Aubriana Lecomte May 10, 2020 Kitchen
Cooking and baking present two different aspects for mental health: the activity and the result. And both have benefits. Psychologists told Eater in 2014 that the reason that therapeutic baking courses work so well is because participants get something tangible for their efforts. It’s called ”behavioral activation,” which means finding meaning in the things you do rather than just drifting through them.
Counselor Nicole Lambert of Movement Counseling Services tells Bustle, ”Cooking helps mental health in that it can be a creative outlet. It’s a way to channel energy, can be used as a distraction, help build mastery in a skill, and a way to express emotions through a different medium.” Of course, like exercise, just because cooking can be helpful for mental health doesn’t make it easier to accomplish.
Certain mood disorders, such as depression, can lower your energy levels and appetite, making it more difficult to convince yourself to cook. But studies have shown that, for many people, mental health benefits ensue when the oven gloves come out, even if the result is something simple. And the effects are particularly enhanced if you’re cooking not just for yourself, but for others, too. If you think this could be helpful for you but aren’t sure where to start, don’t expect to be dizzyingly brilliant in the kitchen at your first attempt; the skill of cooking takes practice, and all professionals and good home cooks have had years of stove time to refine their technique. Get a beginner’s cookbook and start small. You might be building up a tarte de citron in no time. Here are seven surprising ways cooking can be good for your mental health.
Many mental health organizations emphasize that proper nutrition is a fundamental part of maintaining brain health. Dr. Andrew McCulloch, former CEO of The Mental Health Foundation, wrote that ”nutrition should become a mainstream, everyday component of mental health care”. And cooking and baking for yourself allows you to be more aware of what you’re putting in your body, and how it reacts to different foods and dietary staples. Nutrient-dense diets including lots of dark leafy greens, legumes, oily fish and berries have been conclusively linked to better outcomes when it comes to mood disorders. But not everybody reacts to food the same way; intolerance and gut microbiomes influence our reactions and therefore our moods. And cooking for yourself, experts say, is one of the best ways to take care of your own mental health, provided you have enough time to do it. As if you needed another reason not to order delivery for the eightieth night in a row, doing it for the mental health boost can really come in handy. While there’s no shame in not cooking if you just aren’t feeling up to it, it’s worth noting the science behind taking this small step to nourish yourself.
Unwashed raw eatables are an easy source of germ infections which can be avoided just by proper washing. The habit of cluttering up in the kitchen forms the fourth worst aspects of kitchen keeping. This cluttering can be in the refrigerators or in the kitchen cabinets or on the slabs. The slabs and the interiors of cabinets and refrigerators should always be cleaned using disinfectant cleaners. The place should then be wiped with a clean cloth and things be kept systematically on the assigned places. This will help prevent muddling up of things in the kitchen.
This teaches children the basic cooking and cleaning concepts, which enriches their understanding of the world and develops their life skills. Whether they are pretending to set the table, wash the dishes or bake a cake, kitchen role play tends to heighten their empathy for others because it gives them an insight into what it would be like to cook in the kitchen or work as a chef. By providing children with their own play kitchen, it gives them a sense of independence, which increases their self-confidence. They fully adopt the role of working in a kitchen and become responsible for keeping it clean, organizing the belongings and caring for the different items in the kitchen.
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