5 Reasons Why Doing the Dishes Is So Hard + Solutions For Each

How are you currently feeling towards doing the dishes? 


A. Just fine! It doesn’t bother me.


B. I struggle with doing them sometimes, but I am managing.


C. Dishes are the bain of my existence! They are stressful & overwhelming.



...I asked this question on a recent Instagram post, and, just as I suspected, a huge number of people answered "C". You see, the biggest struggles people face on a healing journey involve the application of the information, and all of the details to sort out around that.


When I first adopted a healing protocol, it felt like I LIVED in the kitchen. Cooking/preparing every meal at home requires a lot of dish washing.⠀


Over the years I’ve had to learn how to simplify those processes so that I could have more time for life. I've also learned, after working with so many people one-on-one, that dishes are a hugely common source of stress and overwhelm, and there are a variety of reasons for that.


Believe it or not, struggling with dishes is actually such a deep topic that it needed a whole blog post to be broken down.


We all have different factors that can make chores like the dishes more or less challenging, including:

  • Number of people in a household using dishes

  • Whether we work or are at home full-time

  • The state of our energy levels 

  • Our physical condition; how easy it is to stand/bend over a lot

  • How much help we have

  • Whether or not we have a dishwasher

  • How many other responsibilities we have/how much time we have available 

  • Our emotional and mental states of being

  • Our pre-existing habits

...and more. That being said, there is always a way to make it work, and it is always worth it.


I am a problem-solver, and in my practice, I see a lot of patterns. When it comes to struggling with doing the extra chores that come along with a healing lifestyle, like doing the dishes, there are 5 main root cause problems. I have broken them down for you here, along with solutions for each cause, to help you work out the kinks. We all benefit greatly from more ease and sustainability, so it's very much worth diving into.


Heal with Amber | Alternative Medicine + Holistic Health

Problem #1: Low Energy


The biggest reason that dishes, and other tasks that pile up more on a healing journey, feel overwhelming is due to fatigue, physical (neurological) weakness, and/or depression. If you are one of the many who barely have the energy to get out of bed in the morning, please know that this is not your fault. This type of fatigue (neurological) is viral.


SOLUTIONS


> Prioritize Energy Concerns in your Protocol.

Make sure that you are properly addressing your energy issues through your healing protocol. Because fatigue, weakness, and depression all affect your ability to apply the healing information into your life that will get you better, these are the symptoms I often focus on prioritizing first with my clients. 

  • Top foods for fatigue: apricots, avocados, berries, grapes, mangoes, oranges, tangerines, asparagus, celery, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes.

  • Top herbs/spices for fatigue: rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, cilantro, turmeric, ginger, rose hips, and burdock root.

  • Top supplements for fatigue: celeryforce, 5-MTHF, nascent iodine, licorice root, chaga, ashwagandha, lemonbalm, barleygrass juice powder, and spirulina. Make sure to get the right brands from the Medical Medium supplement directory.


> Energy Budget. 

When you have neurological fatigue, you have to think of your daily allowance of energy like a certain amount of money. If you overspend, you’re going to be in the negative. Considering that you only have a certain amount of energy to spend each day, reflect on where all of it is being spent. Mental/emotional energy counts! Your brain uses a ton of glucose (energy). You may want to document a week of energy usage - this will give you some really good clarity as to where exactly you are spending your energy. The point of this exercise is to identify areas where energy is being used on tasks that aren't absolutely essential. Scrolling through Instagram, for example, is very stimulating and actually uses up a lot of energy. So if find that you are spending an hour per day on social media, try limiting yourself to 15 minutes. This can free up energy that you can spend on essential tasks, like food prep and doing the dishes.


> Delegate.

When you’re really deep in fatigue, it’s important to get all of the help and support that you can to remove tasks from your plate that are not absolutely essential. If you have family or friends who can assist with tasks like doing the dishes, I encourage you to ask for help and communicate honestly about how challenging these tasks are for you to complete on your own right now and how much their help would mean to you. If you are married, in a domestic partnership, and/or have children, sometimes it’s important to ask for more from your partner. Give your kids jobs. You need all of the energy you can get for healing so that you can show up for your loved ones. If you keep trying to push yourself to do more than your body can handle, this will induce adrenaline, which will prevent your ability to move forward with your health, and that doesn’t help anyone.


