Weekends are for catching up on laundry, cleaning floors, grocery shopping, running errands, cutting the grass, and washing the dishes. These projects keep me moving, my hands are busy, and oxygen floods through my bloodstream. Our brains depend on the stuff more than any other part of the body. Oxygenated blood fuels our neurons, and studies suggest that blasts of oxygen can help improve cognitive functions.
Then I discovered a 2014 study from Florida State University, which suggests hand washing dishes can encourage feelings of mindfulness and wellbeing. Who needs a spa day? There is soothing warm water, scented suds, and the pretty patterns on my cups and plates. After reading that the study participants reported a 27 percent decrease in nervousness and a 25 percent increase in mental stimulation after washing the dishes, I am considering adding candles, mood lighting, and soft music.
Simple tasks occupy the inner critic that stifles our shy creative side, leaving us free to contemplate grand plans and conjure amazing stories. My notebooks bear grass stains, water droplets, and spaghetti sauce splatters that attest to the dire need to record and capture those ideas before they disappear into the ether. And I love the by-product — a clean house.
Where do your best ideas originate?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer