Culinary Therapy: It Does Exist!
by Jodi MacKinnon (QFG)

Baking has always been a beneficial form of therapy for many home cooks and chefs. So why not cooking? Let’s call it culinary therapy. Spending time in the kitchen prepping vegetables, meats and various other dishes can certainly sooth the mind, body, and soul. Here are five ways that cooking can improve your mental health and offer peaceful moments of healing.


A Creative Outlet

Cooking is a fantastic creative outlet for those who like to express their emotions by using their hands. While you are at home, you are free to experiment and do whatever you want with your recipes. You can put a new twist on established recipes, or you can create new ones. Just like art and creative projects, creating unique savoury dishes and decadent desserts can make you feel at peace. Cooking encourages creativity, which makes us feel good and we also get a reward at the end of it. Win win.

Calming the Storm 

Cooking has been found to relax people and take their mind off stressful thoughts and experiences. Even though you must perform various activities in the kitchen such as boiling water, cutting vegetables, adding various ingredients, and spicing up your dishes – there is a sense of productivity, flow, and purpose within the self. When you get into a repetitive flow, it can also be like practicing meditation, which can ease storms and struggles that have been bringing you down. 

Self Care in the Kitchen

Because you most likely will choose to create and cook something you love to eat, you will get to enjoy your masterpiece after it is done. Most of the time we cook for others and forget to cook for ourselves when it is only us at home. Why do we only deserve that pizza pocket or Lean Cuisine microwavable meal? It’s 2021. Time for more self care!

Nurturing Others

Cooking offers a way for people to nurture others and show they care. Many people do not know how to nurture people close to them and those they love. Maybe they were not raised that way by their parents or maybe it just doesn’t come natural to them. Whatever the case, there are ways to learn how to nurture. Cooking practices have been used numerous times in various rehabilitation facilities to encourage patients to learn how to care for others. Nurturing others can build strong, sometimes life-long relationships, and make people feel good about themselves.  

Healing Through Cooking

Many of those who suffer with depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems may benefit from learning how to cook and trying out new recipes. Making a nice meal that tastes good to others can be a confidence booster and make someone feel as though they have purpose. This can help make someone feel important and connected to others, which can be extremely powerful in overcoming depression and anxiety battles.

Whatever you choose to do, it will offer the opportunity to make some great memories, as well as keep your mental health strong and your heart full. What are you waiting for? Get cooking!

Jodi MacKinnon (QFG) [MACJOD]

About Jodi MacKinnon (QFG)

Qualifirst’s COO, Jodi loves cooking and baking, taking raw ingredients and turning them into something that is absolutely delicious, with just the right flavour balance, is one of her favourite pastimes.

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