Friday, May 14, 2010

On Dishwashing

As my family and friends all know, I'm not the best housekeeper. And my least favorite household chore is probably dishwashing. No, it's definitely dishwashing. Something about icky dishes and icky dish water and getting my hands wet. So, the dirty dishes have a tendency to build up.

What in the world does this have to do with anything? A while back, I noticed a correlation between dishwashing and self-care. No really, it's like the dirty dishes are the canary in the coal mine. Danger! Danger! Theresa is falling off the self-care wagon! Proper sleep has probably ceased happening. Healthy eating likely is taking a slide, too, because when the dishes aren't being washed, cooking is not happening either. And exercise? Let's not even talk about exercise.

(Wow, the bad metaphors in that last paragraph, let me count them.)

And as typically happens when the self-care goes down hill, headaches ensue. The last few weeks have been a very good example of all of this. (Although, one thing that I have been doing better, for the most part is sleep. I'm giving myself credit for that. However, I must get my blackout curtains up again, because the sun coming up at 5 o'clock isn't helping the cause.)

In reality, I know that it is all much, much more complicated than that. But these things are all connected -- mood, headaches, sleep, exercise, and doing the dishes. When my dishes are done and my kitchen is clean, everything else seems much more...possible. Also, these smaller things are easier to quantify than the mental health stuff. Did I get to sleep at a good time? Did I eat my 5 servings of fruit and vegetables? Did I get 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise? Did I do the dishes?

I think, before I slide not just down the hill but all the way down to the bottom of the ravine, it's time to get back to the self-care basics. I've done this before, and I'm sure I'll need to do it again. For me, this means lots and lots of tracking. Which means that it's back to Joe's Goals!

These are the goals that I've set up. All the key self-care things are there: proper sleep, eating right as represented by the fruits and veggies, exercise, minimizing caffeine, and dishwashing. And I've added a few other things in there for good measure. I know that if I can stick to this and take care of myself, I will feel better in both mind and body.

I'll be doing other tracking things as well. I need to get a new calendar up on the kitchen door so that I can start giving myself sparkly stars for exercising. It's also time to start tracking food, because crisps and chocolate are not major food groups. I don't aim to do these things forever, just a month or so to hopefully build back up the healthy habits.

I've added the Joe's goals widget to the sidebar. Please come harass me if it starts dipping down into the red.


The Merry said...

I think you're right about the importance of dishwashing.

Quote du jour:
If you cannot find the ultimate justification of existence in an act as simple as doing the dishes, you will find it nowhere else.
- Huston Smith

I keep that posted to my frig to remind me to find the ultimate justification of existence at least once a week. Doesn't always work. That Joe's Goals thing looks like it might do a better job.

Susan said...

I like your commentary on dishes as an indicator of self-care. Usually, when my apartment starts going down hill it is associated with all of the other self-care things but it also associated with my amount of free time. Sometimes dishes just aren't the most important thing to be doing. Although, I do not have the same level of hatred for doing the dishes as you seem to have :)

Xenia said...

Crisp and chocolate aren't major food groups?!

Crickey, I'm screwed.

Funny, I don't mind doing dishes. Mopping is the bane of my household cleaning existence.