The Transformative Power of Doing the Dishes

How a Simple Chore Can Provide Mental Health Benefits and Foster Discipline

In a world filled with self-improvement trends and drastic methods, one food editor discovered an unexpected solution to his indolence and plummeting mental health: doing the dishes by hand. Tyler Shane, the food editor for Kansas City magazine, shares his journey of embracing this seemingly ordinary chore as a means of coping and finding discipline. In this article, we explore the transformative power of doing the dishes, its meditative and romantic aspects, and the unexpected benefits it can bring to our lives.

The Quest for Self-Improvement

Shane, a self-proclaimed lazy and self-indulgent procrastinator, found himself drawn to the world of “biohacking” as a way to cope with his mental health struggles. From waking up at dawn to cold plunges and affirmations, he tried various methods to improve his life. However, it was the simple act of doing the dishes that proved to be the most transformative.

The Magic of Handwashing

While many might view washing dishes as a mundane and tedious task, Shane discovered that it offered a space for thoughtless productivity and consistency. By forgoing modern appliances and immersing himself in the process, he found the rush of tap water and the transformation of dirty dishes to be meditative and cathartic.

The Romance of the Sink

As Shane continued to embrace this chore, he found himself developing a newfound appreciation and love for the items he took care of. From cast iron skillets to hand-me-down dinnerware, each dish became a symbol of connection, pride, and an act of service. Cleanliness became a matter of principle, and the kitchen sink became a place of gratitude and fulfillment.

Embracing the World as It Is

Rather than uprooting his entire being or succumbing to excuses for his lack of discipline, Shane realized that he didn’t need to turn his world upside down. Instead, he needed to embrace it. By taking care of his immediate surroundings and finding joy in the simple act of doing the dishes, he discovered a path to self-improvement and personal growth.

The Unexpected Benefits

Beyond the mental and emotional benefits, Shane’s journey of doing the dishes also brought unexpected practical advantages. By confronting the stacks of dirty dishes after every meal, he was able to wake up to a clean kitchen and a clean slate each day. This small act of discipline had a ripple effect on other aspects of his life, leading to a full-time position he enjoys.


In a world filled with complex self-improvement trends and drastic methods, sometimes the simplest tasks can offer the most transformative results. Tyler Shane’s journey of embracing the chore of doing the dishes by hand highlights the meditative, romantic, and discipline-building aspects of this everyday activity. By finding gratitude in the process and taking care of his immediate surroundings, Shane discovered a path to self-improvement and a renewed sense of purpose. Perhaps, in our own lives, we can find unexpected joy and growth in the most ordinary of tasks.






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