It's not always easy to ask for help, and often it makes us feel guilty when we aren’t sure that there is an end in sight to our suffering that would allow us to repay someone for their help. Please know, first of all, that due to Universal laws, energy is actually never out of balance. What someone gives will always come back to them, even if not in this lifetime. I have received intuitive messages about people whom I have given a ton of my energy to in this lifetime. My guides informed me that these people supported me very deeply in other lifetimes, and that I was just repaying them for it in this lifetime. That’s why, even though I knew there wasn’t an equal exchange of energy between us, it felt right at the time. It really is a beautiful thing, if you think about it. That being said, I believe in you, and I believe in your capacity to heal, to get your energy back, and to be able to do what you want the freedom to be able to do in this lifetime. When I was really sick and super fatigued, my ex-boyfriend helped me so much. He cleaned my apartment, did my dishes, helped make my food a lot of the time, and always picked me up when I was struggling. It was incredible, it was angelic, and it was the first time I had ever experienced support like this. I carried guilt for a long time because the focus of our relationship ended up being on me. A year later, he ended up in a situation that neither one of us could have foreseen that presented an opportunity to help him, in a completely different way, for a long time. Another year later, even after we had broken up, he experienced a trauma that I was so eager to be able to support him with in many different ways. Sometimes, in relationships, the scales tip out of balance in one direction for a while (one person needs a lot more from the other) for a while, and then they can tip back in the other direction later on. 


If you have access to help, utilize it, but it is also totally possible to get through this without help if you don't. For the overwhelming majority of my healing journey, I did not have help. I know that many of you out there feel very alone in your healing, and if this is you, I recommended working with the Angel of Solidarity. Anthony talks about her in his book, Life-Changing Foods (page 300).





Problem #2: Anxiety, Unresolved Trauma, & Suppression


Having chronic illness is a form of trauma. Depending on the severity, the weight of other traumas we may have experienced in our lives, the condition of our Spirit and our Soul, the amount of heavy metals in the brain (which carry and amplify trauma), and more, some people end up developing a coping mechanism of dissociating with their bodies and therefore dissociate from being present. Often the struggle with doing dishes, and other mundane household tasks, exists because it requires us to be present. For a lot of people, it’s one of the only things that they do in a day that doesn’t stimulate them. When you are present in the moment, all that is normally suppressed by the usual stimulation will surface - that can be racing thoughts, very uncomfortable symptoms we usually distract ourselves from, pain, tension, difficult emotions, and more….and that can be very triggering and overwhelming.


SOLUTIONS


> Emotional Support.

  • Working with a trauma-informed therapist is something that I believe nearly everyone on a healing journey needs to some degree at some point. If you are a newbie to therapy, regular talk therapy can be a good start. It can help some people to just open the door to expressing their feelings and getting emotions out of their bodies. For others, talk therapy is not the right fit, because talking about problems when it comes to heavier, deeper issues can re-trigger trauma - which is not what you want, especially when you are healing from a chronic health issue. For those who benefit from talk therapy, even that will typically come to a point where it only goes so far and the individual will need something deeper. At that point, biofeedback, TFT (Thought Field Therapy), Emotion Code, IFS (Internal Family Systems), and family constellations are some of my favorite forms of emotional support that effectively get at the root of trauma without re-triggering it.

> Distract Yourself, If Appropriate.

  • In the meantime, while you are working on healing, allow yourself to be distracted. Dissociating from symptoms and the physical body is a coping mechanism that develops in the first place for a reason. You do not want to push or force yourself to be present while the need for this coping mechanism still exists (i.e., the pain, symptoms, PTSD, etc. are still present at the same level). While you are doing the dishes, you can listen to an audiobook, a podcast, a Medical Medium radio show, or music; or you can watch a movie or a TV show; you can talk to a friend on the phone, or anything else that feels more comfortable to you.


> Work On Being Present, If Appropriate.

  • There is a broad spectrum of anxiety, pain, and trauma, and there is also a spectrum of what the three can be coupled with. If you are someone who is not high on the spectrum, and working on being more present feels do-able, then for you, I suggest working on being more present. Incorporating a meditation practice or meditative activities is the number one method to get you more comfortable with being present in the moment. Some light yoga/stretching incorporates mindfulness into movement, which helps you to become more present in your body. I also really like this little book by Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, which so eloquently discusses the spirituality that can be found in mundane, everyday tasks. He is very simple and practical, and he specifically covers doing the dishes and how to make this task a meditative practice. The video below may give you some inspiration.






Problem #3: Exiting Convenience Culture


It can often feel like this lifestyle involves a lot of labor because it is so different from how most other people in the world live and consume. Most of us were raised within this fast-paced convenience culture, and it is within that system that many of our habits and our outlook on what is "normal" were formed. We are used to food being fast, prepared by someone else, being completely disconnected to where each component comes from, having our food wrapped up in disposable/convenient packaging, and scarfing it down without much thought or connection to it. Because of this, we can get caught up in the mindset that a healthy lifestyle is "hard", "unattainable", or "too much work", and we can develop anger, frustration, and blame towards it. This will cause us to feel very disgruntled about an increase in daily chores like the dishes.


SOLUTIONS


> Mindset Shift.

This is really a mindset issue. And the good thing about a mindset that's not serving you is that you can change it. We have to stop ourselves from getting into a victim mentality about how hard and labor intensive this lifestyle is, and how much “easier” it would be otherwise.


