washing washing the dishes one must be fully aware of the fact that one is doing such an activity. The fact that I am standing there washing these bowls is a wonderful reality. I am being completely myself, following my breath, aware of my presence and aware of my thoughts and actions”, Thich Nhat Hanh writes about the art of washing dishes.
But feeling very sorry for those who believe that washing dishes is the new meditation, we must understand those who hate it, since a report from the Council of Contemporary Families indicates that washing dishes is among all the household chores that we like the least.
“Washing dishes is disgusting. There’s old, moldy food in the sink. If you have children, there is curdled milk in little glasses, something that smells disgusting. Also, unlike other chores like cooking or gardening, washing dishes well doesn’t draw compliments.
What is there to say? ‘Oh, you’ve left the cutlery are so… shiny’?” Dan Carlson, head of the study, asks in ‘The Atlantic’, who explains that couples who share the responsibilities of washing the dishes have a healthier relationship, since a A couple can do the dishes as a team by being able to break the act down into functions and encourage couples to get together in the kitchen and work on something simultaneously. Apparently, it helps them know how to better deal with dirt and inconvenience… And we’re not just talking about dirty dishes anymore.
It is so annoying for some to have to clean the dishes that even Jamie Oliver, in his book ‘UNO. A container. Recipes without complications’ not only proposes cheap dishes that can be cooked at any time, but has ensured that the preparation of each dish requires only up to eight ingredients, so as the famous chef points out, it guarantees minimal preparation and minimal cleanup.
Although it is not easy to leave the group that prefers to pile dirty dishes, considering the advantages of washing up after eating, how can we overcome the laziness of doing it? “Once we have thought about the menu, and made the purchase, we are already involved in “work”.
The best thing is to have everything organized before starting, since it will avoid nerves when executing and thus be able to focus on the cooking that we are going to carry out. It will make it easier for us to clean little by little, as it gets dirty and we no longer need those utensils. In addition, scrubbing at the moment makes it easier, since grease and dirt are not encrusted”, says La Ordenatriz.
Yes, even Marie Kondo has thrown in the towel when it comes to meticulousness, but if cleaning the dishes can help us a little to improve our mental health… Isn’t it worth the effort? At least, it’s much cheaper than going to the psychologist…