After a long week, sometimes all you want to do is order takeout and watch TV on the couch. This is both understandable and tempting all at the same time. After all, coming home and having to cook a meal can feel exhausting and time-consuming. However, know that it doesn’t have to be. Eating out too much and failing to spend time in the kitchen could actually be part of the reason you’re not feeling your best. In fact, committing to spending more time in the kitchen could actually improve your mental health. There are resources like MyTherapist which assist in improving mental health but cooking or baking could also be helpful. Keep reading to learn just how your kitchen could be key to a happier, healthier, more connected life.
Complete Focus on The Task at Hand
Cooking requires your full attention and participation. Being in the kitchen can take away all the other distractions in your life and give you a chance to relax. Failure to pay attention to what’s happening in the kitchen at all times can lead to burnt food, water spilling over the pot, or even a fire at worst. With all your focus going toward cooking, there isn’t much room for anything else to be on your mind. This is a good thing. It’s not often your mind is completely clear and care-free, so when it is, you should savor the moment. You may reach a point where cooking is so second nature that you feel like you can multitask and do other things. You might watch TV, read, or clean up around the kitchen. There isn’t anything wrong with multitasking, but keep in mind it may make the experience of cooking less relaxing. Multitasking can even end up making the kitchen a stressful place if too much is going on at once, so know your limits.
Think about all the possibilities in the kitchen. You can make sweet or savory items, from cakes to stuffed chicken and more. Get creative by coming up with your own recipes and adding to or bettering existing ones. With today’s technology, you can even share your creations with the world. Upload a new recipe or a video with step-by-step instructions so other people can join in on the fun. Being able to be creative in life is linked with stress reduction, better productivity, and a calmer state of mind. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, bake a cake. Then sit back, relax, and decorate it. You’ll be surprised how much better a simple night in baking can make you feel.
Creates Closeness Among Family and Friends
Few moments compare to sitting around the dinner table with family or friends to share a meal. The moment is even more special when someone has put time and energy into cooking that meal. The more often you have these gatherings with the people you love, the more connected to them you’re likely to feel. Cooking for others can also be seen as an act of love for some people. After all, a lot of time, effort, and even money can go into making food whether it’s a meal or a dessert. Cooking at home instead of eating out will encourage more family time or time spent with friends, making all of you feel that much closer with one another. Plus, the chef is bound to feel pretty accomplished.
Cooking requires some planning ahead because you need to make sure you’ll have enough time to make everything, but also need to buy all the ingredients. When you don’t cook often, it’s easy to order takeout at 5pm one day and 9pm another. While there isn’t anything technically wrong with that, it can throw off your schedule and make life more chaotic. An important part of mental health is having a healthy diet and getting enough sleep. Eating too late in the day can make it hard to fall asleep and feeling rushed can cause you to make worse food choices.
Preparing for a full week of cooking will encourage you to eat at around the same time every day and will probably keep you healthier too. It’s up to you to cook healthy foods or foods that are bad for your body, but in general food made at home is healthier than going out. Another advantage to cooking at home is that you can meal prep. This means you make all of your meals for the week, so you don’t have to worry about it later. Simply make a large amount of food and then divide it up into various containers. You’ll be all set for the week, and normally will just need to heat the food back up in the microwave. It makes your life a whole lot easier.
You may not decide to pursue a career as a chef but taking up cooking or baking might become your new favorite hobby. Hobbies give us an outlet after stressful days at work or even at home. They allow us to escape the world, even if only for a bit, in order to focus on ourselves and what makes us happy. You can also find out some affiliate programs in the health niche that can not only help you in cooking but can help you generate some revenue with your hobby as well.
Cooking can feel like a chore for many people, but it can also be fun once you get the hang of it. When you first start out, everything will feel new and might be overwhelming. As you learn more about cooking or baking and improve at it, it’ll become like a reflex and be easier with time, kind of like driving a car. Cooking is definitely a skill that you have to practice, but there’s no pressure to be perfect. As long as you’re trying and enjoy it, that’s all that matters. Allow it the chance to be your new outlet and you may just be surprised by your newfound hobby.
It can seem like a lot of effort to have to cook your meals each day, but surprisingly enough can also be a great outlet. People who shy away from cooking at home are normally the most inexperienced, which explains their hesitation. The best part about cooking is that anyone can do it, it just takes some practice and persistence. Give yourself plenty of time, make sure you have all the ingredients before starting, and be patient with yourself.
It’s also wise not to cook when you’re already starving as you might be tempted to eat something unhealthy or rush the cooking process. If spending more time in the kitchen works to improve your mental health all on its own, then great! If you don’t feel any improvement, though, you should consider meeting with a professional. Hopefully, you’ll soon be on the right track to a more joy-filled life.