If you’re feeling a little stressed out about life, you’re not alone.
Whether you’ve been spending more time alone or are managing a houseful of kids while working from home, there’s a lot going on that can spark stress. Getting your kids to do their homework online.
In whatever space you’re in, know that you’re not alone.
What’s your approach to alleviating that stress? People have come up with a variety of ways to move forward in identifying and coping with this stressful season. Reading books. Coloring. Going for a hike. Deep cleaning the house - again. Watching a new series.
One of our favorite and most effective ways to alleviate stress is by getting in the kitchen.
Whether you’re often the sole chef of the house or often resort to boxed mac’n’cheese to shovel down in between answering work emails, cooking and baking can be a fun activity to do something with your hands and create something you can be proud of.
Have you ever considered incorporating cooking as a stress relief activity? Even if you don’t consider yourself well-versed in the kitchen, picking out a recipe or browsing through your pantry to come up with your own creation can result in more than just a delicious meal. Especially if you tend to see cooking and getting something on the table as a chore or another hassle that comes across you in your day, reframing how you view the art of cooking can cultivate another way to bring joy in your life.
At Fustini’s, we love to cook. While we haven’t been able to host cooking classes during this season of social distancing, we’re still joining with you in creating recipe videos as we get in our own kitchen to whip up new tastes and old favorites. When you’re in the kitchen, we’re right there with you.
Cooking can help spark delight in your everyday life, especially in this season. Here we share why cooking can be a powerful source of stress relief and some ideas you can try today.
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “you eat with your eyes”? Cooking and tasting is an experience that can be just about the visual as much as it is about how something tastes. By combining different colors, textures and styles of cooking, you can create a dish that not only delights your tastebuds but looks like a true work of art as well. You’ve seen this if you’ve scrolled through Instagram with hashtags like #foodporn or #foodart. You can put a lot of care and focus on plating and arranging your food in a way that boosts your confidence and inspires you to keep on cooking.
Like creating art, cooking also allows you the opportunity to use your innate creativity in a new way. According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, people who engaged in the daily activity of creativity were happier, more relaxed and better able to flourish in life.
Creativity is a characteristic each of us has. No one is necessarily born more creative than another. We can grow and cultivate our creativity. It just matters how we intentionally develop our unique outlet of creativity and skills do promote our passion and become more of who we are.
In a world that at times can seem so out of control, it may be helpful to find those small ways that we can feel in control of life. Cooking and baking can often be an area that meets that need. Especially in moments of anxiety and stress, being able to channel your need for control into something you can make with your own hands can help put a little more confidence in your court. You determine how much sugar to dump in, how long to sauté your peppers, how thin to slice your grilled chicken.
Culinary therapy has even been implemented at health clinics and promoted by therapists as a way to navigate challenges in depression and anxiety. CRC Health says that culinary therapy incorporates activities like cooking, meal planning and education in grocery shopping and restaurants. It’s been linked to provide benefits in stress relief, coordination, time management skills and improved self-esteem. Fight off those stay-at-home stressors and anxieties just by picking up a cookbook and creating something you want to make.
Choosing to cook at home rather than picking up yet another cheese pizza also improves your physical well-being in addition to your mental health. Opting for whole foods like vegetables, fruits and grains help to keep your mind healthy as you fuel your body with nutrition. According to Psychology Today, nutrients like omega-3 fats, B vitamins and amino acids have been linked to better brain health.
And, when you incorporate Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars, getting those added health benefits becomes even easier.
In a space where there seems to be so much need in the world, doing something nice for someone else can make ourselves feel better, too. Doubling a batch of lasagna to have one for dinner and bring the other to a family full of kids can bring a smile to their faces - and yours. Baking up a couple of loaves of banana bread to bring over to a lonely neighbor can transform relationships. Through the generous gesture of food, you can invite joy and positivity in your life.
From work to managing kids to volunteering in the community to taking care of others, there can be a lot going on in this season. While most of these areas of our lives are valuable, positive and spark delight, there may be times when we need a little distraction. Particularly if we find ourselves constantly scrolling through social media or checking our news app for updates every hour. Engaging in the creative act of cooking or baking can turn your focus from the overwhelming task lists and problems we face to creating something whole for our body and soul.
Ready to get cooking?
When it comes to getting in the kitchen, you can find recipes and dishes you can enjoy and try out regardless of what your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. To help you spark some ideas on what to make for dinner tonight or plan for breakfast in the morning, here we share some fun recipes we can’t get enough of. These recipes are intentionally simple to follow and don’t require a laundry list of ingredients. Especially if you’re new to the art of cooking, start off slow and see what fun you can whip up.
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