Chores are things we feel we must do. Sometimes this is true, to prevent rodents from taking over our kitchens, while at other times our chores become an example of perfectionism. Rather than letting the image of a clean house reflect satisfaction for a job well done, it can more reflect what isn’t yet done. Sound familiar?
To get out of the cycle of never feeling done, meditation can help. A common chore meditation begins with the dishes, but you can certainly use the theory for any chore that tends to feel never-ending, monotonous and frustrating (ironing, anyone?).
Make the experience enjoyable. This does not mean to fill it with distractions with your best friend on speaker or Dr. Oz blaring in the background.
Create an environment of relaxation. Physically relax your body as you stand, specifically allowing your shoulders to drop away from your ears.
Fill the sink with water. Even if you have a Christmas dinner’s worth of dishes, treat each dish as if it were the only one.
Feel the weight of a dish in your hands and appreciate its shape, its contour, how the light reflects in it.
Revel in the warmth of the suds and spend more time on the dish than you normally would. Make it spotless. Make it something you are proud of. And move to the next.
Every time you feel yourself getting impatient or rushing, work on planting your feet, on staying present, and slowing down.
Eventually, you will not be glancing at the piles of dishes left to do. You can use it as a true mental vacation and opportunity to digest the day’s events – just by being more aware.