Cooking can be both creative and calming. It’s an important skill for people to develop and can help lower your budget, relax your mind and bring you closer to others. So, why is cooking so theraputic?
I recently started working at a Youth Zone with children who have been excluded from mainstream schools. It’s a challenging and very rewarding role that looks a little different every day. As well as delivering an academic curriculum, I teach basic life skills – including cooking. The joy, comical mess-ups and learning experiences are endless. It got me thinking about how therapeutic cooking can be for us all – and what we have to learn from it.
1. Sense of accomplishment
There is an amazing feeling of accomplishment once you have completed a dish – especially in the early days of cooking when it can feel like quite a challenge. The skills of following instructions, seeing something through to the end and following guidance are all important ones. Focusing on a single task in such a focused way is a cathartic experience for many people.
Cooking takes time and patience. Learning to zone in on the moment and complete repetitive tasks like chopping, sieving and frying can take away the day’s pressures. These skills can be applied to so many other areas and brings a patience to your days in genera;
3. Lessoning the economic strain
Most of us worry about money on one level or another. Eating out and takeaways are some of the quickest ways to drain your budget. A simple way to save is to cook in and enjoy the process of making food. Trust me, there’s nothing more therapeutic than a healthy bank balance.
4. Experimentation and creativity
Cooking isn’t all about rule following. Even in baking there is room for creativity when decorating and presenting your triumphs. In most other forms of cooking there is endless room for variation, depending on your tastes and dietary needs. Experimenting during cooking can be enormous fun, and it really doesn’t matter if it doesn’t go perfectly right every time.
5. Sharing food when you’ve finished
Sharing food with friends and families is one of the great joys of life and is such a calming, joyful experience. There is such a feeling of pride in being able to provide for your loved ones. So, take the time to calm, cook, create and share those creations with your nearest and dearest.