In reality, it's not "hard", it's just different. Our ancestors had it way worse than we do. They did not have the luxury of being able to have a life outside of manual labor - their lives revolved completely around manual labor, from hunting and gathering all of their own food themselves, to building their own shelters, to sewing and hand-washing their own clothes, and being personally involved with every other detail of their existence. In some parts of the world, this is the case even now in 2020. In western society, we can still enjoy a huge amount of modern conveniences along with our healthy lifestyle, and in the grand scheme of things, having to spend a bit more time and energy on our food and the clean up afterward isn't as big of a deal as we can often make it out to be. Being on a healing journey presents an invitation to slow down, to become more present, and to reconnect with our roots of being more personally involved with what we’re using and consuming. In turn, I believe that it is this full-embodied presence that is what keeps us more closely connected to God, the Universe, the light - whatever you choose to call “it”. It's also what keeps us connected to our intuition, which is the most powerful force we have access to on Earth. This connection is what has largely been lost as we have moved further along the path to convenience.


From now on, every time you catch yourself thinking "this is hard", "I'd rather just order takeout", or "this lifestyle involves too much work", remind yourself that what will actually be "easier" is not having symptoms anymore, and that putting in some extra time now into doing the things that will get you there is more worthy of your energy investment than anything else.


> Reconsider Your Priorities.

The alternative and convenience of quick, pre-made food that comes in disposable packing is attached to a huge price tag; your health, as well as many other consequences. If we think about it this way - what is MORE important than our health, our connection to God, or our connection to our intuition? Is more convenience really worth all that you trade in for it?


> Gratitude.

This is the most powerful way to move out of a victim mentality. Thank your dishes for containing all of the beautiful, healing foods you’ve made. Send love to your dishes as you take care of them in exchange for helping to take care of you. Be grateful for the modern dishwasher and other kitchen appliances you may have (blender, juicer, oven, stove) that make your life easier. Be also grateful for the other modern conveniences that you do enjoy and that free up your time in other areas. Rejoice in your ability to prepare all of your healing meals.





Problem #4: Inefficiency + New Habit Forming


Many people who were used to eating convenience food prior to implementing healing information, are young/were used to their parents cooking and doing the dishes previously, or are otherwise just not used to preparing food at home can really struggle to develop the new daily habits (like doing the dishes) that a truly healthy lifestyle requires.


SOLUTIONS


> Prioritize Developing New Daily Habits That Support Your Health.

Here are some general efficiency tips. Know that it typically takes 21 days to form a new habit. Challenge yourself to commit to 21 days of doing the dishes. Set reminders or alarms on your phone, put sticky notes up on the sink to remind yourself that dishes don't go there, or make a pact with other members of your household to put money in a jar when a dish gets left in the sink...whatever it takes to avoid procrastinating and letting them pile up.


Prioritize forming new habits of:

  • Washing everything right after use (food comes off so much more easily)⠀

  • If you batch cook or make more than you think you will eat in one serving, put your food directly into and eat from your tupperware (skip the plate/bowl for less dishes to wash)⠀

  • Reuse! You don’t need a new cup every time you get a new glass of water. Use one cup all day that is designated for lemon water, for example⠀

  • Delegate! If you don’t live alone, assign dish days to other members of your household so that everyone contributes equally and it’s not all left to you (see Problem #1 if you struggle with this)

If you have a dishwasher:

  • Unload every morning⠀

  • Load every night or throughout the day right after use

If you don’t have a dishwasher:

  • Put dry dishes away every morning

  • Wash and clean dishes every night or throughout the day right after use






Problem #5: Burnout

I have to include this one as it's own problem because I have been there and I see it often in others. I am someone who has been in the deepest wells of burnout. The kind of burnout that feels like you are so empty you cannot lift another finger. It is beyond fatigue. It is beyond depression. It's beyond low energy. It is complete and utter survival mode. When you are in survival mode, doing the dishes can seem so trivial. It can feel like there are so many more important things that you need to prioritize to survive. It can feel like you are in such deficit that taking the time to do the dishes is literally a threat to your survival, which is super stressful and adrenalizing. This is similar to Problem #1, but if you are so burnt out that even following the solutions for low energy feels overwhelming or unattainable, then you need a bridge to get you there. Burnout at this level can often require unique solutions to get you back on your feet.


SOLUTIONS


> Disposable Plates, Cups, & Cutlery.

Of course, this is not a long-term solution, but bringing in disposable plateware for a period of time can be SO helpful. You can get eco-friendly, biodegradable sets like this one. If you need to, allow yourself this break from doing the dishes for a while. It will free up quite a bit of your energy and stress, and then you can use that extra energy to recover from burnout and get yourself out of survival mode.

> Prioritize Burnout in your Protocol.

Follow the top foods, herbs, and spices from Problem #1, and look to pages 494-495 of Cleanse to Heal for a burnout-specific supplement protocol.


> Faith.

In times like these, prayer is extraordinarily powerful. You can pray to God, the Universe, any of the angels named by Medical Medium, or whatever source resonates with you. Daily prayer can make an exponential difference in your recovery from burnout. Pray for strength, pray for energy, pray for help, or pray for whatever it is that you need.


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